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Understanding Addiction: What Does It Mean to Be an Advocate for Recovery?

understanding addictionDrug addiction is a disease that has caused over 64,000 deaths in 2016 alone. There’s no denying that addiction takes a serious toll on the addict’s health and life, as well as on their loved ones and society. So, what exactly can be done to prevent and treat addiction? Even more, what does it mean to “advocate” for recovery?

Understanding Addiction as a Disease

During this time of such a wide-spread drug epidemic in the nation, it’s critical to have an understanding on addiction and then look to ways that it can be both prevented and treated. Naturally, the best way to prevent a drug addiction is to never pick up a drug and risk becoming addicted. However, once an addict has picked up, they lose their power of choice due to an extreme mental and physical obsession over the drug.

So what can be done for drug addiction treatment then? There is no “just say no” or “stop using” for an addict. The obsession is strong and self-will is not enough to keep them from returning to using substances. Addiction is a disease with no cure, but it is treatable.

Initial treatment for drug addiction can begin with a medical detox to wean the individual off all substances and an inpatient rehab where treatment can be provided to the individual for underlying issues causing them to turn to substances in the first place. Beyond this, there are a number of effective 12-Step Fellowship meetings, support groups, individual therapy, and group therapy options for support. However, it should be known that addiction is a chronic disease that requires regular maintenance of some form of treatment, which might look like working a program of recovery at a 12-Step Fellowship or seeking professional help from therapists, etc.

What Is a Recovery Advocate?

Essentially, a recovery advocate is someone who aims to help reduce the stigma of drug addiction and alcoholism. The disease of addiction has such an unfair stigma, and an advocate of recovery works to break it by providing education about addiction, assistance to those suffering from addiction, and awareness of addiction, especially to those who do not have an accurate understanding of addiction. Advocacy plays a critical role in reducing stigma because it acts as a catalyst for change in society, as well as in government and health policies.

Who Are Recovery Advocates?

Recovery advocates can be recovering addicts, parents of addicts, family members of addicts, friends of addicts, mental health professionals, doctors, addiction specialists, employees of treatment centers, government officials… anybody can be an advocate for recovery when they have an accurate understanding on the disease of addiction. Anybody who wants change in the way addiction is viewed  can consider themselves an advocate, especially when they become  vocal about the illness and what needs to be done to prevent and treat addiction.

Are you or someone you love struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol? It is possible to recover, and The Watershed Texas can help you. Call The watershed Texas today at 1-800-861-1768.

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