AAC’s New Campaign Unveils 5 Misconceptions about Recovery
AAC’s National Recovery Month campaign utilizes experts and those in recovery to set the record straight about sobriety
In celebration of National Recovery Month, American Addiction Centers (AAC) announced today the launch of a nationwide campaign, 5 Misconceptions About Recovery: What We’ve Learned from Addiction Experts and Those in Recovery, to educate the public on the complexity of sobriety. The campaign also provides a comprehensive toolkit, which includes information on the stages of relapse, ways to support a loved one in recovery as well as a free paperback copy of CEO, Michael Cartwright’s book, Believable Hope.
To get a free copy of the book, click here.
“While the nation’s current opioid epidemic has ignited much conversation around the topic of addiction, it seems recovery and the process of finding long-term recovery is still largely misunderstood,” says Dr. Lawrence Weinstein, chief medical officer at AAC. “We, at American Addiction Centers, felt compelled to share common misconceptions about recovery in order to bridge that gap and help people better understand that recovery is multi-layered and unique to each person.”
Nearly 20 million people in the U.S. struggle with the disease of addiction, but as little as 10 percent receive the treatment they need. Because the possibility of sobriety is overwhelming to some, AAC addiction experts and others who are years into their journeys share their stories of finding sobriety and refute commonly held misconceptions about recovery.
5 Misconceptions About Recovery: What @AAC_Tweet Learned from Addiction Experts and Those in Recovery. Misconception #1: Abstinence alone is enough to sustain recovery #RecoveryMonth Tweet
Misconception #1: Abstinence alone is enough to sustain recovery
Fact: The brain disease of addiction existed long before substance use. Simply not using is not enough.
Nicole Wolf knows that her addiction is just as real today as it was six years ago.
“My addiction is sitting across the street doing pushups waiting for me to stop. If I’m not doing pushups in my recovery, then my addiction will take back over” says Wolf. “When you are in recovery, you are completely changing everything about yourself. Relapse can occur when people stop making their recovery a priority, they stop working on themselves.”
Misconception #2: Life in recovery is boring.
Fact: Recovery is what you make it.
With more than 11 years in recovery, Dr. Susan Julius, medical director at Townsend Treatment Centers offers insight on how to be successful during the recovery process.
“Recovery doesn’t have to be textbook. Although the 12 Step program works for many, other sober support groups exist. Your recovery program needs to be tailored to you and something you greatly enjoy. You can diet and lose 10 lbs., but if you don’t stick to the diet or the meal plan that works for you, you’ll gain the weight back - it’s the same thing with recovery; make sure you enjoy it.
Misconception #3: Once in recovery, the person is cured or fixed.
Fact: Addiction has no cure and recovery is a lifelong process.
Chris Boutte, who is nearing seven years of sobriety explains his addiction this way:
“It’s easier to think of my recovery like an allergy - no matter how many people in this world can drink responsibly, I am not one of them and my body doesn’t function that way,” he says. “Just as a peanut allergy will never go away, neither will my disease of addiction, no matter how many years in recovery I have.”
Misconception #4: The journey of recovery only impacts the person with addiction.
Fact: The family is as affected as the person - they have to recover, learn to set boundaries and love unconditionally.
Robert Phillips, an interventionist in recovery, gives poignant insight on how addiction affects an entire family unit.
“Families are affected to the same extent, if not worse than the person suffering from addiction,” he says. “This occurs because of the close involvement a family member has in that person’s life. The damage caused by active addiction remains prevalent, even when the individual enters sobriety. Building healthy boundaries and learning how to effectively enforce them can save the family from reaching a breaking point.”
Misconception #5: Relapse means treatment failed.
Fact: Relapse is often part of the recovery process, even if treatment has been effective.
Unfortunately, relapse can be a part of an individual’s recovery journey. Dr. Caudill describes how the addicted brain functions.
“Those with addiction have biologically impaired judgement. Without a very intense and ongoing daily recovery program, they end up believing that they can safely take a drink when just a week ago, they were in treatment and clearly understood that they were not able to drink normally,” says Caudill. “The parts of our brain responsible for good decision-making do not always work properly in those struggling with addiction. However, relapse does not mean you can’t get sober again - at 13 years into my sobriety, I am proof that long-term recovery is possible.”
If you or a loved one struggle with addiction, call the AAC helpline at 866-204-8080.
About American Addiction Centers
American Addiction Centers (NYSE: AAC) is a leading provider of inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment services. We treat clients who are struggling with drug addiction, alcohol addiction, and co-occurring mental/behavioral health issues. We currently operate substance abuse treatment facilities located throughout the United States. These facilities are focused on delivering effective clinical care and treatment solutions. For more information, please find us at americanaddictioncenters.org/recovery
PR Manager, American Addiction Centers