Why can’t drug addicts quit on their own?
Lots of people don’t realize why or how other individuals end up being addicted to drugs. They make the mistake of believing that those who use drugs do not have a clear understanding or self-control and they think that it’s effortless and they are able to quit on their own. It seems pretty easy right? Well we wish it was as easy as that. In reality, drug dependency is a more complicated illness, and stopping completely typically takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs alter the brain in a manner in which it makes stopping hard, even for those who truly want to quit. Luckily, scientists have researched and have understood about how drugs impact the brain and have discovered treatments that can help individuals recover from drug dependency and live productively.
Almost all addicted people think in the beginning that they can stop using drugs on their own, and the majority of them attempt to stop without treatment. Unfortunately, the majority of these efforts lead to relapse and failure in overcoming addiction. Research studies have revealed that long-lasting drug use leads to considerable changes in the brain function which continues long after the individual stops using drugs. These drug-induced alterations in the brain function may have many behavioral consequences, such as obsessing over the drug regardless of negative consequences that could then cause them to have dependency on the drug.
Doing drugs for a long period of time can lead to considerable changes in brain function that continues long after the individual stops using drugs.
Understanding that chemical dependency has such a crucial impact might help describe a person's problem in keeping clean without treatment. Stress from work or personal/family issues, social cues (such as meeting people from the past (that used drugs), or the environment (such as coming to streets, things, or even smells connected with drug use) can engage with behavior and social factors in preventing success of abstinence and making relapse more likely to happen. Research studies have shown that even the most addicted people that participate in treatment and involve themselves can have a positive outcome.
Getting rid of drug dependency:
Choose to make a difference. For many people in fighting with addiction, the most difficult step towards recovery is the first one, choosing or wanting to make a change in their lives. It's normal to feel uncertain about whether you're ready to make a change and take this step, or if you have the willpower to stop.
Committing to sobriety involves many things including:
- what you do with your free time
- the way you handle stress
- who you allow in your life
- how you define yourself
It's normal to feel confused about your decision to quit using drugs/alcohol, even when you understand that it's causing issues in your life. Recovery takes time, support, and motivation. It’s ok to think about these things prior to taking the next step towards commitment and change.
Thinking of change?
- Monitor how much you use, consisting of when and how much you use. This will give you an overall picture of how bad this is impacting your life.
- Ask somebody you trust their opinion on you using.
- List the pros and cons of quitting, as well as the cost, and advantages of continuing this dependency.
- Think about the things that are important to you, such as your partner, kids, animals, job, finances, and your health. How does your drug use impact these things?
- Ask yourself if there's anything that’s stopping you from changing, and what will help you make the change?
Exactly what happens to the brain when an individual uses drugs?
Most drugs impact the brain's "reward circuit" by flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. This reward system manages the body's capability to feel satisfaction and inspires an individual to repeat behavior needed to thrive, such as spending and enjoying time with loved ones. This overstimulation of the reward circuit triggers the "high" that can cause people to take a drug over and over.
Long-lasting usage triggers changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits also affect functions that consist of:
Regardless of understanding these harmful and long-term results, lots of people who use drugs continue to take them, which is the nature of addiction which turns into a dependency.
Ways to help loved ones that are addicted?
Come face to face with truth
Learning how to deal with reality is the most crucial step in "surviving" when it comes to an addicted person you love. It might appear easier to remain in a “fantasy world" where you can continue to think that things are going to improve. Face the truth, Things will not improve even if you want it to.
Coming face to face with reality means accepting parts of your life that are out control as a result of loving somebody who is taking part in addictive behaviors. These substances can consist of mind-altering substances such as alcohol and drugs, along with mood-altering substances such as eating disorders, compulsive over-spending, smoking cigarettes, being "glued" to the web, gambling or codependency in relationships.
You might feel a constant worry that you are living with every day. You might find yourself being asked for money more often, and feeling guilty if you say no. Maybe you are watching what you say in order to "keep the peace" in your house and not make the addict upset.
Discover the best ways to enjoy your loved one, while still remaining healthy
There are effective ways to handle the addicted individual in your life, by not handling it in a smart way, you could just be putting yourself in danger. Figuring out how to deal with them properly can save you a lot of time and can give you much healthier results.
