When reading about treatment and recovery for a drug or alcohol addiction, you may come across terms like “overcome,” “conquered” or “defeated.” These words indicate that addiction is curable. But is this true? Can a person who once dealt with a drug or alcohol problem really put the past behind them?
While there is no cure for addiction, the disease can be successfully treated and managed. Yes – you CAN live a life that is free from drugs and alcohol.
Here at The River Source, we try to avoid using words like “overcome” because we don’t want patients to think that they can stop working at their recoveries one day. People who assume they are cured may be more at risk for relapse than those who admit they have a vulnerability and need to continue working at it.
How Addiction Relates to Other Progressive Diseases
When thinking about addiction, one must realize that it’s similar to other progressive diseases such as diabetes. Diabetes cannot be cured, but making good day-to-day choices manages symptoms, lengthens the lifespan and promotes a better quality of life. Yet if a person lets down their guard and begins binging on sweets, they can undo the good they’ve accomplished.
What makes addiction particularly challenging is that it cannot be screened for. Other diseases can be detected through a blood test or lab work, but addiction cannot. This makes it more difficult to identify, treat and manage. Rather, most of the warning signs come in the form of actions and words. This means that both a recovering addict and their family needs to be on high alert.
Addiction is Treatable
Thankfully, addiction is treatable, and we’ve come a long way in the types of treatments available. Years ago, all addicts were treated in the same fashion, but today, there are different forms of treatment such as inpatient programs, outpatient programs and day programs.
Also, many of today’s treatment centers provide each patient with an individualized treatment plan that matches their addiction and the unique factors that surround it.
Although there is no cure for addiction, do not let this discourage you. Stay vigilant in your recovery, and you can successfully manage your vulnerability. You are completely capable of making smart, healthy decisions for yourself once you are free from drugs and alcohol.