03 Sep Substance Addiction and the Road to Recovery
“The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones.” – Somerset Maugham
While it is true what Mr. Somerset Maugham has said, but we like to believe that with true determination and strong courage, anything is possible!
What is Addiction?
It is a state in which a person develops a compulsion towards a substance or an activity. It might feel pleasurable at first but the continued use of a substance or engagement in an activity (gambling, porn etc.) eventually starts to affect a person’s physical and mental health adversely. People may not be even aware of this compulsion until things start to spin out of control.
Are you addicted to any substance?
Here is a checklist to help you figure out whether you are addicted or not. (Substance-addiction could be related to any kind of drug or alcohol)
- Continue taking a drug even after the prescribed duration
- Losing self-control while drinking or taking drugs
- Losing count of time when trying to obtain or using a substance
- Insatiable craving for a substance
- Performance failure at work, home or school due to continued use of a substance
- Growing social isolation due to substance use (could be caused by a smoking or drinking habit)
- Increase in feuds with family and close friends because of continued substance use
- Using substance at uncommon situations (like drinking or using drugs while driving)
- Inability to quit a substance even after facing physical and mental health issues due to the substance use
- Growing tolerance for a substance
- Going through withdrawal symptoms when you don’t get to use the desired substance
What to do if you are Addicted?
If you are addicted to a substance and having a hard time controlling it, then don’t panic because addiction is treatable. In recent studies, it has been found that a mind can recover itself even from prolonged addiction. For example, if you’ve been addicted to cocaine for a period of 8-10 years or more, you can still recover with the right combination of treatment and aftercare. However, the road to recovery is never easy but it is possible. There are numerous recovery stories online to keep your hopes up.
Treatment for Addiction
It is pretty similar to getting treated for any other prolonged illness. You can take some pointers from people who get diagnosed with diabetes condition. They have to adjust their eating habits and adopt completely new lifestyles to manage their diabetes. To treat substance-abuse addiction, a combination of medication and behavioral therapy is widely used by treatment facilities. This combination of therapy can also help in curing psychologically triggered addictions such as, addictions that were prompted due to an abuse, trauma, or loss of a loved one.
Medication is primarily used to help recovering individuals deal with the withdrawal process. Some medications are used to enhance the brain’s ability to cope with the unavailability of the substance that the body has gotten used to.
– Behavioral Therapy
This kind of therapy is essential to change an addicted person’s outlook. For example, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is used by psychiatrists to help people understand how their harmful thoughts led to poor decision making. CBT can also be used to help manage psychological triggers that prompt use of a substance. You should remember that the road to recovery is all about transforming yourself into a completely new person. You may have to go through a lot of lifestyle changes to lead a sober life.
Sober living is recommended after treatment
After leaving a treatment facility, you shouldn’t get back to your normal life straight away. The chances of relapse are higher if you are not fully prepared to get back to your regular environment. Sober living home is highly recommended by most treatment facilities. It offers a controlled living environment that is perfect for the individuals who have just finished their treatment. Remember, nothing is impossible if you are determined to get better and have the courage to take the right steps towards the road to recovery. With the right support and unwavering commitment to get better, you can easily live a drug-free, healthy and happy life.