Treatment vs. Recovery

People often assume that the words treatment and recovery, when talking about an addiction, means the same thing. In fact, when a person says they are getting help at a treatment center they will be experiencing something completely different from a person getting help in a recovery program. Let’s take a look at the differences between the terms “treatment” and “recovery”.

Understanding “Treatment” and Treatment Centers

Treatment is part of the process that involves an individual going to a facility; such as, an inpatient rehab center. These treatment centers will help the addict deal with their withdrawal and furthermore begin to address the emotional and physical issues that follow. When an addict is undergoing treatment, they will have continuous medical care, supervision, and assessment. They may also be involved in psychological counseling and therapy. Some treatment programs will teach the addict various recovery tools, while others do not.

A treatment center will offer valuable education and training on how to incorporate a recovery program into the individual’s life, this is especially important once they leave the center. Oftentimes, people who are newly sober struggle with recovery, sometimes groups and meetings are simply not enough. In these situations getting treatment at a facility may prove to be a valuable and life saving decision.

Some people believe that treatment centers exist to only make profit and that everything an addict needs to know about addiction and recovery can be found at AA, NA, or a similar group. While these types of recovery groups are very useful, they cannot offer everything that a treatment center can. Treatment centers are not there just for money, they exist because the individuals working there want to help addicts and believe that each and every one of them can overcome their struggle with addiction.

Understanding “Recovery”

Recovery may include peer support groups, addiction recovery workshops, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), or other similar support groups. Some individuals who are addicted to a drug, but their addiction is not considered to be ‘serious’ may be able to avoid proper treatment and go to recovery groups only; although this is typically not the case for most addicts. It comes down to the individual; however, an overall look at the entire person in the form of treatment may be necessary and even vital to the person’s own survival.


Treatment is the formal period that usually takes place at a live in rehab or an intensive outpatient rehab. It may begin with a detoxification and with many therapy and counseling sessions that follow. Self image, nutrition, exercise, and more are all covered during treatment.

Once an individual has completed their treatment, they will move onto recovery. They may begin this in their own home or in a transitional center; such as, a sober living home. During recovery, the individual should attend various recovery groups and meetings; these will help them to stay on the right path. These will also provide ongoing support and act as a useful resource for issues that may occur after treatment. Those who are in recovery will have an understanding of what addiction is and what tools and techniques are available to avoid a possible relapse.
While someone observing a loved one with an addiction will never be able to fully understand the struggle they are going through, they can prepare themselves by learning about treatment, recovery, and the process that is yet to come.

The Cabin Chiang Mai is a treatment center located in the north of Thailand. We offer world class care in a private setting amongst the backdrop of majestic mountains. The Cabin provides integrated treatment to people with a drug or alcohol addiction. Through our specialized methods of treatment, our highly trained staff addresses each individuals care based on their own complex needs.

Beginning the path to recovery starts with attending a successful treatment program at a center, The Cabin Chiang Mai will help each individual heal their addiction, assuring that recovery is long lasting.

About the Author

The Cabin Clinical Team

The Cabin Clinical Team

Our team boasts over 10 years of experience working with individuals struggling with addiction and mental health challenges. This extensive experience allows us to provide comprehensive assessments, develop personalized treatment plans, and deliver evidence-based interventions tailored to meet your unique needs.

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