When thinking about treatment and recovery, it’s important to remember that addiction is a disease.
Like other chronic diseases, an individualized medical care plan is essential, and not everyone’s plan will look the same. When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, for example, the medical team works with the patient to develop a treatment plan that is right for him or her based on the stage of the disease, family history, and what their daily life is like.
Treatment counteracts addiction’s disruptive effects on a person’s brain and behavior and enables them to heal and regain control of their life. Similar to how a course of chemotherapy or radiation is designed to treat the acute condition of cancer, addiction treatment often lasts for a certain amount of time; based on the severity level of the disorder, this may last months or years. Recovery, on the other hand, is an ongoing process to enhance life and prevent recurrence of the disease. Recovery is a journey— different for each person— that often begins with addiction treatment but lasts well after the treatment period is over.