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The road to recovery from addiction is long and winding, full of highs and lows that often feel insurmountable.

But if you’re looking for a light at the end of the tunnel, there are sure markers that signify progress along the way.

Heartbeat ECG demonstrating markers of addiction recovery

This ECG graph beautifully encapsulates the journey of recovery in addiction – note how the spikes represent markers of progress.

Here are five critical markers of recovery from addiction based on evidence-based materials:

  1. The first marker is recognizing that one has a problem with addiction. This is often the first step in any journey towards long-term recovery and can be difficult, as it requires self-awareness and an understanding of how addiction has taken control over one’s life.
  2. The second marker is setting goals for sobriety and committing to them. Having achievable goals while in recovery can help keep one on track and provide motivation when things get tough. Setting realistic goals is essential so they don’t become overwhelming or too difficult to achieve, but also not too low so that one doesn’t become complacent or lose momentum in their recovery process.
  3. The third marker is making lifestyle changes to support sobriety and breaking unhealthy habits or cycles of behavior associated with addiction. This could include changing diet and exercise habits to reduce contact with people who enable addictive behavior. It’s important to remember that these lifestyle changes are not just short-term solutions; they are intended as lifelong adjustments that will help maintain sobriety in the long run.
  4. The fourth marker is seeking professional help for addiction-related mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, if necessary. Mental health conditions often go hand in hand with substance abuse issues, and addressing them early on can make all the difference in terms of successful recovery outcomes down the line.
  5. The fifth marker is planning for the future and building a life outside of addiction. This could involve making plans for education or career advancement, developing positive relationships with family and friends, and finding hobbies or activities to keep one’s mind occupied and away from substance abuse. Another might be getting extra support in mental health if things get challenging such as relationships, mental health, or simply triggers. While it might seem daunting to think about the future while in recovery, having a plan can be a great way to stay motivated and on track with sobriety goals.

Recovery from addiction is never easy, but it is possible if one puts in the hard work and dedication necessary to achieve long-term sobriety. By recognizing the markers of progress along the way, individuals can better understand their journey toward recovery and use them as a source of motivation when things seem too difficult.

By Jase A.

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