The Very Malleable Definition of Recovery

The Very Malleable Definition of Recovery

Recovery from one’s alcohol or drug use can mean very different things to different people. Not all people who suffer from addiction suffer in the same way, and someone may want to seek professional help for their relationship with drugs or alcohol even if they aren’t diagnosed with addiction in the first place. There are many different ways in which drugs or alcohol can impact someone’s life. As a result, no two stories will be the same. The goals and methods for recovery will differ from person to person. Recovery is more than just one thing and can take on any number of forms depending on the needs and goals of each individual.

Addressing Problematic Relationships With Drugs or Alcohol

Addiction isn’t the only way that drugs or alcohol can impact someone’s life in a negative way. There are a number of other ways that dangerous relationships can develop. For some, their prolonged use of drugs and alcohol can create an emotional and physical dependency that can dictate many of the decisions in their lives on a day-to-day level. For others, they may find themselves drinking or using drugs every day, but still addressing all of their responsibilities and may even be excelling in their fields of work. Others may find that they can go days or weeks without drinking or using drugs, but when they do engage, they find it very difficult to stop and often end up sick and blacking out. While the word “addiction” may not encompass all of these different relationships that someone may have with drugs or alcohol, they are all issues that may need the help of a professional to address. This is why asking the question “Am I an addict?” when determining if recovery is right for someone may not be the right question. Instead, someone can find a more helpful answer if asking the question “Do I have an unhealthy relationship with drugs or alcohol?”


There Isn’t Just One Goal in Recovery Either

Just as the need for professional assistance for one’s drug or alcohol use isn’t going to be the same for each person, their goals in recovery will also differ. For some, it may be incredibly important that they are able to put down drugs and alcohol and live the rest of their life completely sober for their own mental and physical health. This is often the definition that is thought of when mentioning “addiction recovery” and can certainly be the case for many people. However, there are other goals that someone can set for themselves in their recovery. For some, it can involve retaining the ability to stop when someone does begin to drink so that they are able to control themselves to avoid blacking out or feeling sick. For others, it may involve eliminating the use of dangerous drugs from their lives but may want to still be able to drink alcohol on occasion. Others may want to use the recovery options available to them to find other coping mechanisms to the daily stresses of life instead of going to the bar every time. Recovery can mean different things for different people. Rather than seeing recovery as an “all or nothing” proposition, it can be better defined as someone gaining the agency over their usage of drugs or alcohol in any form that may take.  


There Isn’t One Process

Recovery will take many forms. Depending on each person’s goals, they will find success using different methods for recovery. For some, an intensive program may be required, leading someone through the detox of their bodies and moving towards an inpatient program where they can address their addiction in a safe and sober environment while dealing with difficult withdrawal symptoms and learning and implementing new life skills. Others may find progress using an intensive outpatient program, allowing them to confront their relationship with drugs or alcohol while still being able to attend work or school on a regular basis. 

The methods will also change from person to person. As some may excel in individual therapy sessions, others may benefit more from a group setting. Therapies can also take various other forms, such as music therapy, movement therapy, art therapy, or media therapy. Recovery encompasses a lot of different things. Depending on the person, the reasons, goals, and methods will change depending on the effect that drugs or alcohol have had on someone’s life. Recovery is a complex process that is much more than the journey from addiction to sobriety–it also incorporates many other relationships with drugs and alcohol, and is the practice of regaining agency over these substances, as well as the direction of one’s own life.


Recovery encapsulates the various ways that someone may want to address their relationship with drugs or alcohol, as well as the many forms that their personalized therapy may take. Brighton Recovery Center champions these ideas of self-discovery and identity through the recovery process and offers an array of different programs in order to address any level of one’s relationship with drugs or alcohol. Offering programs from intensive outpatient to sober living, as well as individual and group therapy sessions, there are various ways that each person can confront their own use of drugs or alcohol and work alongside professionals to establish their goals in recovery. With a large, six building campus that includes medical services, sober living, meeting spaces, and a recreation center, there is a constantly developing community of recovery available to all those who may need it. If you or a loved one are struggling with your relationship to drugs or alcohol, or simply want to speak to a professionally trained staff member about your specific situation and the options available to you, call us today at (844) 479-7035.

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