Abstinence / abstinent

In the context of addiction, abstinence and being abstinent is the state of refraining from using drugs or alcohol or from engaging in any addictive activity or behavior. It's usually used to refer to people who have recovered from chemical dependencies, especially alcoholism.

The philosophy of most recovery programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous is that once an addict goes through withdrawal and stops using, he or she must remain abstinent for the rest of their life once drinking or using substances will "trigger" a relapse. A newer recovery philosophy, however, holds that relapsing, or returning to use a substance/behavior, is a normal part of the recovery process and should be expected before someone finally achieves sobriety.

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