For instance, finding out the best ways to set and maintain appropriate boundaries is an essential skill. You might need to find out the reason of why you have an issue doing that, and after, find out some positive methods that will help you state "yes" when you imply yes, and "no" when you imply no.
Another method to keep yourself healthy while dealing with an addicted loved one, is to make sure you are caring for yourself and keeping a good balance with things such as work, encouraging relationships, fitness and good nutrition, as well as time for activities you enjoy.
You cannot control or fix any person
The only person you can control is yourself. You do not have any control over anything the addictive person does or says. Once you can come to realization of this and live by it, life will become much better. Stop blaming the other person and be willing to look at yourself. As simple as it may seem for you to blame the addict in your life for your battles and suffering, there may be more worth in exploring exactly what you might be giving to this situation, since that’s the only thing you can really do.
Although the addict has unquestionably contributed his/her share of the problem, in some way you have a part to play in what is going on. For instance, you might be keeping the "drama" by giving providing money to your addicted loved one. Or you’re willing to always listen when they tell you everything about the issues they are experiencing as consequences of their addictive behaviors.
Taking action will only help your loved one in the long run. It is your responsibility to acknowledge and "own" your addictive behaviors, and obtaining professional help if necessary.
Are you helping or enabling? Is there a difference?
Many people feel that they need to help their addicted loved one. You probably have in the back of your mind that if you don’t help, he or she will end up in a worse predicament.
When you attempt to "help" addicts by providing money, letting them stay in your home, purchasing food for them regularly, driving them places or going back on the healthy boundaries you have currently set with them, you are really taking part in "rescuing" behaviors that are not helping. Another term for this unhealthy helping is "enabling".
Be as true as you can be to yourself about your own enabling behaviors. You can make better choices that will lead to healthier changes. Let your loved one know that you are willing to be there for them when they are ready to work on resolving their problems and helping themselves. When you stop enabling you can then truly begin to help your loved one.
Don’t give in to Manipulation
It has been stated that the least preferred word for an addict to hear is "No." When addicts are not prepared to change, they end up being master manipulators in order to keep their addiction going. Their worry of stopping is so great that they will do anything so that they don’t have to be honest with themselves. These manipulations consist of lying, cheating, blaming, raving and guilt-tripping others, in addition to ending up being depressed or establishing other sort of psychological or physical illnesses.
The more you enable yourself to be controlled by the addict, the more manipulative the addict is most likely to become. When you hold your ground, and choose not to give into their unreasonable needs, they will ultimately understand that they are not getting their way. Saying no is an important step for you as well as for the addict.
It is essential to realize that you might be just as "addicted" to your enabling for behaviors as the addict in your life is to his/her controls.
In the same way that addicts use drugs, alcohol and other addicting behaviors to prevent handling their pity about feeling unworthy and unloved, in some occasions you might be focusing on the addict's behavior in order to avoid focusing on your own life. You’re enabling behaviors towards the addict might be keeping you busy so that you’re not worrying about how lonely and empty you are feeling inside. Get out of your comfort zone and ask yourself the the question "How would my life be better if I wasn't consumed by behaviors that enable my loved one?" Allow yourself to answer truthfully, be knowledgeable of what feelings come up.
Self-care isn’t Selfish?
People often get these terms confused. They think that if they practice self-care than they are being “selfish”. Selfish is being absorbed in yourself and only yourself and you want what you want when you want it. You are willing to go any route in order to get it. It sounds more like the behavior of the addict. If you try to take care of someone else before taking care of yourself, you will simply become exhausted.
Self-caring is taking care of yourself and respecting yourself whether its physical, emotionally, or mentally.
Rebuild your own life
The best way to come out of your own “addictive behaviors,” such as enabling and people-pleasing, is to focus on yourself. If your life feels empty then get involved in things that interest you whether its rebuilding your life so you feel a greater sense of joy and happiness.
Don’t wait till it’s too late!
When individuals finally reach out to their loved ones for help, they have usually been dealing with the situation for way too long. If you’ve been waiting to see if things would improve without professional help and the situation has stayed the same, please think about getting help NOW, prior to things worsening.
If this situation is just starting for you, it is best get help as soon as possible so that you do not make the mistake and make things harder.