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Treatment Is Not a Cure; It Begins a New Way of Life

Success stories of people leaving treatment for substance abuse and embracing sober lifestyles have led to the misconception that treatment is in and of itself a cure for addiction. This concept, however, is the furthest thing from the truth. Treatment is not a cure; it’s the beginning of a new way of life.

A Word About Cures

When many people hear the word “cure,” they think of a treatment regimen or substance, typically medication, that eradicates the condition or disease. In terms of substance abuse, the current thinking is that a person is never cured but chooses to live a substance-free lifestyle. A formal treatment program can be the first step in a person’s recovery and the beginning of a new way of life.

Part of what people learn in a treatment program is healthier coping mechanisms. For example, many people with substance use disorder (SUD) turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with difficult life situations or painful emotions. However, after learning new coping skills in treatment, a person with SUD may choose to go for a run instead of having a drink. Again, this is not a cure but the beginning of a lifelong journey of recovery and making healthier choices.

Beginning a Healthier Life Free From Substance Abuse

Treatment can be thought of as a lifestyle adjustment that uncovers unresolved issues in a person’s life that may have led to substance abuse. For some people, treatment begins with detoxification, commonly referred to as “detox.” Stopping the use of a substance “cold turkey” can have very unpleasant, sometimes even fatal, consequences. Going through detox with medical supervision makes withdrawal more manageable.

After detox, the person’s body, mind, and spirit can begin to heal from the ill effects of the substance they were abusing.Treatment also addresses any co-occurring mental health issues and unresolved trauma from the person’s past and teaches healthy coping mechanisms and overall healthy lifestyle choices. 

Once an individual leaves treatment, they will have to maintain their recovery to avoid relapse. This may include attending support groups, therapy sessions, or regularly practicing their new, healthy coping skills. A person is not cured after leaving treatment; they must choose recovery every day in order to sustain long-term sobriety. 

Substance abuse treatment facilities work with those who struggle with substance abuse to help them embrace a healthier lifestyle free from addiction. At The Guest House, located on a 52-acre estate in Central Florida, we offer traditional talk therapy, both on an individual basis and in groups, as well as a range of holistic treatment modalities. If you or someone you love struggles with substance abuse or wants to understand why treatment is not a cure but the beginning of a new way of life, we are here to help. Call The Guest House today at (855) 483-7800.