Addiction is a significant public health crisis that has robbed millions of Americans of their health and livelihoods, and the anxiety and isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated this issue in every state. Misuse of drugs like opioids and stimulants has been on the rise nationwide, causing a corresponding spike in accidental overdoses.
As tragic as this news may be, it isn’t the full story. According to a recent report from NPR, most people who experience substance use disorders recover and go on to lead balanced, fulfilling lives. What should you know about addiction and recovery for yourself or someone close to your heart?
75% of People Recover from Addiction
While addiction impacts the brain’s reward and pleasure pathways, it’s possible to reverse these effects due to a phenomenon called brain plasticity. Thanks to neuroplasticity, even people who have experienced several relapses when trying to quit drinking or using drugs can successfully break their reliance on these substances.
According to data from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, while one-tenth of U.S. adults have reported having a substance abuse issue at some point, approximately 75% of them are now in recovery. The statistical prevalence of addiction and recovery makes it likely that you have a colleague, neighbor or friend who has struggled with substance misuse and is now committed to leading a sober, healthy life.
“75%… I think it kind of goes against our cultural perception that people never get better,” said Dr. John Kelly, researcher and professor of addiction medicine at Harvard Medical School. “We are literally surrounded by people who are in recovery from a substance use disorder, but we don’t know it.”
Removing Obstacles to Recovery
While you may associate addiction with irresponsible life choices, the reality is that anyone can develop a substance use disorder, regardless of their beliefs or moral compass. Risk factors that can make people more prone to having an addiction include genetics, environmental variables and the presence of co-occurring mental illnesses.
Our modern awareness of addiction as a chronic brain disease has gone a long way to help end the oppressive stigma some people face when they admit they have a problem. Still, there are opportunities to make progress. Expanding people’s access to lifesaving addiction treatment means removing more barriers to recovery, whether those are societal, financial or due to a lack of education about substance use disorders.
Find Your Pathway to Recovery at Vista Taos
If you rely on alcohol or drugs to cope with life’s challenges, participating in an accredited treatment program can equip you with healthy ways to remove these substances from your daily routine. Remember, quitting a substance cold turkey can be risky and lead to various uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, so it’s best to start your sobriety journey with medically managed detox to clear your body and brain of intoxicants.
Today, you have many options for ending your dependence on drugs or alcohol, including entering a residential treatment program. You may already know that there are hundreds of accredited drug and alcohol rehabs around the nation, which can make it challenging to narrow down which one is best for your needs. To find the right fit, you’ll need to consider factors such as treatment philosophy, accreditation, amenities, insurance acceptance and the availability of a customized plan to address your specific issues. You must also do some self-searching to determine if you are willing to commit to starting a brand-new chapter in your life. To learn more about addiction recovery in beautiful Taos, New Mexico, connect with us at Vista Taos today.