There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving sustained recovery from addiction. Everyone develops their addiction for unique biological, psychological and social reasons. The harm that addiction causes is specific to those involved as well.
Successful addiction treatment incorporates multiple components targeting aspects of the illness and its consequences. Achieving abstinence come first. For addicts this may involve medically supervised detoxification to relieve the sometimes-life-threatening physical effects of withdrawal.
Some people who enter treatment may benefit from medication that reestablishes normal brain function, diminishes cravings, or treats coexisting mental health problems. Medication-assisted treatment therapies such as methadone, suboxone, or vivitrol may be prescribed. Mental health therapy is another possible component in a successful recovery plan and helps with modifying attitudes and behaviors related to addiction.
Common approaches include cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, couples and family counseling, and working with a recovery coach. Peer support groups can be an invaluable source of guidance, assistance and encouragement for individuals in recovery, as well as for family and friends impacted by addiction. Twelve-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, and its many offshoots, are among the best-known peer support options.
While the twelve-step approach doesn’t work for everyone, and meetings may be geographically inaccessible, alternatives such as smart recovery, moderation management, secular organizations for sobriety, and others have evolved. Thanks to social media many of them are online where they afford the added benefit of being available 24/7, allowing participants to remain anonymous. The most important thing, after finding a treatment modality and support structure that works best for a particular individual, is to stick with it.