Ritalin addicts face a long road of recovery. As they begin the hard work necessary for recovery, it is natural to wonder how long it will take until the work is complete and the addict is fully recovered. Most addiction counselors warn their clients that the recovery process never ends and that no addict is ever “fully recovered.” Even if the complete victory of full recovery over addiction is not possible, there are still many important milestones that can be used to mark your achievement in recovery.
Why Recovery Never Ends
Most physical problems have, at least in theory, a point of full recovery. When an arm is broken, for example, it can eventually heal, and the functionality can return to the same level as it was before the break. Ritalin addiction is partly a physical problem. After a period of abstinence from Ritalin, the body can make a full recovery. The chemistry of the brain, which is drastically altered by Ritalin abuse, returns to a natural balance within a matter of weeks. The organs affected by Ritalin’s stimulating influence can eventually recover and heal fully.
It is the psychological implications of addiction that make a full recovery essentially unattainable. While addicts have tremendous power to change almost every aspect of their relationship with Ritalin, they cannot erase their memory of using it. The sensation of the high, the relief of anxiety, and the feeling of wellbeing are all part of their memory. Because some part of the brain will always know the “good” things Ritalin can do for it, the relationship to the drug can never be restored to the indifference enjoyed before the addiction developed.
Getting Your Life Back
Even though a full psychological recovery from Ritalin addiction may not be possible, recovery does develop and strengthen through the addict’s efforts. The first indications of your growing control over Ritalin addiction may be seen in the reduced disruption it brings to your life. Social interactions pushed aside by addiction begin to return. Work is no longer compromised by Ritalin use. The deception and manipulation of friends and family end. These important milestones can be reached very early in the recovery process. They should be acknowledged, appreciated, and used as inspiration for further progress.
Just as addicts seldom suffer alone, recovery is also a shared process. In order to get through tough times and temptations, addicts and counselors build a network of support. People who can be called on for encouraging words or quick action are necessary to keep a recovery on track. Having these people in place gives your Ritalin recovery strength.
Every day you live in recovery without using Ritalin is a minor achievement. These minor achievements add up day by day. The longer your recovery goes on, the stronger it is, and the less vulnerable you become to relapse.
The habits you form in recovery are also an important indication of your progress. Repeated behaviors can be used to consistently lead you toward centers of positive action, such as friendships, relaxing activities, and direct problem management. All of these habits reinforce one another without involving Ritalin use.
Find Recovery Now
If you or someone you know needs help building and maintaining a recovery from Ritalin addiction, call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline. You can talk with a counselor to learn more about options for treatment and recovery.