Is it easy to recover from addiction?

Yes, addiction is a treatable disorder. Research on the science of addiction and the treatment of substance use disorders has led to the development of research-based methods that help people stop using drugs and resume productive lives, which is also known as being in recovery. How the brain recovers from addiction is an exciting and emerging area of research. There is evidence that the brain recovers; the image below shows the healthy brain on the left and the brain of a patient who abused methamphetamine in the center and right.

At the core, after one month of abstinence, the brain looks quite different from a healthy brain; however, after 14 months of abstinence, levels of the dopamine transporter (DAT) in the brain's reward region (an indicator of dopamine system function) return to near normal function ( Volkow et al. Recovering from an addiction is difficult when done alone, even long after treatment. It's important for people to understand what their loved one is suffering while addicted. That way, families, friends, and spouses can come together to help the person in recovery meet their sobriety plan.

You don't recover from an addiction by simply stopping using. You recover by creating a new life where it's easier not to use it. If you don't create a new life, all the factors that led to your addiction will eventually catch up with you again. Those who have successfully recovered from addiction worked hard to understand what led them to substance abuse and how they could prevent addiction from invading their lives again.

Many rehabilitation centers and support groups offer family therapy as part of a person's recovery to help repair and strengthen relationships after addiction has damaged them. Recovering from addiction is not a walk in the park, despite what some people entering rehab may believe.