What Does “Being in Recovery” Mean?

Being in Recovery

Different people have their perceptions of what being in recovery means. If you ask multiple people, “what does being in recovery mean?” You might get various answers, although they will probably be similar. Approximately 19.7 million people in the United States struggle with drug misuse in one form or another. Adults in the United States say that they are in recovery 10 percent of the time. 

Although being sober is the first stage, being in recovery from addiction entails more than simply being sober. What does it mean to be in recovery from addiction? When it comes to drug addiction recovery, there are many different definitions. However, all of them have in common that the individual has undergone a positive transformation. It is not just about abstaining from drug and alcohol use. If you ask different people what they think of the word “recovery,” the answer will vary.

What is Recovery?


Recovery was long considered a term exclusively linked with 12-step organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous. At first, it simply meant abstention from alcohol and other drugs. As the need for addiction treatment has grown, so has the understanding of what it means to be in recovery. It now more accurately describes a way of life. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, recovery is “a process of change through which people improve their health and well-being, live a self-directed life, and try to attain their full potential.”


Recovery is increasingly seen to be more than simply abstinence. It is the beginning of a new life, a second opportunity. Those who have recovered are now living productive lives. For instance, being a woman in recovery improves your whole life, from your family to your physical and mental health as well as living situations.

How Does Being in Recovery Make a Difference?


As we mentioned earlier, being in recovery changes your life in a couple of ways. Even if you’re undergoing criminal rehabilitation, you begin to see positive changes. Let’s examine how being in recovery takes a positive toll on your life:

Being in Recovery spurs Productivity


While in active addiction your entire life is dictated by your narcotics usage. Your whole day comprises coming up with methods to earn money for usage. Many times the addiction may utterly wreck your life. Once the drugs are gone, part of the process of rehabilitation is becoming a productive member of society. The drug no longer governs every activity. Holding down a job suddenly becomes feasible. Consistent work and no longer spending all your money on using enable bills to be paid. Many are now able to have a house.

Meanwhile, a person in recovery may find interests they formerly liked or even new ones. There is a lot more time available when you no longer spend every waking second fueling your drug habit. Spending time working or on hobbies may be quite gratifying. Having objectives and desires are a key component of healing.

It is now feasible for individuals to attain objectives they would never have believed possible while in addiction. Some may opt to go back to school or establish a new job. All the energy formerly concentrated on bad things is now being utilized for good.

Physical and Mental Health


Another aspect of rehabilitation might be related to the physical body. While in active addiction, health is frequently overlooked. We no longer overlook such a necessary aspect of living a life in recovery. It may be as basic as eating healthily and personal cleanliness. Many individuals get interested in fitness or other sports pursuits such as hiking due to their experiences. 

A more visible aspect is that they must take care of their health by seeing physicians regularly. When in recovery, you are no longer killing yourself slowly with chemicals, and there’s now a drive to live that wasn’t there before.

Physical health is vital, but so is mental health, which is just as crucial. It is now time to address the factors that may have contributed to your substance abuse while you are in recovery. A large number of mental problems are also present.

Being in Recovery

Common Questions About Being in Recovery


What if I relapse? Is my healing over?


No. A recurrence during or after therapy is not a failure. Relapses are common in addiction therapy, warn experts. In actuality, the NIDA estimates that 40-60% of people relapse after completing drug misuse treatment. Approximately 90% of gambling addicts relapse at least once, and often more, during treatment.

If I don’t relapse after treatment, am I completely cured


Addiction has no cure. Recovery does not mean you are free of addiction. It simply means you are attempting to overcome your addiction and recover your life. That you didn’t relapse after counseling is great! But once in therapy for an addiction or mental illness, you’re in recovery for life.

Why is my recovery so slow?


Recovery is a lifetime process with no end in sight. Because everyone’s recovery journey is unique, what works for someone else may not work for you. Know you’re not alone. A Gallup research found that around half of Americans feel the effects of drugs and alcohol abuse. This does not include all the many addictions and disorders people seek treatment for.

Mending Relationships in Recovery


Relationships are the last component of the rehabilitation process. It is common for drug use to prevent individuals from forming new connections or sustaining existing ties with family and friends. People in recovery are increasingly repairing old links as well as forming new ones. You are now able to show up for folks when they need your assistance. The ability to improve oneself allows for the healing of these connections.

Additionally, when individuals use, they are often cut off from spiritual matters. This does not always imply a religious affiliation. It might be as simple as believing in a higher power and accepting the fact that you cannot control everything. People in recovery may find it quite helpful to find refuge in religion or other spiritual matters throughout their rehabilitation.

Addiction Treatment in Southern California is available, call 855-953-1345 to talk to a member of the Opus Health team.

More To Explore

Help Is Here

Don’t wait for tomorrow to start the journey of recovery. Make that call today and take back control of your life!

Begin Your Path to Recovery

Speak with our dedicated Recovery Advocates to find the right personalized treatment approach for you.

All calls are 100% free and confidential

A photo of the Opus Health Rehab Detox Center logo.