Most People With Addiction Outgrow It Naturally. We Need to Hear Them
Apr 2, 2021
US-based harm reduction magazine “Filtermag” has recently published an article we thought was worth sharing. “Most People With Addiction Outgrow It Naturally. We Need to Hear Them” presents alternate narratives of people overcoming problematic alcohol and other drug use on their own, over time. While the article refers to some specific features of the US AOD treatment system which are not relevant to us in Australia, the article does give a great overview of natural recovery.
The popular view that people require inpatient rehabilitation in order to address their substance problem ignores a growing body of research showing that many people simply grow out of their substance use, and recover naturally on their own. Natural recovery seems to be very common, and it’s important that we understand how it works, so that we can best support people accessing the treatment system to draw upon their own existing internal and external supports.
Dr. Carl Hart, a Columbia University psychology professor interviewed in the article, contends that drug use itself is not the problem, rather policies and attitudes cause the bulk of harm. He calls for a more honest and nuanced conversation about alcohol and other drugs, and sharing stories of natural recovery is one part of this process.