Today we are going to talk about addiction, which almost everyone has been touched by, whether directly or indirectly. Addiction not only effects those with the disease, but also everyone else around them. Addiction and substance abuse are incredibly prevalent in our fast paced society. According to some statistics, 1 in 8 people have drug abuse issues, including alcohol. That is 12.5% of all people, which may seem high to you, but most addicted people are very good at hiding the addiction until the very end.
What is An Addiction?
Before we dive into more detail on how to overcome addiction, we first need to talk about what an addiction is. An addiction is when someone cannot stop something, and thus are at the mercy of the substance. This can be as simple as “addicted” to a TV show, which is not necessarily a bad thing, and can actually be quite positive if it involves quality time with others. People are even addicted to sugar and caffeine, which are less harmful than dangerous street drugs. But no matter which way you look at it, an addiction has the potential to be life threatening and create a lot of life issues in a short amount of time, especially with all of the homemade drugs that are being used today.
Some people have called drug addiction a slow suicide, because they are slowly leading the addict down the road to the grave. The problem with addictions is that they are a complete avoidance of what is currently happening. No matter how good the high is, the addict will always have to come back to reality and face their life. The problems do not go away, nor do the bills or the relationship problems. In all honesty, a substance abuse problem just makes things that much worse when you turn your life around and face the facts. As easy as it is to put your head in the sand and avoid what is facing you, the cold hard truth is always there waiting. Many people are not willing or ready to face their pasts, which is completely understandable because many people have unthinkable traumas that they have faced in their lives.
Unfortunately, it is very hard to reason with an addict and try to get them to see the pain and suffering they are causing themselves and others. One of the only ways for someone to reach the end is to be in too much pain. Pain and suffering are the ultimate equalizer, because once someone reaches their bottom, then and only then are they willing to ask for help and seek a solution. A bottom can be anytime when an addict or alcoholic has had enough and does not want to create any more pain and suffering in their life. The problem with this though, is that most addicts and alcoholics are stubborn by nature and it takes a lot of pain and suffering to create a change. It normally take a true drug addict all the way to the end of the rope, when there is no where else to turn until they are ready to make a change.
A drug addiction has a very distinctive life cycle and is actually very basic in the mechanism of how it works. The first “high” is always the best one, because the chemicals have the greatest effect on the body. There is no built up tolerance and the high is quite euphoric. Over time, as the addict tries to recreate the first high, they move further and further into severe addiction. Eventually, the addict will reach a point when the drugs don’t work, and this is a critical moment in the life of a chronic substance abuser. When the addict realizes that the drugs don’t work, they are ready for change, but this is the most critical moment because if there is no help for them then it is easy to give up on life. Changing a lifetime of drug addiction is nearly impossible to do on your own and it takes professional help. This is not an overnight phenomenon, but takes time and commitment from the addict and their support group. Drug addictions are painful, but there is hope and many substance abusers are able to live a life free of the bondage of addiction. For anything that is worthwhile in life, it takes work and commitment. This is true with a severe drug addiction, where the addict cannot stop on their own. Even if you have tried everything under the sun, including alternative therapies, and jumping on one leg. There is no substitute to courageous action and looking at yourself in an honest and non-critical way. There is no reason to beat yourself up for what you have done in your past. The past is gone and in the present you get to choose who you are going to be.
Overcoming Drug Addiction
Substance abuse does not develop overnight, so you should not expect to be cured overnight. Being realistic, you need to be in an inpatient treatment center for a minimum of 45 days, and if you can stay longer, this is always a safer bet. As you work on yourself and start building up your sober lifestyle, you will notice some incredibly positive changes. Life will have a new feeling to it, as you get to experience things sober and actually enjoy them. Not only will you be able to live life without drugs, but you will start to enjoy the small things in life. These are the things that you have been missing out because your addiction blinded you to the simple joys of life. You might even rekindle some old hobbies or skills that you let die long ago. Life starts coming back to those that live a successful life in recovery from substance abuse. All in all, this is a worthwhile journey, although it may not be easy all the time. Life happens and we are left to deal with it the best that we know how to. Life is much easier without an addiction creating other issues along the way.
Sobriety does not have to be boring. As glamorous as the drugging lifestyle might seem while you are knee deep in it, as soon as you sober up and get a little bit of clarity you will see that it was only killing you. There is no glamour in slow suicide and overcoming a drug addiction is the best way to move on in life. Good luck in recovery and let us know if we can help you in the early stages of your recovery from drug addiction.