What Makes Addictions and Recovery Work?

Most of us at one time or another has over indulged in something. Whether it’s the chocolate or spending too much time on the cell phone this apparent obsession doesn’t take on the form of and addiction. There’s much more to addictions and recovery than just a compulsion.

Addiction, what is it?

Addictions are compulsive behaviors but generally are to the extreme. They take on the characteristics of obsession as well. These traits are pervasive, reaching most areas of life.

If you’re addicted you’ll have a deterioration of social, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and ability to choose. These actually continue to get worse the further into the addiction you may go.

A person caught up in addictions must assure supply of the object of addiction, whether it’s the drug of choice or addictions like pornography or sex addiction.

Consequences of use are not considered until much after using. These results may be serious and even life threatening. One of the traits of addiction is the fact that these results happen and are disregarded in spite of how painful or live threatening they may be.

Acquisition of drugs may put you in jeopardy. I’ve known of many victims of a drug deal gone bad.Addictions are serious and often lead to death.

Addiction and Recovery

Addiction is quite complicated because it’s more than just a physical issue. It becomes psychological as well. You may actually become clean and sober from the drugs or alcohol but find yourself still seeking to use.

In fact, it has been said recovery from addiction is often measured by the period of sobriety between relapses.

Does this mean you never recover from addiction? No, it means it’s very difficult and most people find multiple relapses a reality on their way to a stable recovery.

Reasons for addiction and recovery vary widely. It can be as simple as prescribed medication for handling pain. Legitimate medication given is used beyond what was prescribed. This becomes a pattern of seeking the drugs and using excessively to get high (the euphoria as a result of taking the drug).

Experimentation with mood altering chemicals (drugs) isn’t uncommon in our culture. A small percentage of those who try them continue to not only use them but abuse them and become dependent on them.

When addiction moves on to the next stage the motivation is to find relief. Then it changes to a phase of maintenance and finally to escape.

Regardless of the stage of addiction you may be in there’s hope.


What are the choices you have if you find yourself in the middle of an addiction and recovery is what you’re seeking here are some alternatives to consider:

  • Hospital based drug treatment programs (detox, drug rehab)
  • Drug rehab centers
  • Specific residential programs (heroin addiction, cocaine addiction, etc)
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment for Addictions
  • Outpatient
  • Support Groups (NA, AA, Celebrate Recovery)

Remember, recovery is very personal and you are the only one that can make it happen. Addiction and recovery are very complex. Having said that you don’t need to go it alone. There are many programs available to help you find your path to recovery.

Written by Wendell Montney