A recent study published in the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors journal has found that 80% of Americans recovering from drug and alcohol addiction have seen various personal, civic, and economic changes in their lives. Conducted by David Eddie of the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Recovery Research Institute and supported by the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the study clearly shows that the longer a person is in recovery, the greater and more bountiful achievements they experience.
This is the first study to specifically report on the personal achievements of people in addiction recovery and directly combats the misconception that addiction is a “constantly recurring disorder” that leaves “little room for improvement.” Though recovery is a lifelong journey that comes with obstacles and sometimes individuals can relapse, this study is evidence that ongoing recovery can also create opportunities to heal and thrive.
The study does not that there are some individual factors that are associated with the documented achievements, including education level, age when substance abuse began, race, and co-occurring mental disorders. However, the study’s authors also stress that this doesn’t mean there are some people who can’t accomplish the same achievements as others.
"Recovery is achievable for everyone, and the majority of Americans who resolve their substance use problem go on to accrue numerous life achievements,” said John Kelly, a co-author at the Recovery Research Institute. “At the same time, there are many individuals who face greater barriers and hardships as they attempt to rebuild their lives, and as a society we should be addressing the barriers that hamper their rebuilding efforts."
Ways Your Life Can Improve in Recovery
There are countless ways your life can improve when you’ve sought professional help for your drug or alcohol addiction. Though sobriety can be a long and challenging process, especially in the beginning, it comes as a relief to many people to know that there are plenty of things to look forward to.
Some ways your quality of life can improve when you get sober and commit to a better future for yourself include:
- Your relationships improve: One of the most common side effects of addiction is the strain and loss of relationships. People with addictions frequently isolate themselves from loved ones, steal or borrow money from them, and break their trust. In recovery, you have the opportunity to mend these relationships and create new ones—rehab can also give you the tools you need to start over and fix what has been broken.
- You have time to explore new hobbies: Now that your free time is no longer occupied by finding or using drugs or alcohol, you have opportunities to try new things, such as a sport or hobby. Many people in recovery discover new passions that can lead to jobs, awards, and other achievements. Even small milestones, like making your first soccer goal, are achievements that should be celebrated.
- Your physical health improves: Alcohol and drug addiction take a serious toll on your body and can cause a variety of adverse health conditions, but as you spend more time sober, you’ll find that your overall health will improve, too. When you have more energy because of a healthier lifestyle, you may find you’re more productive and driven.
We now have the hard evidence to show that everything gets better when you commit to sobriety. Though you may be feeling helpless right now, you’ll find that little by little, your life can stabilize and improve.
Put Your Health & Future First
Decision Point Center is passionate about facilitating growth and recovery through our substance use disorder treatment facility in Prescott, Arizona. We’ve seen our patients heal and thrive and would love nothing more than to watch you do the same. In our peaceful environment, you can take advantage of our resources, from our residential inpatient program to relapse prevention and enrichment activities. When you join us, you’ll find you have many options to explore what your life can look like without dependence on drugs or alcohol.
Call Decision Point Center at (844) 292-5010, or contact us online if you’re ready to make an investment in your future. Our Arizona drug rehab facility has changed lives since 2004 and can provide a safe environment for you to recover in.