What Does Independence from Drug and Alcohol Addiction Really Mean?

What does independence from drug and alcohol addiction really mean?

In case we couldn’t tell from the smell of lighter fluid wafting through the air and the thunderous boom of fireworks sending dogs all over the country under couches, today the United States celebrates the 242nd anniversary of its independence. It seems like, since the very first anniversary, businesses and savvy marketers have been using the “Independence” angle to sell all manner of wares and services, from tonics and potions to cars and furniture, and yes…even addiction treatment. When all the confetti is thrown, all the hot dogs are eaten and unfortunate custodians all over the country are straining their backs sweeping up spent fireworks, those of us in recovery and those who are still struggling with addiction might want to take a moment to think about what independence from drug and alcohol addiction actually looks like.

Freedom from Want…and Much More

It may seem like a bit of a stretch, but the recovery community and the soldiers of the American revolution have a lot more in common than initially meets the eye: both parties took control of their futures in the face of uncertainty; both traded short-term “comforts” and “protections” that they knew were ultimately bad for them for the free will and autonomy they knew they needed and deserved; both risked everything to pursue what they knew would be a better tomorrow. The only difference may be that the recovery community may have a slightly more immediate stake in the “Life” part of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Reaping The Rewards of Recovery

It doesn’t take a lot to realize what independence from drug and alcohol addiction means. It means the ability to interact with family without the looming threat of drama and dysfunction; it means getting up every day without debilitating physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms; it means being able to keep $100 in our pocket without earmarking it for our next fix; it means being able to go after any job, degree, relationship or seemingly pie-in-the-sky goal we want; it means lasting, actual freedom without being controlled by an invisible (or absentee) force that doesn’t really care about you.

So if you or someone you care about is in need of help for substance use disorder, Recovery Unplugged strongly encourages you to start thinking about the idea independence from drugs and alcohol in a much more literal way. Declare your independence from chemical dependency today. This Fourth of July, Recovery Unplugged urges all to party sober.