Addiction is a complex disease that affects mental, physical, and spiritual health. The complexity of the disease means that it requires daily maintenance and recovery practices to maintain sobriety. There is no cure for addiction, but that does not mean sobriety is not possible. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains, “Not always—but like other chronic diseases, addiction can be managed successfully. Treatment enables people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects on their brain and behavior and regain control of their lives.” Treatment focuses on changing deeply embedded behaviors and thought patterns that contributed to one’s addiction, as well as treating individuals at a physical, mental, and spiritual level. Like other diseases, relapse rates for addiction are high. The NIDA explains, “Relapse rates (i.e., how often symptoms recur) for people with addiction and other substance use disorders are similar to relapse rates for other well-understood chronic medical illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma, which also have both physiological and behavioral components. Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply imbedded behaviors, and relapse does not mean treatment has failed.” Therefore, it is necessary to incorporate recovery practices into one’s life as a way of putting the disease into remission and living happily and joyously without the use of mind or mood-altering substances. Many recovery programs focus on maintaining a spiritual program of action as a way to remain sober. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states, “It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.” It may seem like a tall order to have to engage in recovery practices every day to maintain our spiritual health, but these practices—prayer, meditation, spiritual introspection, helping others, etc.—become second-nature. We grow to appreciate our recovery practices and look forward to them every day. Our spiritual and emotional health become evidence of our progress in recovery and allow us to maintain our sobriety and satisfaction with our lives.
Your story doesn’t have to be one of pain and suffering as a result of addiction. You can make the decision to seek help now and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in the heart of beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with caring and compassionate professionals dedicated to providing clients with all the tools needed to maintain a fulfilling and happy life in sobriety. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777