WORCESTER, Mass., Sept. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite the current opioid epidemic that has riveted public attention on addiction, as little as 10 percent of the nearly 20 million people in the United States struggling with drugs and alcohol receive treatment (https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/receipt-services-substance-use-and-mental-health-issues-among-adults-results-2016-national). "In celebration of National Recovery Month, AdCare urges you to share '5 Misconceptions about Recovery', a campaign created by our parent company, American Addiction Centers, to dispel misbeliefs about recovery that can prevent people from seeking treatment," says Georganna Koppermann, Vice President of Marketing and Community Services at AdCare Hospital. "To help reduce faulty thinking about what constitutes recovery, AdCare addiction experts and others who are years into their journeys refute five commonly-held misconceptions about recovery."
Misconception #1: Abstinence alone is enough to sustain recovery
Fact: The brain disease of addiction existed long before substance use. Simply not using is not enough.
Just as addiction is a process that impacts many aspects of one's life, recovery is also a process that involves more than abstinence and does not happen overnight, says James W., an alumni of AdCare. James' recovery journey started with treatment and a firm decision to change. "Once I decided to embrace recovery, I followed the suggestions of the experts at AdCare," says James. "After realizing that I had been using street drugs to mask mental health issues, I joined a clubhouse for persons with co-occurring disorders; I also began attending a recovery drop in center where clients share their desire to stay sober, improve their lives, and help others."
Misconception #2: Life in recovery is boring.
Fact: Recovery is what you make it.
Treatment helps clients acquire the coping skills they need to sustain sobriety and enjoy life. "AdCare Outpatient Services provide flexible, wide-ranging treatment options from Intensive Outpatient Programs to Early Recovery Groups such as Recovery Life Skills, Mindfulness, and Whole Person Wellness," says Jane Jolly, Director of AdCare Outpatient Operations.
Misconception #3: Once in recovery, the person is cured or fixed.
Fact: Addiction has no cure and recovery is a lifelong process.
Dan O'Connor, LADC, CEAP, AdCare Community Services Representative for Greater Boston, is a person in long-term recovery who explains his addiction and recovery this way:
I never call myself recovered. Instead, I say I'm a person in long-term recovery. For me, this means that I have not had a drink or a drug since 1986.
Dan attributes his ability to stay sober and thrive in recovery to participating in 12-step support groups and helping others struggling with drugs and alcohol.
Misconception #4: The journey of recovery only impacts the person with addiction.
Fact: The family is as affected as the person -- they have to recover, learn to set boundaries and love unconditionally.
"Addiction impacts family members in many ways: emotional repression, physical complications, overdeveloped thinking, painful relationships, and a loss of spirituality through issues of control and compulsivity," says Martha Deering, MA, CAGS, LADC-1, CADC-II, SAP, who facilitates the monthly Family and Friends Informational Program at AdCare Worcester Outpatient Services. "Developing healthy boundaries and communication help improve family interactions, and are part of successful recovery for everyone," says Karen MacDonald, LADC-II, Arise Interventionist and AdCare Community Services Representative for Southeastern Massachusetts.
Misconception #5: Relapse means treatment failed.
Fact: Relapse is often part of the recovery process, even if treatment has been effective.
"Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease," says Jessica Noto, LMHC, CADC-II, LADC-I, Program Manager at AdCare Hospital. "Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission." If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, call us at 1-800-ALCOHOL (252-6465).
Experience matters. For nearly forty-five years, AdCare has helped individuals and families recover from substance use. In addition to AdCare Hospital, New England's only alcohol and drug specialty hospital, AdCare has a residential treatment program in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, and outpatient services throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. For more information about AdCare programs and services, call 1-800-ALCOHOL or visit adcare.com. AdCare … your recovery begins here.