Values, the guiding principles or beliefs that influence behavior and decisions, are important in addiction treatment and recovery. They represent what is meaningful and important in one’s life. Recognising and aligning with personal values is a key aspect of the recovery process, providing clarity on what matters most. This clarity aids in setting goals and making choices that support recovery. For instance, valuing family might lead to prioritizing relationship repair and seeking family support.
As a complete aside and just for fun here’s a good quote related to Values:
“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Values have been a core element of rehabilitation for years, with therapists and counsellors emphasising the reconnection with personal values for sustained recovery. Defining one’s values is a deeply personal journey, with no right or wrong answers. Common values in addiction treatment include honesty, responsibility, forgiveness, resilience, and spirituality, but they vary greatly based on individual experiences and beliefs.
Recovery values for individuals struggling with addiction, representing the most important elements for their present and future: honesty about addiction, kindness towards others with addiction issues, and more. Aligning actions with these values often leads to better outcomes and feelings, particularly in addiction recovery, as values provide a grounding and guiding force.
Key values that support healthier living in recovery include honesty (with oneself and others), kindness (towards oneself and others), gratitude (for the recovery process), openness (to the recovery process), responsibility (for one’s recovery efforts), and respect (for self, family, and friends). Prioritizing these values helps clarify which are most important and meaningful, and even when there are conflicts, they can still guide future decisions.
Reflecting on these values daily is a healthy practice in recovery. It helps maintain focus on the best life direction, providing motivation and inspiration. Acting in accordance with one’s values typically leads to a smoother life journey and a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. Understanding and adhering to deeply held values is essential in guiding decisions in recovery and shaping the desired life path.
Higher Purpose and Belief Systems
Existential models in addiction treatment focus on how an individual’s beliefs, attitudes, and values relate to their substance use disorder. These models reveal that people with addiction issues, like problem drinkers, often anticipate more benefits from substances like alcohol, based on beliefs formed before they even start drinking. These individuals might turn to substances as a way to deal with personal challenges, whether social or psychological, and find themselves addicted as the substance seems to meet their various needs. Cultural context also significantly influences addiction, as societal beliefs and practices shape how people view and control substance use.
For example, in cultures where excessive drinking is seen as a personal failure in self-control, addiction rates and attitudes differ markedly from cultures that believe alcohol has inherently powerful effects.
Hence, the role of personal values, which has been somewhat neglected in traditional addiction theories, is critical for a deeper understanding of addiction. According to Peele, addiction can stem from a breakdown in fundamental life values, such as prosocial behavior, self-awareness, moderation, and self-respect. The importance of these values is underscored by stories of individuals overcoming addiction by reconnecting with and prioritizing these core values in their lives.
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Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specializing in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa, and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance, the organization facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualized care that addresses the physical, mental, and social needs of patients.
Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.
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