Cured from Addiction. How common is it?

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.


When 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.

Being cured of addiction is still debated

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.


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.

If people do get cured from addiction, where are they?

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.


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 addiction

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 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 .

Can someone cured from addiction around alcohol drink again?

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.

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