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Joys and Struggles of Long-Term Recovery

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Joys and Struggles of Long-Term Recovery

Addicts have generally spent an extended amount of time participating in activities that make the words “long-term recovery” sound intimidating and discouraging. It stirs ideas of commitment and effort – both of which have likely fallen out of favor in an addict’s mind. However, long-term recovery might be exactly what someone seeking treatment is looking for.

relaxLong-term treatment is an inpatient treatment program that lasts at least 90 days. It is especially beneficial for those who have unsuccessfully tried shorter treatment programs, are having a harder time adjusting, or have an extensive amount of triggers.

Joys of Long-Term Recovery

  • Awareness and Acceptance

    As with any major change, someone going through recovery will undergo an adjustment period. This occurs during the addict’s first weeks in a recovery center after finishing detox. Long-term recovery allows clients to get through that initial adjustment period and still have a sufficient amount of time to focus on their everyday recovery. This means more time to understand and reflect on this new lifestyle.

  •  Safety

    Inpatient programs provide a safe house during recovery. This can include amenities like a private chef and fun activities. But at its base, a recovery house provides a safe place, free of drugs, temptations, and distractions. Long-term recovery essentially equals more time in this safe environment.

  • Worry-Free Schedule

    Recovery programs will all have a set schedule for clients, which will include meetings, counseling, and other activities. A set schedule allows clients to adjust to life in recovery while lifting away the pressure of managing daily activities. It also affords full-disclosure. In other words, a client will always know what is he or she can expect out of the day. Ultimately, more time in recovery results in more time focusing on sobriety and less time juggling duties and distractions.

  •  Rest and Relaxation

    There is nothing that is more important than your health, which includes your sobriety. Substance abuse takes a substantial toll on the body, both physically and emotionally. Recovery programs provide rest and care to counteract the wear of drugs and alcohol on a person. Long-term recovery programs provide such care for an extended period of time, resulting in improved physical and mental health as well as a higher sense of wellbeing.

Struggles of Long-Term Recovery


While the benefits of a set schedule in recovery far outweigh the negatives, some may struggle with feelings of monotony or lack of freedom.

  • Tip:

    Try incorporating a new activity into your free time every week – or even everyday! – to help break any feelings of monotony. Trying something new can help relieve restless hands and tired minds. Also remember that a schedule gives you more time to focus on your sobriety and gives you time to relax. 


As with many things in life, motivation might be easier to find at the beginning of recovery and fade away as treatment goes on. Many people struggle with staying motivated throughout long-term treatment.

  • Tip:

    Try keeping a journal during recovery. It provides a chance to reflect on things you’ve done and learned so far and helps keep your mind clear and focused on your recovery. It also gives you the chance to look back on what you’ve written and restore your initial excitement if you start to feel unmotivated. Check out our list of Check out our list of Benefits of a Gratitude Journal for inspiration!


Substance abuse can result in unfavorable personality traits, such as flightiness, irrationality, and irresponsibility. Therefore, people in recovery that have acquired these traits might struggle with committing to long-term treatment.

  • Tip:

    Focus on the present day and task at hand rather than the end goal. Recovery is a journey, not a destination and should be treated as such. The commitment will start to become natural and less daunting as you learn how to break old habits and accept this new sober lifestyle.

Posted in Addiction, Recovery, Residential