How Do I Find a Balance in Substance Abuse Recovery?

Substance abuse recovery is becoming sober and living free from the adverse effects of drugs, alcohol, and other substances. Recovery involves learning to live sober while also developing a support system that can help you stay away from drugs and other substances.

Substance Abuse Recovery

Different substances require different approaches, but the overall goal is to live a sober life. It can be hard to do when you are addicted to a drug. The first step to getting sober is deciding that the adverse effects of substance abuse outweigh the positive impact. Over time, you’ll understand the dynamics behind drugs and alcohol and what is best for your recovery.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is the abuse of any mood-altering drug. The abuse may involve:

  • Using the substance in ways not intended by the manufacturer.
  • Dangerously combining different meanings.
  • Using substances to achieve feelings of euphoria or escape reality.

A person abusing substances has difficulty living with the reality of living and coping with life. Abuse of substances leads to feelings of depression, low self-esteem, and even thoughts of suicide. As addiction progresses, the abuser may lose their family, job, and health due to their addiction.

As time passes, the addict may find themselves in deeper of a hole and feel as if there is no hope. Many consider addiction a disease. Some even call it a disease of the soul. It is a disease with no cure or known cause, although many theories have been on the subject. Substance abuse rarely starts with the intention of becoming an addict. People often use substances for simple reasons such as having fun, feeling good, or escaping reality.

Addiction and Alcoholism

While alcohol and drug abuse can lead to addiction, it is essential to know the differences between substance abuse and alcoholism. Most people who are addicted to substances are not alcoholics. Usually, substance abusers start with only one or two drugs at a time. An alcoholic is a person who is dependent on the consumption of alcohol. Addicts are usually treated with detoxification, counseling, and rehab.

Alcoholics may also receive treatment but are more resistant to treatment than addicts and may require a higher level of care. Alcoholism is known to be a disease because alcohol dependency leads to changes in the brain’s chemistry. These changes make you less able to stop drinking once you’ve started. The changes happen because your body becomes dependent on alcohol and has to continue consuming it to function. Substance abuse can have physical symptoms such as weight loss, dehydration, insomnia, constipation, and nausea. Mental depression can also occur as a result of substance abuse.

Treatment of Addiction/Alcoholism

There are many treatment programs available, both long-term and short-term. Treatment can be in an inpatient or outpatient setting. Due to the high cost, inpatient stay treatment is usually for more severe cases where a person’s health is at risk. The different types of treatment include:

  • Counseling: It is an essential part of substance abuse recovery. Counseling services can help you with any number of issues while in treatment.
  • Rehab Programs: A rehab program is often just a fancy name for a residential treatment center. These programs are usually considered the most effective treatment for addiction and alcoholism.
  • Rehab Retreats: A rehab retreat is a residential treatment center located in a remote area where the client has a chance to focus on their recovery
  • 12-Step Programs: 12-step programs are standard in drug and alcohol recovery. They have a high success rate in the recovery of alcoholics.
  • Sober Living: Sober living is designed to give you a chance to experience living a life without drugs or alcohol.

Recovery from Drugs and Alcohol

Recovery means you have gained control over your drug or alcohol use and no more extended experience its adverse effects. Each person experiences recovery at their rate. You may stay clean for one dose and be sober for a day, a month, or years. The critical aspect of recovery is staying clean and continuing to recover. For most people, substance abuse occurs in a series of relapses and periods of abstinence. Relapses and periods of abstinence are part of the recovery process. Relapses don’t mean you’ve failed and will always remain an addict. You continue to recover every time you go through a period of abstinence. If you don’t do something about your addiction, no matter how small, you will eventually relapse. Relapse can happen many times throughout recovery, and recovery may be interrupted by relapses.


Substance abuse is a prevalent problem. If you are a victim of substance abuse, you may feel you have nowhere to turn for help. Many places can provide addiction treatment and help you start your recovery. Ready to get started? Call us today at 732-392-7311.

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