shutterstock_508093606_3ZkPgj2.jpeg (shutterstock_508093606_aITItbx.webp)Even though reaching recovery is a shared goal, the ways in which people get there are always different. No one person has the same story about addiction or their journey to recovery. Even those who never struggled with substance use have different life experiences, upbringings, circumstances, and more that make them unique. The same goes for those with substance use disorders, and their recovery processes will be different as well.

Recovery is not, nor should it be, a one-size-fits-all treatment. Each individual requires their own tailored approach that works for them. We’ve outlined a list of 5 reasons why no two people’s recovery looks the same.

  • 1. They Didn’t Struggle With The Same Addiction

    Each person has their own experience when it comes to substance use. One person in recovery may not have anything in common with the next. Each person has their own struggle with addiction, including the substance they used and how long they used it before seeking treatment.

    For instance, dependency on alcohol and dependence on opioids are very different experiences. Alcohol use disorder and opioid use disorder have clinical differences when comparing withdrawal symptoms and treatments such as psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. Each substance affects the body and mind differently, therefore needing different treatment methods.

    Furthermore, different factors are at play with each substance. The legality and accessibility of alcohol fosters a more accepting cultural attitude to the addiction. On the other hand, people who use illegal substances, such as opioids, tend to be socially ostracized which can impact the person’s sense of worth and overall experience.

    Another reason two people’s journeys may be different is the amount of time they used the substance. Someone who has been exposed to the substance since childhood will have a different experience than someone who has only just noticed risky substance behaviors.

  • 2. They Had Different Added Stressors

    In the same way that everyone else has their own personal struggles which make them unique, people with substance use disorders have their own issues that affect their addictive behaviors. Different people have different things going on in their lives, such as mental health issues or familial problems, that they may use substances to cope with.

    About 20 percent of those with an alcohol or substance use disorder also have an anxiety or mood disorder. Having co-occurring disorders can create a vicious cycle as the symptoms of one disorder may make the other worse. Additionally, symptoms of anxiety or depression may lead someone to use substances to self-medicate.

  • 3. They Had Different Levels of Support

    Having a support system is essential to a successful recovery. Some people may have an entire system of family and friends helping them along through the journey, but many don’t have that luxury. If someone is going through recovery alone, or with few allies, their experience can be quite different than that of someone with a team of people supporting them.

    Many people with substance use disorders don’t view their families as safety nets. They may have trauma from that upbringing that increases the urge to use. There are also instances of people being involved in toxic relationships that serve no helpful purpose to their recovery. People with different levels of support from family or friends will have an entirely different experience in their recovery journey.

  • 4. They Had Different Reasons for Using and Seeking Recovery

    Different people start using substances for different reasons, the same way they choose to get better for different reasons. Developing an addiction can be caused by a myriad of different things such as genetics, self-medication, mental illness, experimenting, and more. Since there’s more than one way to develop the addiction, there are multiple ways to reach recovery as well.

    People may choose to reach recovery for completely different reasons. Some may base it on the hopes and dreams they had for themselves, while others may realize they don’t feel good about their behavior. Each individual has their own reasoning behind why they decide to get help, which makes their recovery journey unique to them.

  • 5. Different Treatment Styles Work For Different People

    Recovery is a highly personal and unique process in which each person requires a different approach to treatment. There are many different pathways to recovery and different ones work for each individual.

    Some people may benefit from clinical pathways which include evidence-based treatment methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy, medications to treat Substance Use Disorder, inpatient and outpatient rehab programs, and more. Others may find they prefer non-clinical pathways such as community-based support groups and encouraging social environments.

Recovery is not the same for everyone, as it is highly individualized and depends on each person. The journey to recovery is one that belongs to the individual, and no one else will have the exact same path. While each person experiences addiction and recovery differently, that does not mean that they are alone. If you or a loved one is in need of recovery services, Gateway Rehab offers personalized care to help you achieve sobriety and wellness.

At Gateway Rehab, our priority is to guide patients toward a life of sustained recovery. Our team recognizes that not every patient shares the same path to sobriety, and that is why we customize treatment options that address each individual’s personal needs and goals. If you or a loved one are currently struggling with addiction, we are here to help. Schedule your first appointment with one of our recovery centers today or call 1-800-472-1177 for more information.