Mar 17, 2014

Is There Relapse in Recovery?

OH MY GOODNESS the big question! 

What does being in Recovery REALLY mean? Can someone be in recovery and continue to slip/relapse as long as they keep trying? Or do you have to have sobriety first in order to get IN to recovery? 

Everyone seems to have their own definitions of what recovery is, and being 7 years sober myself, I decided to do a little more research and get to the nitty gritty of what it means to be IN Recovery. (Definitions of slip, relapse, acting out, and sobriety HERE)

According to The Betty Ford Institute defines recovery as "a voluntarily maintained lifestyle characterized by sobriety, personal health and citizenship.”

In 2005, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offered the following Working Definition of Recovery: “Recovery from addiction is a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life.”

American Society of Addiction Medicine's describes recovery as “a process of overcoming both physical and psychological dependence on an addiction with a commitment to abstinence-based sobriety”

I believe defining Recovery in the addiction world is extremely important. Some believe being in recovery to mean “any sign of progress” or “someone who is trying to stop” but that leaves such a huge wide range definition that just about anyone could stand up and claim Recovery. If there are no boundaries and definitions on the term Recovery, then the importance of that meaning seems to lose its value. Especially for all the people who ARE sober AND in Recovery.