In recovery from addiction, some people at first choose to simply reduce the amount of drugs or alcohol they are taking. For instance, there are a number of healing programs that focus on a reduction of harm from alcohol or drug use. These programs do not emphasize sobriety, but instead partial recovery. However, at some point, a person might be ready to let go of drug and alcohol use altogether. When this is the case, he or she may need to boost their support and use of their recovery tools as well as even enter treatment for addiction.
It’s very possible that a person might be struggling from the effects of excessive use of drugs or drug abuse. However, if he or she were to decide to get their life back on track but continue drinking, the alcohol use may continue to pose a threat to that person’s well being. Even if that person found a job, had a regular stream of income, repaired relationships, and began to focus on physical health, as long as drinking continues, the threat of addiction may always remain.
Full recovery from addiction typically means that a person is no longer using a particular substance and that he or she has repaired the facets of life that were suffering. Typically, recovery means that a person has addressed and healed the many areas that addiction can affect. On the other hand, partial recovery implies that a person has managed to significantly reduce the effects of substances on his or her life. This might mean that a person is still using substances but that certain parts of their life have gotten better. For instance, perhaps a person reduced the amount of drinking each week and as a result was able to find a job. Another example is a person who only smokes marijuana on the weekends that he or she does not have their children.
If someone were experiencing an addiction and needed to find some healing, it’s quite possible that a harm reduction program might sound the most attractive. This would allow the opportunity to use their chosen substance while they work towards repairing certain areas of life. For instance, some examples of harm reduction (and partial recovery) include:
- participating in a methadone clinic program
- attending psycho-education groups that teach current users of substances how to stay safe
- visiting a safe injection site for those who use IV drugs
- visiting a wet shelter where those who are addicted to alcohol are able to drink alcohol in a safe environment
- utilizing the free service that some bars provide which will bring someone safety to their home after drinking
- participating in programs that do not emphasize sobriety, such as moderation management
If you are someone who has completed a partial recovery, you might be ready to let go of drugs and alcohol altogether. If you made the transition from full use of substances to a restricted use, then you may already know the challenges of reducing the amount of substance use. However, for the best support during the transition from partial to full recovery, contact a mental health provider. You may need to gather more support around you and, as mentioned earlier, you may even need to enter addiction treatment to completely bring your addiction to an end.
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