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Hope: The foundation for recovery

Hope is the foundation for recovery. When you sit down to read about the road the reliable resources for addiction and recovery, you begin to pick up terms and phrases that describe other chronic illnesses. Recovery. Remission. Relapse. Resilience. Hope.

Recovery is the process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives and strive to reach their full potential, defines NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse within the National Institutes of Health. Remission comes to those with severe and chronic substance use disorders when they find help, overcome their illness and regain health and social function. And when positive changes and values become part of a voluntarily adopted lifestyle, handling negative feelings without using substances and living a life where one feels they are contributing, they are living ‘in recovery.’

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) talks about the important parts of recovery and recovery support. Health, overcoming and managing one’s disease(s) or symptoms and making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well being; home,having a stable and safe place to live; purpose, conducting meaningful daily activities and having the independence, income and resources to participate in society; and community,having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love and hope.

Hope is the foundation of recovery. Hope is the belief that these challenges and conditions can be overcome. You may not have a substance abuse problem, but hope is an important feature of achieving challenges and conditions that you live with every day, which may help you to understand what it is like for a person who is struggling through a substance use disorder.

“Recovery is characterized by continual growth and improvement in one’s health and wellness that may involve setbacks,” advises SAMHSA. “Because setbacks are a natural part of life, resilience becomes a key component of recovery.

Resilience is the ability a person has to bounce back quickly from the difficulties they struggle through. It’s that toughness that pushes us to keep putting one foot in front of the other, resisting the temptations to take the path of least resistance, overcoming the obstacles we have to go over, through or around but can’t see quite how to do it. Everyone has to deal with adversity. So we help each other and that helps us find hope and determination to achieve our hard won goals.

The process of recovery, advises SAMHSA, is supported through relationships and social networks for the person in recovery and the family that becomes that person’s champion, going through all of the adversities that lead to increased family stress; things like guilt, shame, anger, fear, anxiety, loss, grief and isolation. Relapse is a part of the process for some people, but newer treatments are designed to help with relapse prevention.

The U.S. Surgeon General (surgeongeneral.gov) has written the key findings of “Recovery: The Many Paths to Wellness.” Recovery goes beyond the remission of symptoms. About 50 percent of adults who once met the criteria for substance use disorder (25 million people) currently are in remission for at least a year. There are many pathways to get there. Everyone is influenced by the culture they live in, their socioeconomic status, their psychological and behavioral needs, and the nature of the substance use disorder.

Mutual aid groups and newly emerging recovery support programs and organizations are a key part of continuing care of substance use disorders in the United States including schools, health care systems, housing and community settings, the Surgeon General writes.

Addiction cannot be cured, but it can be managed successfully. “Treatment enables people to counter-act addiction’s disruptive effects on their brain and behavior and regain control of their lives,” NIDA advises.

Addiction has no address, but Family Recovery Center does. For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org. Visit the web site at www.familyrecovery.org. Family Recovery Center is funded in part by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

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