I Need Help Overcoming Addiction (Does This Mean I Failed?)
Overcoming addiction is not easy. In the process of overcoming addiction, the individual must be willing to go through some suffering, both mentally and physically. The disease acts as a puppet master for a person’s emotional, physical, and mental state. It pulls the strings in ways that can be hard to see and resist. Yet underneath each layer of addiction comes the painful opportunity to help those who want to recover, understand, and heal.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from addiction, please call 385-327-7418. This is a hard battle to fight, but we are on your side. You can learn how to beat an addiction, and we can help.
Figuring out how to overcome addiction is difficult, especially if someone does not know where to start in the process. Who should you seek out? What type of treatment or recovery program should you enter?
The first step toward solving any problem is to understand it. Often people misunderstand addiction. They think of it as an ethical failing or a lack of self-control. They commonly think this rather than the chronic and complex brain disease that it is.
Addiction is a chronic disease that affects the brain’s central nervous system. Ultimately, it alters its various functions. Specifically, it changes the functioning of the brain’s “reward circuit.”
Affected Parts of the Brain
Drug use alters parts of the brains that play a vital role in our everyday lives. These include the basal ganglia, prefrontal cortex, and the extended amygdala.
- The basal ganglia is a structure located in the mid-back portion of the brain. It is known for its role in the brain’s reward system. Governing the release of dopamine—the “feel good” hormone—into the brain. When a person uses drugs, they stimulate the basal ganglia to release dopamine in large quantities. This release creates a rush of euphoria that will make them want to repeat the experience. They will then find that with repetition, a higher and higher dose must achieve the same effect.
- The prefrontal cortex is a structure located in the brain that plays a crucial role in our cognitive function. For example, it governs our ability to solve problems, make decisions, and exercise self-control over impulses — all the hallmarks of healthy adulthood. It is also the last structure of the brain to mature. This late development is why adolescents and teens tend to be most vulnerable to drug use and addiction.
- Lastly, the extended amygdala is a small structure located between the basal ganglia and the prefrontal cortex. It plays a vital role in controlling how we respond to stress, anxiety, and discomfort. These emotions are a significant part of withdrawal.
If you, or someone you care about, are struggling with addiction, then call us today. It is important to remember that you are not alone in the battle. You have so many resources at your fingertips. One being our trained experts. Call us today, and we can help you start living a better tomorrow.
When it comes to treatment, there are various approaches to choose from. It is just a matter of deciding which one is best suited for the patient.
Outpatient Behavioral Therapy
Outpatient behavioral therapy can help to get over an addiction by:
- Prompting the patient to adjust their behavior
- Adjusting attitudes towards drug use
- Strengthening healthy coping skills
- Prescribing medication
For instance, the types of therapy found in outpatient settings include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Helps patients learn and use positive coping methods when dealing with the temptation to use drugs.
- Motivational Incentives: Positive reinforcement in the form of small rewards for patients who stay drug-free.
- Multidimensional Family Therapy: Works on improving family dynamics and exploring their connection with drug abuse patterns in adolescents.
- Motivational Interviewing: Helps the patient focus on their goals and needs to keep them motivated in recovery.
Medications and Devices
There are various medications and devices that can help manage and treat addiction. They are especially good for easing withdrawal and reducing the chances of relapse. It is all a matter of what form of addiction and what substance. Feel free to contact our experts for more information on this area of addiction treatment.
Most experts say that residential treatment is the most effective way of overcoming addiction, especially for addicts suffering from co-occurring mental disorders. As with behavioral therapy, there are a few choices:
- Therapeutic Communities: A highly structured 6- to 12-month residency recovery program. It employs various therapies according to the patients’ needs, but its true strength lies in creating a community that reinforces sober living principles throughout the process.
- Shorter-Term Residential Treatment: Typically focuses on the detoxification part of the recovery process, but still uses a community setting.
- Recovery Housing: Primarily aims to help the patient maintain a healthy independent lifestyle. Experts teach patients essential skills such as how to manage their finances and seek employment.
Reasons for Starting Treatment
Overcoming addiction takes commitment, courage, willpower, and strength. This is perhaps more than an addicted individual can accomplish on their own. As we saw above with inpatient treatment, a strong community or another support system greatly increases the chance of success. In short, there is no shame in not being able to do this alone; very few people can.
During the process of overcoming addiction, the person will undoubtedly experience the symptoms of withdrawals. For instance, the symptoms one could endure are:
- Drug cravings
- Feeling hopeless
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling depressed
- Having negative thoughts about themselves
It is during this time that the recovering addict’s family and friends need to take charge and encourage the patient to continue their treatment. However hard it may be.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to remind them why they started the treatment. At some point, your loved one saw that they needed help. Remind them of this as often as possible. Also, family and friends should make it a priority to express their love and support for the patient. They may tell them this often, but you would be surprised how often recovering patients forget that they are loved and supported by others.
More Than Saying “No”
As stated before, overcoming addiction takes more than just saying “no.” Though it takes a lot to decide to quit, getting over an addiction is a sustained effort requiring a detailed plan of action. Once a person decides to stop they must relearn how to live their life. This time without the substance. They will also need to look at:
- The problems and issues their addiction created
- Avoiding association with others who still use
- Seeking out help or treatment for issues that the addiction may have created or enhanced
- Evaluating their reasons for using
- Resisting urges in the future
It takes more than just saying “no” to overcome and beat addiction. Actions follow thoughts, beliefs, and ideas. So, if someone you know is saying “no” to addiction, then please, help them. Hold them accountable to follow through with that thought. Remind them of why they are where they are. If you need additional assistance with helping someone, even yourself, with addiction then call us today. Our professionals will help you get back on the right track to sobriety.
Take the First Step
Overcoming addiction is never easy. It is also not something anyone should have to face alone. It takes a community to help someone beat an addiction. This community could consist of family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and other recovering addicts. All of these people can be just as important as a doctor or therapist. It takes willpower and commitment, but these won’t be enough to get you through.
Many people fall into the trap of believing that they are a failure because they cannot beat their addiction alone. However, they are not. You are not alone. Do not let anything keep you and distract you from overcoming addiction. Instead, get your support team around you and move forward!
If you or someone you know are struggling with addiction, then it is time to reach out to our experts at the number below. Take the first step towards overcoming addiction today!
Written by Makeila Hofer
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