Recovering addict or recovering alcoholic is a term that is often used by people either in rehab or when they are attending a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous . It generally tends to mean that they consider themselves to be an addict or an alcoholic who is in recovery from the illness or disease of alcoholism or addiction.
When an individual first enters a rehab or starts attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, one of the first things they will probably hear people say to them or at them is that alcoholism is an illness, and also that addiction is an illness or disease.
However it is put to them, the message is intended to be that they are an individual suffering from an illness or disease not a bad person.
The nation of alcoholism and addiction being an illnesses or disease is widely accepted within the recovery world, and within the medical world, although there are a number of individuals and organisations which disputes these terms.
Once someone has entered a rehab or started going to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, and continues to stay sober, they generally consider themselves to be in recovery. This simply means that they consider themselves to have started the process of getting sober and staying sober with all that that entails.
This is where the term recovery addict comes from. People who are in rehab, or who tend meetings of both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous may use the term alcoholic and addict interchangeably, but quite often the time recovering addict seems to cover both.
When an individual gets sober, either in rehab or through AA, there is a sense that physical sobriety has been established and needs to be continued through a number of processes.
Physical sobriety is often taken as a prerequisite to the individual embarking on a lifelong journey through the process of doing a lot of therapeutic work on the underlying emotional drives and issues which may well have fuelled their alcoholism or addiction in the first place.
For many people in recovery they see this journey as a long-term, lifelong process hence they will refer to themselves as a recovering addict. Some people in recovery can get quite purist about this and insist on calling themselves a recovering addict as opposed to a recovered addict or alcoholic.
This is a personal choice dependent upon how people see the nature of their own alcoholism or addiction and thereby refer to themselves as a recovering addict or a recovered addict or recovered alcoholic.