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Can You Separate Addiction Fact from Fiction?

Our Recovery Depends On It

 With less than a month to go until Election Day, politicians are throwing around a lot of facts—about the economy, about the pandemic, about climate change, about their record and their opponent’s record. The list goes on. While some of these facts are true, others are inflated or downright false. We may be tempted to chalk this up to politics as usual, but facts do matter. Especially when it comes to matters of life and death.

For instance, we know how to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We wash our hands frequently. Wear a face-covering in public. Wait at least 6 feet apart from those outside our household. Limit unnecessary exposure. Get tested if we have symptoms or believe we’ve been exposed. These facts can save our life and someone else’s if we understand and follow them.

Addiction is no different. We have to separate fact from fiction in order to reduce harm and clear a path to recovery. Here are just a few misguided “facts” that can prevent someone from seeking treatment.

Substance Use Isn’t a Big Deal.

 Fact: Substance use disorders affected 21.6 million people aged 12 or older in 2019. More than 60% of Americans surveyed aged 12 and older had used a substance within the past month, and 20% had used an illicit drug.

Addiction is a Sign of Weakness.

Fact: Addiction is a chronic disease that requires long-term support. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, treatment “for less than 90 days” is of limited effectiveness, and treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining positive outcomes.”

Once an Addict, Always an Addict.

Fact: People can and do recover with the right support. Research shows that individuals who participate in sober living communities and 12-step programs for a minimum of 3 months up to a year are more likely to achieve sustained recovery.

Fourteen years of supporting men in early recovery bear these facts out. Here at Next Step Recovery, we recently completed a survey to understand what aspects of our extended care and sober living programs had the greatest impact on our alumni. The average length of stay of those surveyed was four months, although some stayed in our program for a year or more.

The majority of those surveyed indicated their time at Next Step Recovery was a life-changing experience. Many shared that fellow residents were critical for their recovery. Some admitted resisting our program’s structure at first but have recognized its value in hindsight. Outdoor adventures were a highlight for most, and many identified the love and support of staff members as the most impactful. Alumni also expressed appreciation for the program’s focus on building life skills, healthy communication, and positive coping strategies.

It’s been incredibly rewarding to hear how our programs have made a difference in so many lives. But it wasn’t a surprise. Recovery is something we see happening every day in the hard work of our residents, “a ha!” moments in group meetings, on-the-job successes, and on the mountain trails where community members discover they are much more than their disease.

The fact is, our residents do recover. But don’t take our word for it. We encourage you to get the facts for yourself by visiting If you or someone you know needs help finding recovery, please give us a call at 828.350.9960.

What People Are Saying

Next Step Recovery has provided me with so many tools in order to be successful on my road to recovery. The staff is always there when you need it and are helpful for whatever you are going through. I will be forever grateful for what Next Step has done for me.


Next Step Recovery’s therapeutic structured program has transformed my son into a completely different man. I am so grateful [they] met my son exactly where he was in his dark moment. I highly recommend this program to parents looking for a higher-level program.

—a grateful parent

Next Step Recovery is one of the few places we refer to. Their team has made great strides to provide a safe living space, accountability, and the structure that men in early recovery need to be successful.

—treatment provider

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Our goal is to help you overcome your addiction and develop the tools you need for a sustainable recovery. Give us a call to learn more about our addiction treatment programs for men.