The 3 C's to Addiction Recovery

The 3 C’s to Addiction Recovery

Thinking of drug rehab treatment

After falling victim to heroin addiction, Beverly’s 23-year-old daughter and her boyfriend, who was also struggling with addiction, were evicted from their apartment from failing to pay their rent. As a result, the couple now found themselves living out of their car with only some bedding and a few items of clothing.


Beverly was truly sickened about her daughter’s situation and confronted her many times about seeking drug rehab treatment for her addition; but it wasn’t until much later that she was able to make an important realization—her daughter inhabited a different mental state than her own. They no longer shared common ground and it became impossible for them to communicate as her daughter had lost touch with everyday reality.

Her daughter had essentially become a stranger, and Beverly was left wondering, “What did I do wrong?”

The 3 C’s to Addiction Recovery

It’s no secret that watching a loved one struggle with addiction can be extremely difficult, stressful, and heartbreaking. However, there are three guiding principles, also known as the three C’s to addiction recovery, that can help addicts and their loved ones better understand the disease, as well as its recovery.

The three C’s to addiction recovery are:

  1. I didn’t cause it
  2. I can’t cure it
  3. I can’t control it

I Didn’t Cause It:

It’s extremely important to remember that you, as a parent or loved one of an addict, are not the cause of your child or loved one falling victim to addiction. While it is not unusual for a drug or alcohol addict to cast blame on the ones closest to them, it is simply an attempt to justify the addict’s actions. Oftentimes accepting that you didn’t cause your loved one’s addiction can relieve a lot of the guilt you feel about their actions. This realization can also help lead to the addict to take responsibility over their own actions.

I Can’t Cure It:

You can’t cure addiction. It is a chronic brain disease, much like diabetes or heart disease, in which an individual can manage his or her disease, but not completely rid their lives of its effects. There is no simple cure for addiction or a treatment program that will allow an addict to moderately drink or use. Proper drug or alcohol rehab is needed to recover from active addiction. With the added help of aftercare programming, relapse prevention and a strong and ongoing support system the addict has a greater chance at life-long recovery.

I Can’t Control It:

Addiction is considered a disease in part because the substances involved heavily affect the brain chemistry of a human being. After a certain amount of time the substance will take control of an individual’s rational thinking and is thus controlling their actions. As such, it’s extremely important to remember that you are not able to control your loved one struggling with addiction. The decision to enter treatment and begin their road to long-term recovery is a decision the addicts should make for themself. The best thing you can do is to positively support your loved one, while encouraging them to seek proper addiction rehabilitation treatment.

This is not to say that forced drug rehab doesn’t work. Often times, when an addict is forced into treatment, he or she will start to understand the severity of their disease and become more willing to accept treatment. The important lesson to take from the third C is that you cannot control his or her actions or decisions. It’s extremely difficult to watch as your loved one slips into the ugly world of addiction, but remember that their rational thinking has been high-jacked by substance abuse and only proper treatment can restore them to the person you once knew.

Addiction is a family disease; one that gravely affects every individual involved, including the addict and their loved ones. You have taken a great first step in understanding your role in addiction recovery more. The next step is to find the right drug rehab center for you or your loved one’s addiction and that’s just a phone call away.

Contact Elements Behavioral Health

Call 855-678-8337 for a confidential assessment or fill out the form below and we will call you.