Inpatient and outpatient treatment centers provide comprehensive addiction care based on the individual needs of each client for long-term recovery.
In addition to seeking healthcare interventions, people facing SUDs can rely on the three P’s of recovery as a tool to stay focused on sobriety for the long term and improve their mental health.
What Are The 3 P’s Of Addiction Recovery?
The three P’s of addiction recovery are patience, persistence, and perseverance, qualities that adolescents and adults can develop and rely on throughout their recovery journeys.
They can help people, especially those in early recovery, overcome milder withdrawal symptoms during detoxification, addiction triggers, cravings, and addictive behaviors.
They are also helpful for people experiencing drug addiction along with another mental health condition, or what is often referred to as co-occurring disorders.
Applying the three P’s can lead to increased well-being and positive treatment outcomes, including improved decision-making. Below we’ll explore what each P represents.
Patience In Recovery
Displaying patience in addiction recovery is essential for long-term success. It means understanding that healing and recovery take time and setbacks are part of the process.
Patience empowers people to resist the urge to rush their recovery, fostering resilience in the face of challenges, such as temptations for drug use.
It’s about staying committed to sobriety, even when facing cravings, impulsivity, or relapses. This virtue ultimately paves the way for a more stable and lasting recovery journey.
Persistence In Recovery
Persistence in addiction recovery is the unwavering commitment to continue forward with sobriety, no matter how difficult the path may be.
This resilience helps people rebuild their lives, one step at a time, as they consistently work toward their recovery goals and build self-esteem.
Learning from setbacks, adjusting recovery strategies, and refusing to give up on the quest for a healthier, substance-free life is key to lasting transformation.
Perseverance In Recovery
Perseverance is an attribute in the recovery process that signifies an enduring spirit to overcome the cycle of substance abuse.
This is a step beyond persistence, encompassing the resilience to face adversity and relapses with unwavering determination.
Perseverance enables people to learn from their mistakes and grow from setbacks. It emphasizes personal growth, self-compassion, and a positive mindset.
Perseverance in recovery represents a continuous, transformative journey toward a healthier, drug-free life, marked by resilience and a commitment to lasting change.
Putting The 3 P’s Into Practice
It is common to experience temptations and trepidation during the recovery journey. Putting the three P’s into practice can help you overcome these and other challenges.
Now that you know what the three P’s stand for, here are some specific examples for putting them into practice.
You can also talk about the three P’s with your treatment providers for additional tips on embracing and developing these qualities.
People attending addiction treatment programs or participating in aftercare can exhibit patience in many ways, including trusting the recovery process and utilizing support.
Examples of patience in the addiction recovery process include:
- learning how to allow difficult emotions without reacting
- embracing counseling or therapy as a process
- practicing self-compassion if “slip ups” happen and developing a plan for them
- acknowledging progress by celebrating small milestones, not just major ones
- seeking encouragement from social support groups (such as Alcoholics Anonymous)
- embracing self-help techniques, such as yoga, meditation, or tai chi
In addiction recovery, persistence is exemplified through consistent efforts and proactive steps that lead to positive transformation.
Some ways to stay persistent in addiction recovery include:
- attending follow-up appointments and therapy sessions, even during challenging times
- keeping up with self-reports on both progress and setbacks
- identifying potential predictors of relapse
- seeking ongoing education about addiction and recovery
- building and maintaining a strong support network
You can practice perseverance techniques when potential drawbacks and obstacles pop up during the addiction recovery journey.
Persevering in addiction recovery can look like:
- viewing drawbacks, such as emotional, mental, or physical relapses, as opportunities for growth and learning
- demonstrating resilience by adapting to changing circumstances
- constantly working on personal growth and self-compassion
- cultivating a positive mindset, emphasizing optimism and gratitude
Find Substance Abuse Treatment Today
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Published on December 19, 2023
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) - Neuroscience: The Brain in Addiction and Recovery
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) - Recovery
- National Library of Medicine - DSM-5 Criteria for Substance Use Disorders: Recommendations and Rationale