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Addiction: A Lifelong Battle

Unfortunately, addiction recovery isn’t a one and done kind of deal. Once a person has crossed the threshold into addiction, it is a disease that lasts a lifetime. Over time, drug and alcohol abuse rewires the brains of addicts and alcoholics, and there is no going back once the damage has been done. Recovery, also referred to as remission, is certainly possible but will be completely undermined if the individual returns to drinking or using. This scenario is often spoken of in the cucumber and pickle analogy: once a cucumber is pickled, it can never return to being just a cucumber.

Part of the rewiring that happens in addicts and alcoholics, is the brain’s exceptional ability to create ‘euphoric recall’. This means that no matter how bad active addiction was and no matter how much time has passed since last use, an addict or alcoholic will have memories and visions of drug use or drinking that bring feelings of joy and nostalgia. If you are in recovery, this is a very real threat. As time goes on, these feelings and memories tend to become less frequent as your sobriety strengthens, but no one is ever fully safe from their lure. Those who do stay sober use what many call their “toolbox” to fend off euphoric recall as well as other threats that can pop-up throughout one’s life. If you don’t stop these types of thoughts in their tracks, they grow.

If these euphoric thoughts are allowed to grow, your behavior may change and your feelings toward recovery may shift. For instance, someone who is frequently reminiscing about how nice it was to come home after work and have “one” drink to unwind may start finding reasons to stop going to meetings. What is important to note in the previous sentence is “one” drink. The individual seems to have forgotten that it was never just one, and by the end of the night, they were in a black out until they passed out. That’s what euphoric recall does; it creates a deadly longing for the past while it brews denial in the minds of addicts and alcoholics. It’s a lifelong battle fought one day at a time.

If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, call Resilient House. Addiction is a deadly battle, but we can help you beat it. Your life depends on you choosing to get well. Give us a call, we are available 24/7, toll-free at 833-242-6431 You can do this. Recovery is possible, call now.