Drug addiction is not a weakness sign or character flaw. What’s more, overcoming addiction requires more than the willpower. Drug or substance abuse causes serious brain changes. It causes a compulsion to use the drug or the addictive substance.
The powerful cravings that are associated with addiction make sobriety look impossible to achieve. However, everyone can fight addiction and win the war. Regardless of how hopeless a person’s situation seems sobriety is achievable. Nevertheless, they need to follow tried and true strategies.
It’s also important to realize that stopping the usage of a drug or the addictive substance is not recovery. Recovery or overcoming addiction entails creating a completely new life. This is a life that makes using the drug or the addictive substance difficult.
Without creation of a new life, factors that led to addiction will catch up with the patient eventually and cause a relapse.
Basically, there are several stages of addiction recovery. Typically, a person has to go through these stages to recover from addiction successfully. Nevertheless, addiction recovery is largely a lifelong process.
Why Is Addiction Hard to Overcome?
Addiction is a brain illness. Although this illness is treatable, the addicted person must have the motivation and desire to change in order to overcome addiction. Unfortunately, many addicts struggle with the motivation and desire to change.
What’s more, a person faces many obstacles when trying to overcome addiction. These include the unwillingness to live a substance or a drug-free life, not knowing the right place to seek assistance, and fearing to fail.
Generally, letting go of a substance that your body has become used to or dependent on is not easy. But, once you decide to fight addiction and reach out for assistance, you can overcome the problem. It’s important to note that fighting addiction alone is not easy.
Once you stop using the drug or addictive substance, your body has to react. Essentially, it will respond by expelling traces of the addictive substance or drug the moment you quit using it.
This is called detoxification and it’s generally a complicated process.
At this time, you can relapse while trying to relieve withdrawal symptoms if you don’t seek assistance. The strong cravings that a person experiences during the detoxification process are the major reason addiction is hard to overcome.
What You Should Do to Overcome Addiction
To overcome addiction, you need to make the decision to change and believe in yourself. This might be difficult but it is very important in the addiction recovery process. The decision to change should be your motivation to move through the recovery process. In different stages of overcoming addiction, motivation comes out not as something that a person has but as something that a person does.
Essentially, motivation in the addiction recovery process entails recognition of a problem, looking for the best ways to change, starting and sticking with the change strategies. Basically, there are many strategies or ways of moving forward like recognition of the problem and acting.
4 Universal Strategies for Recovering from Addiction
Realization of the addiction problem is one of the most important addiction recovery steps. A person must realize that they have an addiction to a drug, alcohol, or substance. It’s after this realization that they can start the long, positive recovery journey. For instance, a patient can opt to seek help from a rehabilitation center after realizing that they have the addiction problem.
A person can decide to join a rehab center on their own after feeling tired of living with addiction or with help of a loved one. Basically, addiction affects a person and their loved ones. As such, your loved one’s may notice the negative effects of addiction and decide to help you seek assistance.
The second addiction recovery stage is the commitment to stay sober. This is where you stay committed to being clean. You also continue the treatment for addiction. This can be a difficult stage because you will experience withdrawal symptoms, psychological and physical cravings. You may also have triggers tempting you to start using the drug or the addictive substance again.
To combat cravings and stay sober, learn important methods and skills. You can be taught these methods and skills by specialists at the addiction treatment center or rehab. These skills are important because they will assist you through the recovery process in the rehab and outside.
This stage of the recovery process comes after you leave the rehabilitation center. Essentially, you will continue treatment for addiction through group meetings and online support. However, staying sober and clean out there is not easy. That’s because you will most likely come across triggers that led to your addiction in the first place.
You may have overcome physical cravings but you may still face situations that can trigger the mental craving for the drug or the addictive substance. Nevertheless, joining support groups and attending follow-up meetings will enable you to deal with metal cravings and triggers.
This is the final stage of the process of recovering from addiction. It’s the stage where you use the skills acquired at the rehab center to stay sober and clean throughout your life. At this stage, you have fought addiction successfully, become more confident, and established stronger relationships. You now lead a healthy, satisfying, and fulfilling life.
The Bottom Line
There are four major stages of rehab. Everyone can fight addiction by following these tried-and-true strategies. It’s however important to note that addiction recovery is a lifelong process especially for people that have had the addiction for a long time. What’s more, not all people with substance or drug addiction make it through the recovery stages without relapsing. Thus, beating addiction is not easy for some people. That’s why people seek help from specialists in rehab facilities.
But, if you make the decision to fight addiction, commit yourself to recovery and seek help, you will make it. It is important to bear in mind the fact that relapsing doesn’t make you a failure. Therefore, don’t give up. Instead, talk to your loved ones and the therapist about it. Also, schedule a meeting with your doctor to get the help that will take you back to the recovery path.