There is hope for successful recovery from drug and alcohol abuse and this important information should more often be part of the message taught during substance abuse education and prevention programs. A message of hope can provide inspiration for those struggling with addictions by sharing the many positive success stories along with the warnings.
Often times, it is the fear of failure that can prevent individuals from seeking detox help or treatment. Doubt is common during different stages of recovery, but something that can be overcome. For example, falling down is a part of learning to walk and not a reason to quit trying; we learn from our mistakes and eventually walk. Without quality treatment, it may take several tries before getting off the hamster wheel of addiction, but if something is learned from the experience then that does not mean a relapse was a failure. Small steps can add up to larger ones.
Another fear that substance abusers may alternately have is the fear of success. Depression is a common co-occurring disorder among regular drug users and alcoholics, which can easily cause self-doubt and prevent success; the person may not even want to try or put forth any real effort at recovery. With success also comes responsibility, which can be hard for an addict to confront.
When addicts learn that people they know, respect or admire are in recovery, this may help addicts realize they are not alone. People do understand. Perhaps the stigma that addiction has can be changed with the knowledge that many families have dealt with members that have fought with drug or alcohol related abuse at some time. This is a reason why people who have recovered should share with others, without fear but with the strength and dignity that comes with sobriety.