Getting cured from addiction is becoming more and more common as the body of scientific knowledge of how to treat people to live in recovery grows and grows. Addicts can live full and independent lives without returning to their addictive behaviours. The idea of being cured, though, implies that someone has an illness.
ADDICTION STOPS FOR SOME
determining whether an addict can be cured, there is definitely many people who
stop doing whatever it was that they were addicted to and continue in their
lives without incident. These people not only stop their addictive behaviours but go on to do all the things in life that they had the potential to do.
Despite the reality of the situation,
there is a lot of debate around the concept of being cured from addiction. For
some people, and the treatment philosophies they subscribe to, an addict
remains an addict for all their lives and is just one decision away to
returning back to their addictive behaviours. Some people believe that addiction is a disease and that the person has a condition which they can never be free of. Whilst for others they view
recovery as something permanent and once cured those in recovery can go onto
have lives without seeing themselves as addicts but instead an ex-addict.
RECOVERY "ONE DAY AT A TIME?"
Whether it is measured “One day at a time” as is the case for NA and AA or to view yourself as cured. More than living without the effects of their addictive behaviours, these people can quickly progress to become complete and valued members of society living long, loving and fulfilling lives.
Regardless of the language used,
addicts can and do move on from their addiction and addictive behaviours. For people who believe in the "Disease model" and those who reject it, such as many of the articles in Psychology Today, the outcome can be the same. People can and do find a life beyond addiction, returning to have fulfilling lives, taking on positions of responsibility in their employment, their community and withing loving and fully functioning families.
So if people can and do find a permanent cure for their addiction why don’t we meet people in recovery all the time in our day to day lives? The experience of the addict in recovery or ex-addict, though common is still anonymous. These testimonials highlight change and rapid change too.
PREJUDICE OF ADDICTION
Just like the campaigns of the
post war era to address the prejudices of
racial oppression, homophobia and sexual equality, there is now a focus on challenging the prejudice of those in recovery by making
recovery visible. Despite this many people remain ashamed of their
Currently those who live successful lives and feel secure to share their recovery are often people who are in the public eye and have often experienced their addiction in the pubic eye too. Famous people in recovery are easy to find via a simple websearch.
THE FUTURE FOR RECOVERING FROM ADDICTION IS BRIGHT
The future for those who are living in addiction is bright. As we get better and better at understanding addiction, its causes and how to treaty it, more and more people are recovering.
For the less visible members of
society, data from the UK suggests of those who formally accessed professional
support for their addiction, one third completed treatment successfully, one
third did not complete treatment and yet did not return, whilst one third
remained living with their addiction(s). This National Treatment Agency study
based on almost 100,000 people over the three years 2008 to 2010, suggests that
there are thousands of people who have been identified as having an addiction and
have been cured from addiction .
Some of my clients come to treatment to take back control of their drinking. I never advise that people drink again after treatment but in reality many of my clients do drink, they drink socially and have learned to spot the difference between emotional drinking and social drinking. I will never advocate this but, in reality this works for a significant number of people I work with.