Addiction is a disease. It is life-altering for those struggling with it and those with a loved one battling it. Addiction is not a flaw in your character. It is a physical demand from the body to use a substance it has become dependent on.
Prescription drugs, alcohol, and illegal drugs, along with other addictive substances, are not only physically safe to simply stop, but they create an emotional and mental struggle for everyone involved. As a result, you need to view your addiction as a battle. Fight it like you would any other disease.
When you learn how to fight addiction, you’re empowered to comprehensively change your life. As you begin this battle, it’s essential to use proven methods that have helped thousands of people fighting the same battle to overcome this disease and achieve a solid path to recovery.
What Addiction Does to Your Body and Brain
Perhaps the most important place to start when learning how to fight addiction is to understand what these drugs do to the body. When you use drugs, they create chemical changes within the brain. As a result, you begin to become dependent on the drug. While one time may not lead to a serious addiction, it only takes that single instance to create a scenario where your brain recognizes the drug as a pleasing benefit. Due to resistance and the expectation the body has to accept the chemical from an outside source, it will require more and more of the same drug to reach the same level of high.
Because of this brain change, the body cannot simply stop using the drug. Not only is it hard to simply stop using at any time, the lack of the drug causes physical pain. This is withdrawal, and it is very challenging to overcome itself.
Why does this matter? If you are facing drug addiction, your body can no longer simply stop using the drug. The body requires it. At this stage, the addiction is a disease requiring comprehensive support. Addiction treatment needs to address every component of this demand – the physical demand, the mental demand, and the emotional component.
Recognize You Need to Make a Change
“I can stop whenever I want to.”
“I’m not addicted. I just use because I like the way it feels.”
These are typical statements from individuals addicted to drugs. The underlying problem is: your brain continues to push you to use because of the physical demand. As a result, you are unable to simply stop.
Here are some signs you are addicted:
- You think about the drug or using the drug frequently, often more than once a day.
- You have used money meant for other responsibilities to pay for drugs.
- You get anxious and frustrated until you know you are going to get your fix.
- Your body hurts – you have aches and pains as well as flu-like symptoms if you do not have access to the drug.
- Your work or school performance is struggling. You are letting down your family.
Take a moment to think about your life right now. Is it really better with the drug or is the drug hiding something else? More so, you have to come to an understanding within yourself. Are you struggling with drug addiction?
Come to Grips with Why It Happened
A key component of your addiction treatment will be addressing why it happened. Sometimes, you cannot overcome your addiction until you address why it happened and overcome that barrier in your life. Abuse, neglect, and a fear of failure are just some examples. In every situation, individuals must recognize that:
- They used drugs to hide or overcome life’s struggles.
- Their situation put them in a place to make drug use accessible and possible.
- They are worth moving beyond the drugs and want to fix whatever that underlying problem was.
Coming to an understanding with yourself that this happened isn’t easy. Yet, it is the most important step on the path to recovery. Decide you are ready to change.
What Does It Take to Overcome Addiction?
Overcoming addiction requires a comprehensive system of support. There are several aspects of addiction you must focus on. Once you are ready to make that change, the next step on your path is getting the help you need.
It is essential to know that intensive inpatient and outpatient programs are proven methods for overcoming addiction. Research indicates these types of programs are critical to your success. They facilitate the tools and resources necessary to help you address the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of overcoming drug addiction and working towards recovery.
For this reason, there are several phases of treatment most people need to recover. The key is to work with a trusted, experienced addiction treatment provider to ensure the very best level of care is always accessible.
Detoxing the Body
Prior to any type of treatment, it is essential to remove the drug from the body. This is an intense process, though the right treatment center can help make it easier for you physically. If you tried to detox at home, you may end up with painful symptoms and even life-threatening situations. It is always best to do so in a detox center as a part of your addiction treatment.
Detox requires cessation of the drug’s introduction into the body or temporary replacement and weaning. The underlying goal is to ensure the body is stripped of this demand. The process is often completed in just a few days, sometimes longer when the patient is a high volume user. In a safe and medically-controlled environment this procedure can be done comfortably and effectively.
Inpatient care is by far one of the most important steps individuals can take. This type of care focuses on the individual’s emotional and mental health, often coinciding with the detox process. As noted, addiction is a disease of the physical body but also of the mind. During inpatient treatment, you will learn a great deal about addiction and how to overcome it.
This may involve:
- Understanding why you use, such as which stressors are key factors in your use
- Who is encouraging or allowing that to happen
- The importance of breaking the cycle and starting over
- Dealing with the underlying factors causing your addiction such as trauma or abuse
- Overcoming the stigma and other mental health issues addiction can cause
In inpatient treatment, you will work with individual counselors and in intense group sessions. Every person’s treatment plan is designed to meet their individual needs. The goal here is to help the individual to overcome what caused them to enter into an addiction lifestyle and create the tools necessary for that individual to thrive in a new world.
Intense and aggressive outpatient care is also very important. Most people need long-term outpatient care. It will ensure you are getting constant positive reinforcement. Often, outpatient care is a critical step in recovery. If you falter here, you may be more prone to relapse. The right program doesn’t become a chore, though. This is a place where you will receive support and guidance, constant encouragement, and outstanding tools to help you thrive.
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Building Success: Focus on Developing These Core Values
So, what does it take to fight addiction and win? The right addiction treatment is at the heart of it. But, it also takes a dedication from you to achieve this. To achieve this, then, it helps to have the right values in place. These are components that help to give you the support you need to do well. Here are a few important places to start:
- The importance and achievement of goals; this may include achieving successes at work, in sports, at home, or succeeding in school.
- Activity is critical; it is important to give the body the exercise it needs to remain healthy
- Healthy eating and overall well being becomes essential in overcoming addiction; the food you eat contributes to your long-term success because it fuels healing.
- Consciousness is important – you need to be awake and aware of your surroundings so you can create positive life experiences.
- You simply must have self-respect; you need to see the value you bring to your family, to your future, as well as to your community.
When you commit to these steps, and you work with a well-designed addiction treatment program, you can achieve the goals you have. A customized addiction treatment plan will be essential to you for sustained, long-term recovery. Making the commitment to create these goals, working with your addiction center, and staying the path isn’t easy, but it is what will give you the life you desire.
Find the Support You Need to Overcome Addiction
To overcome addiction, your first step is to make a commitment to yourself to get help by recognizing there is a problem. Then, call and talk to a counselor about yourself and about your needs. What you will find is that you are not alone and that there are many people who have walked your path and created the life they desire. You can do the same. With the right tools, you can fight addiction and win the battle for yourself. If you have any questions about starting the path of recovery, give Level Up Lake Worth a call today.