For those who’ve never experienced addiction to drugs or alcohol, and consequently have never been in addiction rehab, a recovering addict may appear entirely unfamiliar or even foreign.
Likewise, one who has been in drug or alcohol recovery might feel offended by questions that someone unfamiliar with addiction asks. What are some of these questions? How can a recovering addict translate his or her first-hand understanding of addiction and addiction rehab to someone who doesn’t understand?
You’ve completed an addiction recovery programme, so why can’t you use alcohol or drugs now?
For those unfamiliar with drug and alcohol addiction, the hardest idea to comprehend is that the addiction is the addiction. In other words, the substance of choice doesn’t matter—this is simply how one’s addiction has chosen to manifest itself.
Someone who doesn’t understand addiction may reason, “You abused vodka, but why can’t you have a beer with me?” In drug or alcohol recovery, there is no room for substitution.
Addiction recovery must be so hard…
Recovery, just like life, is a constant process of self-realisation and self-betterment. By attending an addiction rehab programme, an addict explores the root of his or her addiction, and learns ways to manage it and to lead a healthier, more productive life.
Whether it’s addiction recovery or simply scoring well on a mathematics exam, life is work and no goal is ever attained without work. Try explaining to a friend or family member who doesn’t understand addiction that it is just like any goal in life—one must work, often tirelessly, to achieve it.