Why Partial Recovery is Not the Whole Story

Why Partial Recovery is Not the Whole Story

Recovery is a long arc, a story that starts with rehab and ends when a person’s life is over. That leaves a whole lot of room in between for many nuances. There are programs and different styles of healing from addiction, but detox and rehab have high success rates for a reason. They work to help a person recover the life they lost to addiction. Partial recovery is not the whole story, but only a nuanced view of a more complex experience.

Getting Back on Track

When a person struggles from excessive drug use or abuse, they must decide how to get their life back on track. Alcohol abuse may continue to pose a threat to their lives but they have the autonomy to choose to quit by starting with rehab. At least by stating they will try, they are making the best case scenario start to play in their favor. This means they will need a lot of support and help from those around them to keep on track. Even if the person worked, figured out relationships, and focused on their health, the threat of addiction may always remain. 

Full vs. Partial Recovery

It is hard to detail what makes a person’s recovery full versus partial, but basically, a person wholly committed to recovery is saying they will no longer use substances and have been working to relieve their own suffering and that of others they harmed. Recovery means addressing the harm caused and how it impacts their loved ones. Partial recovery means a person has reduced the impact of their harm but only reduced the effects of substances on their lives. The person may still use substances but certain parts of their lives have gotten better. Reducing drinking to go find a job is a bonus, but in recovery, it is not always wise to continue using any substance at all. Only smoking marijuana on the weekends does not mean a person is in recovery from addiction. It is more complicated than that but it may be putting them at risk of a full-blown relapse and risk of losing their lives. 

How to Heal

Partial addiction may work for some people but it is not recommended as a way to pursue total recovery. Sometimes tapering works, depending on a person’s substance abuse history and mental health. Some examples of harm reduction for partial recovery may include visiting places where they can use drugs or drink safely or participating in programs that promote moderation over complete abstinence. This is not the entirety of a person’s recovery as, in order to be in recovery, a person must detox and process their addictive behavior to find where they harmed others in order to reconcile. Going back to offer to heal to those they harmed through apologies and making amends is a key piece of recovery for many. This may be hard to do while still using substances and may be rejected by family and friends as insincere. Letting go altogether is hard when it has been part of a person’s life for so long. Making the transition will build support for the journey and, in time, the person will find they can make the transition better than they thought if they are willing to take the leap of faith. 

Reaching out to someone who is addicted and needs help is daunting. When they finally decide to get help, you may feel relief. We will be here every step of the way to help your loved one find hope and healing. If you are struggling with addiction yourself, we are here to help you navigate the journey. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295