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Is Addiction Permanent?

Addiction can be detrimental to a person’s well-being, especially when left untreated. While rehabilitation centers are imperative to the recovery process, some individuals may feel there’s no point if they believe addiction is permanent. This mindset has been ingrained into many individuals due to the traditional views on addictive personalities. This isn’t to say that some people don’t genuinely struggle with addictive characteristics. Still, generalization and misinformation harm the entirety of the group of people looking for a way to move forward.  How accurate are the claims that addiction is permanent, and are they doing more harm than good? 

The Addiction Gene Claims 

Individuals who come from a family with a prevalent addiction history may have a genetic predisposition to addiction, but this is not a guarantee that they will develop an addiction. Medical conditions such as substance abuse disorder are just one factor contributing to addiction.  Other factors that can influence the development of addiction can include the following: 
  • Environmental factors. A person’s environment plays a huge role in their development. If someone is raised in a low socioeconomic area with high crime rates, easy access to substances, mass unemployment, and poor living conditions, they’re more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol; they see substance abuse as a norm.
Other environmental factors that can influence addiction include parental substance abuse, poor role modeling, a lack of parental supervision, and parental rejection.
  • Exposure to early traumatic life experiences. Abuse, trauma, neglect, and witnessing domestic abuse are all detrimental to proper brain development and neurologic well-being. These unfortunate interruptions can impact a person’s impulse control, decision-making abilities, emotional regulation, and social and emotional skills. 
  • Psychiatric factors. Some mental health issues can impact addiction. These issues include schizophrenia, severe depression, and personality disorders.
There’s no one gene that that leads to addiction. Understanding that a person can overcome addiction through rehabilitation with a solid support system is the best way to ensure that they can move forward with their life. 

Does Addiction Last a Lifetime? 

There are countless recovery stories out there, and some of those stories are told by people who may have at one point thought they would never get away from addiction. Addiction can last a lifetime if an individual doesn’t take the necessary steps to address their issue, but not always through their fault; support systems and a good rehab program can help someone get on the right track. Feeding the stigma that once a person is an addict, they’ll always be an addict places a tremendous psychological burden on recovered addicts. This can lead to feelings of self-doubt, hopelessness, and fear, all potential causes for relapse.  Not everyone experiences addiction in the same way, so it’s unfair to box individuals into that mindset. Additionally, just because someone struggles with addiction for most of their life, it doesn’t mean that they can’t break free and enjoy a life of sober living.  Another harmful piece of advice that addicts receive is that addictions are always replaced with other habits once overcome. This advice brings back those feelings of hopelessness and defeat because the individual may think that there’s no point in recovering if they’re just going to run the risk of becoming addicted to something more harmful. 

When Addiction Can Become a Lifetime Issue

One of the ways that someone can fall into addiction long-term is by using the stigma as a crutch. Individuals who buy into the narrative that once they’re an addict, they’ll always be one or that addiction is a lifelong disease are likely to give up on sobriety. Individuals who don’t have support systems are more at risk when it comes to using addiction as an excuse, but so are people who surround themselves with the wrong individuals who reinforce these harmful ideas. 

Understanding Remission 

 Some people may think that addiction is permanent because they don’t realize that the recovery process isn’t as black and white as they believe. People expect recovering addicts to drop their substance abuse issues altogether when going through recovery, but that’s not how it works, nor is it realistic. After rehabilitation, individuals will go through the remission stage. A person will either experience a complete or partial remission during this stage. During a complete remission, a recovering addict will no longer need substances to function; on the other hand, a partial remission means that an individual may still use the substance to a certain extent and is considered at risk of a potential relapse.  After treatment, the recovery process is a long journey with ups and downs, but making someone feel like they’ll never get over their addiction is harmful to their process. 

The Best Way to Break the Cycle 

There is an effective way to tackle addiction and prevent it from becoming a life-long battle. It’s no magic cure, and it’s challenging, but individuals can pave their path to a life of sober living with the right support system.  The best way to keep addiction at bay and prevent further relapse is through achieving a balance of physical, mental, and emotional sobriety. What does this mean? It means that the individual should attempt to do the following: 
  • Address past trauma.
  • Find healthy and practical solutions to let out emotions.
  • Practice forgiveness.
  • Change their outlook on setbacks and disappointment. 
It takes more than physical strength to fight addiction; recovering addicts also need to develop mentally and emotionally. People often find that this is much harder than achieving physical health, but nothing is more rewarding than finding a balance.

Get the Support You Need with Ardu Recovery Center

If you or someone you know is struggling to tackle addiction, call us here at Ardu Recovery Center for more information on how we can help. Our state-of-the-art facility in Provo, Utah, will get you on the right track to sober living through effective customized treatment programs and knowledgeable, caring staff. Get in touch with us today and take back control of your life.