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Published on September 01, 2022

Your Guide to Beginning the Lifelong Journey of Addiction Recovery

smiling man with salt-and-pepper hair

By Cody Miller, EvergreenHealth Staff Writer

Addiction is defined as the compulsive use of substances like alcohol, drugs or prescription pills despite the negative impacts on physical, social and even mental health.

Getting help for substance use disorder doesn't start in rehab or at a hospital—it starts with you, whether it's your own addiction or a loved one's.

Director Eric Britt of The Recovery Center at EvergreenHealth Monroe shares the following advice on how you can help yourself or a loved one find the path to addition recovery.

Addressing Addiction

If you think you might have a substance abuse disorder, it's important that you reach out to someone close to you that you trust. They will be able to stick by you through your treatment and recovery, helping you stay on the right track and build your support network.

If a loved one is struggling with addiction, make sure you're not hiding their behavior, or fulfilling their responsibilities for them.

When starting a conversation with your loved one, be intentional. Choose a time when your loved one is sober and start from a place of compassion and understanding, not accusation. Some other things to keep in mind:

  • Avoid "you" statements. Use "I" statements to describe your own experience related to their disorder
  • Never use labels like junkie, addict, alcoholic or drunk
  • Never threaten, give ultimatums or tell your loved one what to do

Patience is also vital to helping your loved one address a substance use disorder. It could take several conversations before your loved one opens up to seeking help.


There is no cure for substance use disorder, however, there are a variety of treatments and plans that can be tailored to you or your loved one.

There are tools used for treatment, including support groups, a 12-step program, cognitive-behavioral therapy and medications that can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

The Recovery Center at EvergreenHealth Monroe offers substance abuse disorder treatment that can involve individual or group therapy as well as an inpatient or outpatient structure focused on your recovery.

If you are supporting a loved one through their treatment, remember to look after your needs as well.


Recovery from a substance abuse disorder can be long and cyclical but it is all part of the healing process. During your recovery, relapse can happen but don't berate or attack yourself or your loved one with substance abuse disorder. Because there is no cure, recovery from addiction is a lifelong effort that might see setbacks. Maintain your recovery support network made up of your trusted loved ones and health care professionals.

The Recovery Center at EvergreenHealth Monroe helps you stay on track with the Aftercare Program, which is for those who have completed the Intensive Outpatient Program.

The Aftercare Program consists of up to 26 weekly sessions that are used to monitor your progress. Then, you can participate in follow-up care including support groups that boost your support network for as long as you need and beyond.

The community members, support staff and specialists like those at the Recovery Center are there to make overcoming addiction an engaging and social process.

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Get screened for free at the Recovery Center at EvergreenHealth Monroe and learn if you or a loved one have a substance abuse disorder.