The word “recovery” gets thrown around a lot in the world of substance abuse treatment and 12-step meetings, and I’ve never really cared for it. The word recovery implies that a return to a “normal state of mind” or a “healing” is possible. I’ve never met an addict who has healed or recovered. I’ve met plenty of addicts who have learned how to manage their impulsive thoughts and resist temptations. I’ve met addicts who have uncovered the psychological origins of their addictive behavior and found the courage to work through those issues in healthy ways. I’ve met addicts who have been sober for 20 years, but again, I’ve never met an addict who has healed or recovered. I’ve never met an alcoholic who has learned to drink, and think about drinking, in non-addictive ways. To be in the process of recovery leads one to think there will be a time when they will have recovered. I believe once those pleasure pathways have been stimulated, the brain of the addict has been changed forever.