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Depicting Addiction
The Roadmap to Recovery

Individuals experiencing problems with addiction often cycle through stages, moving forward one step and slipping back two, until they reach a level of 
 Substance abuse is defined as a “maladaptive pattern” of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as demonstrated by one (or more) of the following occurring within a 12 month period:

  • Recurrent inability to fulfill major obligations at work, school or home.
  • Recurrent substance use in physically hazardous situations such as driving a car while physcially impaired.
  • Recurrent substance abuse related legal problems.
  • Continued substance abuse despite persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems that are either caused by or exacerbated by the effects of the substance.
maintenance also known as recovery. Unfortunately, there can be limited resources available to individuals after they have completed treatment and must deal with sobriety on a daily basis. 

Keep the following in mind when you are exploring the journey of recovery through your characters and story lines:
  • Recovery is not the end game, it is a lifelong process. When possible involve your characters in scenes that may challenge their sobriety and remind them of their commitment to recovery.
  • There is a difference between treatment and recovery. Consider portraying your character as they are discharged from a treatment facility and the challenges they face while trying to remain sober and return to everyday life.
  • Think about including the 12 Step Program or other types of support, counseling, or therapy as a part of your character's recovery process. Including such scenes will provide your character with time to confront the challenges of their recovery journey, reflect on their successes, and seek advice from others.
Teaching Families about Recovery
A New Video Series from SAMHSA
SAMHSA Vid Screen Shot

The recovery process is not limited solely to the individual; the support of family and friends is essential for recovery to be successful.Check out these videos designed to help families understand the journey that is recovery. Listen to real stories that explain the four stages of recovery: withdrawal, early abstinence, prolonged abstinence, and adjustment and resolution.

Learn More!
Portions of this newsletter adapted from

PT Treatment & Recovery Cover

Picture This: Treatment and Recovery

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