Abstinence and recovery from alcohol and drugs are commonly seen as similar things, but they are very different. It is rarely possible for those previously addicted to alcohol or drugs to abstain from using, without recovery. There are huge differences between abstinence and addiction recovery.
Abstinence can be easily attained through a detox, but detoxification is seldom successful at bringing about lasting and meaningful change. For example, those who abstain from a substance will continue to avoid it because it causes problems when used, some will miss the effects felt when they were intoxicated. Others will believe that willpower alone is enough to maintain abstinence and may drink again only if they are sure that the issues that were experienced before won’t resurface again.
Those in recovery will stay abstinent because they know that using the addictive substance again will affect the happiness that was found through sober living and feel happy and proud to be clean. A recovering addict will also be motivated to learn new ways to continue their progress in living healthier and to strengthen their sobriety.