Key Differences between Abstinence and Recovery

Woman Sitting Depressed

It is now widely acknowledged that addiction is a chronic disease that ruins lives as well as health. The effects of addiction filter through entire social groups, which is how it permeates our society and continues to exist. For those in the grip of addiction it can be an incredibly lonely place to dwell, although there are solutions available that can give hope during a time of daily struggle.

Ridding lives of addiction is no easy task and yet many still believe that by simply not using alcohol or drugs is sufficient to be “cured.” Giving up using is just one small step in a process that lasts a lifetime. This is because all addiction has root causes that have to be correctly determined before the right kind of treatment can be offered. Often, when we have “given up” something we forget that we’ll inevitably face situations that trigger relapses, and that’s because there is more to addiction treatment than detox or abstinence.

So what are the key differences between abstinence and recovery?

1. Abstinence is tenuous and fragile at the best of times, which is why it’s considered an early part of rehabilitation.

This is because there are other factors that need to be considered such as what, where or who enabled you to use before you gave up and how you can navigate those situations without falling into relapse. Structured addiction treatment educates you on various mechanisms you can use to deal with stressful situations without relapsing to addictive behaviors.

2. Abstinence simply doesn’t go far enough in the treatment of addiction.

What caused your addiction in the first place? Was it depression? A trauma from childhood perhaps? Stress about a current financial situation? Understanding the reasons why you use is something that can best be achieved by someone specifically trained in psychotherapy. Professionals know the right questions to ask you to give them the insight to your case they need to create the best program for you.

3. Addiction recovery is for the long-haul.

Addiction recovery is a long-term process. When people refer to themselves as a recovering addict, they may not have used for 20 or 30 years. However, recognizing that addiction is a medical condition that doesn’t just disappear when you stop using is essential to beating it.

The main difference between abstinence and recovery is that abstinence implies your addiction is within your control whereas recovery recognizes that, actually, it isn’t.

If you are seeking professional holistic addiction treatment in Southern California, we advise you to contact us in confidence. CASA Recovery specializes in drug addiction treatment in Orange County, CA and we’re here to help you take the first steps towards a new life of sobriety. Our rehabilitation center near Dana Point, CA provides the perfect environment for both residential and non-residential drug and alcohol addiction programs. Feel free to visit our addiction treatment center San Juan Capistrano, CA for a confidential consultation.