Abstinence is a common term used in addiction recovery, but there are often questions as to what constitutes as abstinence and what doesn’t. There are many situations that individuals may deem as “gray areas” – ones that, in certain circumstances, could appear to be opportunities that are okay for “only one drink” or two; for example, graduation parties, family get togethers, etc. Despite the belief that occasional use can serve as a deterrent for addiction, or that having only “one” glass of wine after battling alcoholism is safe, studies have shown that complete abstinence is the best way to truly recover from this complex brain disease.

A 2014 study published in the journal Addiction Behaviors assessed the results of a study of 5,380 people and found that younger age, no prior treatment and less time in recovery all lead to non-abstinent recovery. After exploring the differences between those who’d abstained from substances versus those who didn’t, the researchers found that those who didn’t practice abstinence experienced a worse quality of life than those who did – which means that abstinence may just be the way to go.

Of course, everyone may hold a different story as to what’s worked for them in the past – but detoxification and formal treatment typically tends to be based on the premises of abstinence because it can become so easy for a person to fall back into old habits of substance abuse. There are a variety of recovery-related activities that can help reinforce abstinence, such as:

  •    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – a therapy approach that helps individuals change old, negative thoughts patterns into newer, more productive ones.
  •    Support Groups – Whether through online support groups, 12-Step programs or alternative groups, there are a variety of ways to connect with others and stay motivated in abstinence goals.
  •    Holistic Practices – meditation, yoga, art therapy, music therapy and more serve to help rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit, which only reinforce abstinence in recovery.

If you’re ready to take a stand for your mental, physical and spiritual health against addiction, speak with a professional from Alta Loma today.

If you’re ready to begin taking great strides towards your health and wellbeing, speak with a professional from Alta Loma today. Mental illness should be taken seriously and, if not treated early on, more severe conditions can arise. The best way to promote happiness and health is to seek help – and to begin using effective interventions for treating the problematic symptoms a person is experiencing. Don’t wait any longer to seek the help you need. Please call Alta Loma today – and you’ll be surrounded by a healthcare team who truly cares about your recovery. 866-457-3843