While the signs that recovery is working are different for each addict, there are a few common indicators of a successful treatment program. If you recognize any of these signs in a friend or family member, you should support and encourage them in any way possible.
What Are the Signs that Recovery Is Working?
According to doctors, therapists, addiction counselors, and former addicts, the following are some signs that recovery is working:
- Experts say that you can sense a person's genuine recovery in under a minute. It hits you like a warm breeze. You just want to go hug them with a big smile. You WANT to talk with them and be around them. A person not in recovery will be controversial, contentious and stressful to be around, making you nervous and uncomfortable.
- Recovery is silent. You will hear a lot less talk and see a lot more walk.
- One of the classic signs that recovery is working is that a person in recovery has surrendered to the disease. He/she won't be resisting or fighting any part of it.
- A person in recovery will be changing their friends. Before recovery an addict has a small exclusive group of friends and family around him/her who enables them and contributes toward their disease. A person in a smart recovery program will swap these friends and replace them with others who will support recovery efforts by emulating and encouraging all new required behaviors.
- Possible change of environment.
- They will be going to AA and Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
- They will have an AA sponsor and will be in regular contact. If you are close to the addict you will likely see and meet the sponsor.
- Rather than attempting to control everything in their life, a person in recovery will focus only on his/her treatment for addiction.
- You will not see a PR effort. Personal PR is what addicts do.
- You will not see spin control.
- A person in recovery is genuinely grateful to those who helped them get into recovery. They will shun those who enabled them, but will embrace those who directly confronted the disease.
- They will be humble and won't stumble.
- They will stay away from previous hotspots, bars, drug dens, pharmacies, etc. that were associated with pre-recovery behaviors.