You have acknowledged that you have a drug problem. You have sought professional help. You have stuck with the treatment program. You have managed to stay clean. Have you really won the battle against addiction? Here are the top four signs that you have.
1. Lower drug use. When the patient gradually reduces the frequency and quantity of drug use, until total abstinence is achieved, s/he can claim to be completely sober and free of the disease. During this phase, the periods between relapses will become longer, until s/he no longer feels the need to use.
2. Improved employment, education, and relationships. There will be a noticeable increase in the number of days the patient spends at work or at school. While employed people will become more productive and enthusiastic about being at work, students will become more participative, show greater involvement in various programs, and get higher grades. A better frame of mind and clarity in thinking will also result in them forming meaningful and pleasant relationships with their families, friends, colleagues, school mates, and romantic partners.
3. Healthier body and mind. With healthier, balanced diets and regular exercise increasingly being included in de-addiction programs, patients will notice a marked improvement in their overall health. There will also be fewer drug-related hospitalizations or need for emergency room visits. Recovering addicts will also have sunnier dispositions, more agreeable personalities, greater levels of cognition, and reduced psychotic states.
4. No longer a hazard to society. In addition to no longer being a hazard unto oneself, people who have emerged victorious from this battle will stay on the right side of the law. Their enhanced mental capabilities will make them steer clear of any actions that could result in arrests or convictions, such as drug-related thefts, DUIs, or trauma to self or others.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy lists several factors that determine the effectiveness of opiate de-addiction programs. While statistics can provide a quantitative indication of the success of these programs, the real determinants of the efficacy of the programs should be the post-treatment quality of life of the patient and his/her reintegration into society.