This article discusses the differences in the culture of addiction and the culture of recovery and provides examples for you to consider. It also contains a link to a self-assessment that helps you measure how involved in either culture you are at this time.
Addiction culture is about neglect and destruction.
“I didn’t realize how deep into the culture of addiction I’d fallen until I ran into an old high school friend. His life was great; he was living his dream. Mine was filled with endless nights of using and hanging out with really bad people with bad attitudes in really scary places. Until that point, I had fooled myself. But when I saw my old friend, I was so ashamed. I realized I had to change everything.”
– Grey, recovering heroin addict
Recovery is about much more than just abstaining from alcohol and other drugs. There is an entire culture of addiction in which many of us find ourselves entangled. This addiction culture is destructive to many different areas of our lives, including our relationships, beliefs, values, and behaviors.
Recovery culture looks very different from addiction culture, with an emphasis on developing pro-recovery relationships, beliefs, values, and behaviors.
Recovery culture is about caring and growth.
Take a look at the following comparisons of the culture of addiction (CoA) and the culture of recovery (CoR). This information is adapted from William White. See the link at the end to read more about his work. You will also be able to click on a link that will take you to a self-assessment.
The change from a culture of addiction to a culture of recovery doesn’t happen all at once. Often people aren’t even aware that some of the relationships, places, and things in their lives are rooted in the addiction culture.
To learn more about where you’re at in your journey to the culture of recovery, take the short self-assessment, Are You in the Culture of Recovery?
This article was adapted from William White. To learn more about his work on addiction and recovery, click on this link:
William L. White