Addiction affects people of all ages. Although substance use most often initially becomes a problem between the ages of 18 and 25, you can develop a substance use disorder at any age or a substance use disorder you developed at a young age may continue for decades. Since addiction is a chronic, progressive disease, it rarely goes away on its own and it gets worse the longer you live with it. For that reason, some people who have lived with addiction for a while feel like it’s too late for them to change. However, it’s never too late.
Recovery is always challenging.
First, it’s important to keep in mind that recovery will never feel easy. Whether you decide to enter recovery at 20 or 60, it’s going to be challenging. Although addiction does get harder to beat the longer you live with it, the challenges are different depending on your phase of life. So while it’s true that older people in recovery will have to change behavior patterns that are much more deeply ingrained, they also have a lot more maturity and life experience. Younger people may have an easier time in detox, but they also have less self-control and foresight. There’s no point in saying, “Maybe 20 years ago it would have been worth the effort,” because recovery would have also felt challenging then. It might have been easier in some ways but harder in others. Either way, you can only act in the present.
Recovery requires persistent effort.
It’s sometimes tempting to feel like you can get treatment for addiction and be cured from then on. Unfortunately, addiction doesn’t work like that. No matter how long you stay sober, relapse is always a possibility. So in that way, it makes little difference whether you try to get sober at 20 or 60. At any age, successful recovery requires a daily effort. It’s not the case that you can put in the work in your twenties and then coast for the rest of your life. Although recovery does get easier the longer you stay sober, you have to keep putting in the effort at any age.
You can recover even if you have failed in the past.
Many people have tried to get sober and failed. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40 to 60 percent of people relapse within a year of treatment. If you have tried to get sober before, possibly several times, and failed, you may feel like there’s no point in trying again. However, people do maintain recovery after several failed attempts. You may need to change your approach to treatment, perhaps spending more time in a program or finding a program that addresses co-occurring mental health issues, but there is a way to succeed in recovery.
At Alta Lama Transformational Services, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms. Alta Lama uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan. We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.