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Definition - What does Recovery mean?

Recovery following substance abuse or addiction is the process of improving one's lifestyle, health, and behaviors. A person who has abused substances is said to be in recovery when he or she voluntarily seeks alter his or her lifestyle stop using the abused substance.

Recovery differs from remission. Remission describes the precursor to recovery. During remission a person may take steps to stop using a harmful drug and begin to recovery physically and psychologically. Recovery is considered a more permanent step, indicating a long-term commitment to a life free of substance abuse.

Additionally, because addiction is considered to be a chronic condition, a person who has overcome his or her addiction is referred to as being in recovery rather than cured.

SureHire explains Recovery

A person may stop using an illicit drug or abusing alcohol without being in recovery. For example, someone may temporarily stop using a substance in order to pass a drug test without making a personal commitment to stop using the drug. Or he or she may not have access to the addictive substance for a period but still choose to use the substance once access is regained.

Recovery requires an active choice on the part of the user to make lasting lifestyle and behavioral changes. Individuals who are in recovery are not without resources or support. Many programs exist to help individuals in groups or alone maintain their sobriety. Such programs may provide medical, vocational, social, or other support to the person in recovery.

Creating new habits that support recovery and avoiding situations that increase the person's likelihood of relapse are essential components of a recovery plan.

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