Clinically Reviewed by Linda Whiteside, LPCC

Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson, MD

The First Step to Recovery

Table of Contents

Recovery from drug addiction is critical for individuals to have a chance at living a healthy and positive life. Though it may seem impossible, recovering with the right support, understanding, and care is possible. According to recent statistics, approximately 19.7 million people aged 12 or older required treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem in 2017.

Despite these statistics, it’s important to remember that recovery from addiction is possible with the right help and support system. By taking the first step in recovery, individuals can begin their journey to sobriety and start making connections with the right support systems.

The First Step Towards Addiction Recovery

Taking that first step toward addiction recovery is not easy, but it’s critical. Nobody should have to go through the struggles of addiction alone, and there are many available resources to turn to for help. With the proper assistance and support, anyone can begin the journey toward sobriety and improved mental health.

It’s important to speak with a healthcare professional and get an evaluation to identify the level of addiction. This will help determine the best treatment plan, inpatient or outpatient. Detoxification may also be necessary if physical symptoms are associated with the addiction.

Step One: Admit You Are Powerless Over Substances 

The first step is admitting the lack of control one has over their drug or alcohol addiction. Many individuals struggle to accept this, feeling ashamed or embarrassed about their actions and how far their addiction has progressed. It’s important to recognize that overcoming an addiction without help is impossible, no matter how hard you try.

By admitting your powerlessness in drug abuse, you can seek out the help available. This may start with talking to a friend, family member, or professional about your situation and seeking advice on what type of recovery program is right for you. You can also contact organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous if needed.

The Chaos of Addiction

It’s important to be aware of the chaos that addiction can bring into your life. Individuals often feel ashamed and embarrassed about their substance abuse, but it’s important to recognize that addiction does not discriminate – anyone can fall victim to its grasp.

Addiction can lead to helplessness, causing relationships to suffer and work performance to decline. It can also lead to mental illness and prolonged feelings of despair. Individuals can find themselves in financial or legal trouble due to addiction, and the psychological effects of substance abuse can be just as damaging and long-lasting as the physical ones.

The Financial Toll of Substances

Substance abuse can take a serious financial toll on individuals and their families. Often, individuals are in debt due to spending their hard-earned money on drugs or alcohol, resulting in strained relationships with family and friends.

It’s also important to consider the health costs associated with substance abuse. In addition to the physical effects of addiction, there are often mental health implications. Individuals may need professional help to overcome their addiction, which can be expensive.

Damaged Relationships

Addiction can also make it difficult to sustain healthy relationships with family members and friends. Individuals may distance themselves from loved ones to cope with their addiction or turn to them for financial help, leading to strained relationships.

Your addiction might even make you a bad person to be around – you may become unreliable, irritable, and aggressive. It’s important to take responsibility for your mistakes and let those closest to you know that you are trying to improve.

Remember that recovery from substance use is a process – building strong connections with those around you takes time and effort. It’s also important to recognize that you are not alone. Some organizations and professionals can offer help and support in navigating the recovery process.

Tips to Begin Step One

Recovery is a journey; the first step is often the most difficult. Here are some tips to help you begin your path to healing and going to a recovery center or joining support groups:

Speak at a Meeting

Attending a self-help support group with like-minded individuals can be invaluable to your recovery. It will allow you to connect with people who understand what you’re going through and provide them with a safe place to share their experiences.

Reach Out for Support

Family and friends’ support can make all the difference in your recovery. Let them know what you’re going through, and ask for their assistance as you work to improve. You can use Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous to build a support system.

Work With a Therapist

Finding a therapist who specializes in addiction can be helpful when it comes to understanding the root of your addiction and developing coping skills to manage triggers. Working with a professional may also help you identify patterns and break behavior cycles that have kept you stuck.

Tell Someone if You Relapse

If you have a relapse, you must tell your support system. They can provide the help and guidance you need to get back on track. Relapse doesn’t mean all your progress has been lost, but it’s a sign that something needs to change.

Finding Help Near You

No matter how far an addiction has progressed, it’s never too late to seek help at NuView Treatment Center. Even those indulging in excessive drug or alcohol abuse can get over it by attending an addiction treatment center. You can regain control of your life and future by admitting your powerlessness over substances and taking the appropriate steps toward recovery. You are not alone in this fight – reach out for help today and begin your journey to better health and well-being.

Our programs are based on evidence-based practices and holistic approaches to help you heal from the inside out. Contact us at (323) 307 – 7997 or email us at to learn more about how we can help you.

Peterson, C., Li, M., Xu, L., Mikosz, C. A., & Luo, F. (2021). Assessment of Annual Cost of Substance Use Disorder in US Hospitals. JAMA network open, 4(3), e210242.

Kim, Y. J., Qian, L., & Aslam, M. S. (2020). The impact of substance use disorder on the mental health among COVID-19 patients: A protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine, 99(46), e23203.

Krentzman, A. R., Robinson, E. A., Moore, B. C., Kelly, J. F., Laudet, A. B., White, W. L., Zemore, S. E., Kurtz, E., & Strobbe, S. (2010). How Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Work: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives. Alcoholism treatment quarterly, 29(1), 75–84.

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Written By: Linda Whiteside

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has been providing mental health services for over 10 years.

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson

Went to medical school at The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

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