When I’m Done with Treatment, Will My Addiction Be Cured?
We all want a guarantee, right? You need the promise that all of the time, money, and energy that you put into rehab will forever banish addiction from your life. But, that isn’t a promise that can honestly be made. Addiction isn’t a curable disease.
Rehab doesn’t fix addiction, it treats it and gives you the skills you need to manage it. And that doesn’t mean that you won’t return to your addiction at some point and need more rehab. These are simply the facts. Burt, they don’t mean that rehab isn’t the best possible treatment for addiction or that you can’t live a perfectly successful life free of drugs and alcohol when you leave treatment.
What you need to focus on isn’t a pledge or a assurance. You need to focus on your goal of conquering drug and alcohol abuse, without regard to whether or not you may fail in the future. It’s honestly hard to beat an addiction and most people fail the first time that they try. But, the successful ones keep trying. The fact that you recognize that your addiction no longer has a place in your life means that you are on the road to recovery. Keep walking.
To continue your recovery process, you need to find a treatment program that will meet your individual needs and keep you engaged; we can help. Call 800-681-7369Who Answers? and take the next step in your journey.
You Have to Re-Think Addiction
If you are treating addiction as something that can be cured, you aren’t considering it accurately. You need to keep in mind the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s definition: “chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.”
Firstly, start to think of addiction as you would any other chronic disease, like:
- Type II diabetes
You wouldn’t expect to spend a few weeks in treatment and to be completely cured because you know that these illnesses have both a physical component and a lifestyle one. In order to properly manage these chronic diseases, you need to re-learn how to live your life. That isn’t something easily accomplished. You should be thinking in the same way about your addiction.
Further, the drug seeking is ruled compulsive, meaning that you have very little control over it, just as you would with a chronic disease. It’s unrealistic to assume that something compulsive can be cured in a short period of care. However, it is reasonable to assume that you could learn to manage your compulsions. After all, people do that in therapy all the time.
You Have to Accept Relapse
A lot of people frame relapse as a failure. So, in order for your addiction to be truly cured in rehab, you would have to never relapse. But, that sort of attitude may set you up to fail because a relapse may cause you to throw in the towel entirely.
You need to think about relapse as a sign that you need to change your current treatment, return to treatment, or adjust it. This will keep you engaged in the management of your addiction and help you to refrain from all-or-nothing thinking.
Further, the chronic diseases earlier listed have relapses. People with hypertension have increases in blood pressure and their medications get adjusted or the doctor recommends that they try a new method of management. That feels responsible and normal, right? Then it should feel the same with addiction.
Further, the relapse rates of drug addiction are very similar to those for chronic diseases. A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association showed the following rates:
- Drug addiction: 40 to 60 percent
- Type I diabetes: 30 to 50 percent
- Hypertension: 50 to 70 percent
- Asthma: 50 to 70 percent
You Have to Stop Justifying Avoidance of Treatment
If you are questioning whether or not treatment is worth it … it is. And if the fact that a complete cure is unlikely is all the reason you need to blow it off … stop.
Treatment has consistently demonstrated positive outcomes in tons of evidence-based, documented research.
If you are interested in learning more about how effective rehab might be for you, read this post: “How Effective is Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment? Will it Work for Me?” If you want questions about effectiveness answered by an expert, call 800-681-7369Who Answers?.