You Are Not Alone
Nearly 23 million people in America face this. It doesn’t matter who you are. Addiction doesn't discriminate. No matter your age or income, ethnic background or religion, family or profession, you can be affected.
Listen to some of our stories. Even if you think your
situation or problems are different, you may find the darkness of this disease
has affected you in similar ways. Perhaps it’s feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, shame, depression, anxiety or fear. Oftentimes these are
Moving into the light
We know that your problem isn’t about willpower. Why would anyone “choose” to have this terrible disease? We understand that a craving can feel as strong as the need for food or water. And we hope you understand that it’s one symptom of a treatable chronic disease—one that you can recover from.
What is recovery?
Recovery* is a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life. That process may mean different strategies and steps for different people. We believe that each person has a unique recovery journey, and that there is no one path that will work for everyone.
Your life in recovery can be better than you ever imagined.
Recovery isn’t a fixed destination or place in time. It’s a journey of building
a healthy mind, body and spirit for a fulfilling life. We believe you deserve
respect and dignity—and the strongest possible community of support at every
stage of your journey.
The journey: many
There are a variety of ways that people successfully deal with addiction. The path that works for you may be linked to the severity of your problem, the resources available to you in your life and your personal beliefs.
Millions of people have found healing through many paths to recovery:
- Solo or natural
recovery – the use of your personal, social and family supports to resolve
the problem on your own, without professional help or involvement in a mutual
aid society. This is more likely to work for people with shorter and less
- Treatment-assisted recovery
– the use of professional help in the initiation and stabilization of recovery.
This can take a variety of forms (inpatient, outpatient, etc) and involve a
variety of professionals (physicians, drug and alcohol specialists, counselors,
The vast majority of those with more severe problems enter recovery through professionally directed treatment. But studies also show that many of those with the most severe problems usually achieve recovery only after multiple treatment visits over a number of years.
recovery – the use of recovery mutual aid groups (e.g. 12 step) to
initiate/maintain recovery. AA is the most widely used of these groups.
Studies of AA show that mutual aid groups can help many types of people achieve recovery, including teens, women, minorities, those with co-occurring psychiatric disorders and agnostics and atheists. Recovery is more likely among people who go to meetings more often and are more intensely involved.
- Moderation-based recovery – cutting back on alcohol and drug use to a level that is no longer problematic. This style of recovery is more common among those with less severe problems and more “recovery capital” (younger, married, higher socio-economic status, stable job and relationships).
- Faith- or
religious-based recovery – using religious beliefs, prescriptions for daily
living, faith rituals, prayer and the support of a community of shared faith to
Source: “Recovery Management”
Whatever road you take, we encourage you to find help, support and healing.
If you try an approach to recovery and it doesn’t work for you, don’t get discouraged. You can try again in a more focused way, with better support, or you can explore other paths.
*SOURCE: Center for Substance Abuse and Treatment (US Dept of Health and Human Services)