Addiction 101

Supporting recovery

People can, and do, recover from addiction, especially when the right treatments, services and supports are available. These services can include early identification and intervention, peer support, mutual aid, outreach and engagement, harm reduction, specialized treatment, relapse prevention and continuing care (CCSA, n.d.-b).

Recovery from addiction is best achieved through a combination of mutual support, professional care and self-management (ASAM, 2011).

Informal or self-administered treatments are also very important. Being aware of negative emotions, repeating positive messages, noticing body reactions, countering stress with a healthy diet, relaxing, making art, exercising, listening to music, sleeping, spending time outside and practicing mindfulness are ways that people can manage their mental health and prevent relapse. The most helpful methods are different for everybody. Over time, each person will learn what works best for them.

It’s important to remember that regardless of what stage someone is in, it is possible to be supportive without feeling responsible for fixing the problem. Johann Hari (2017) points out that connection with other people may be one of the key factors for change. Receiving support from someone who cares may be a major factor in someone’s recovery journey.