When it comes to drugs and addiction, it can sometimes be hard to understand the various stages of recovery. Terms like recovering addict or addictive behavior are often heard – but what exactly do they mean and what do they have to do with Active Addiction and the recovery process. It can be very helpful to understand the words that are associated with getting back to health and those used in the transition to recovery.
First of all, what exactly is an addict? An addict is someone whose biochemistry may have been affected enough to crave or need a particular drug. In some cases, there isn’t actual physical withdrawal when the drug is taken away. In other cases, withdrawal symptoms can affect the entire body and be quite severe. As long as the individual can’t stop seeking the harmful drug, an addiction is in place and treatment is usually needed to make important lifestyle changes.
Everyone tends to know what drugs are. However, there are legal drugs which are generally harmless when used properly – and then there are drugs which can be abused and become addictive. The line between properly using a drug, as prescribed by a doctor, and abusing that very same drug can be quite slim. Some doctors prescribe narcotics or painkillers to patients, not realizing that their patients are prone to Active Addiction. After the illness has passed, patients may still crave the drug.
This meets the criteria for addictive behavior and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. By continuing to use a drug long past the time it was needed for a specific illness, serious health risks can occur. These include addiction, poor health and even loss of life. Concerned friends and family members should intervene and help an addict get proper treatment.
When it comes to addiction, it isn’t only drugs that can be a problem. Nearly anything can be at the root of addiction. Some people cruise the internet obsessively in their quest for porn while others may put their financial stability in danger by gambling night and day. One warning sign of addiction is the inability to set reasonable bounds on behavior, affecting family members who are neglected or ignored. Those who are addicted may not even take time to eat meals or go to work. While it is true that alcohol and drugs have proven and negative effects on the body, those who gamble too much or are sex addicts can have equally bad results, particularly if they neglect family, work, basic hygiene and regular meals.
So how do addicts start the recovery process and return to health? The first step to Active Addiction, of course, is recognizing that there is a problem. This can be the most difficult part of the recovery process, particularly if denial has set in. Sometimes addicts have to hit rock bottom – losing family, money, homes and jobs – before seeking help. Recovery is a decision to change behaviors that caused negative results and to actively choose new habits that build bonds between family and friends and help addicts regain self-esteem.
A recovering addict or alcoholic is someone who is trying to return to health. Along the way, there may be significant cravings or desires for old behaviors, especially when it comes to seeking their drug of choice. This is why the term “recovering” is used. The drugs may be out of the picture but the emotional yearning and even painful days will have to be faced.
The recovery period may be bumpy and relapses can occur. Even so, it is a positive sign if most choices are positive and if negative behaviors greatly lessen. Those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol will have to learn to live life without these substances. They need to decide to face life as sober people. The result? Physical, psychological, financial and emotional health. These benefits may not come all at once but – in time- the increased self-esteem from making a choice to take care of oneself can help tip the odds in the former addict’s favor.