There are ways of treating drug addiction. Counselors, doctors, and researchers have developed treatment programs and published the use of other medications to help treat people suffering from addiction. While we will be dealing with the most complex organ within the body, is it even possible for an addict to fully recover from this disorder?
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Do Addicts Ever Fully Recover?
Yes, addiction is treatable, but it takes a lot of effort and time before an individual may fully recover. Currently, there are records of addiction recoveries with a variety of monitoring methods. Even though there is still no definite cure for addiction, but like any other illness; addiction is a disorder that may be preventable and also treatable.
Furthermore, this article will show how addiction develops and some tips during recovery.
Addiction is a genuine mental illness. It is characterized by a brain disorder caused initially by the misuse or overuse commonly of substances; like drugs and alcohol, or sometimes processes; like gambling, video games, or sex.
Although falsely interpreted as an ingrained trait or personality, addiction is just another disorder similar to any other organ with dysfunction. As for how cardiac diseases affect the function of the heart, addiction is an illness that also changes the normal function of the brain.
Natural vs. Drug-Induced
The brain experiences pleasure by natural rewards through the response of various activities; having a good time with friends or family, sexual encounters, or playing video games. Through this normal phenomenon, the brain releases dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical, which interacts with the pleasure center of the brain thus giving the rewarding effect.
On the contrary, dopamine production is increased with drug intakes such as nicotine, alcohol, and heroin. These drugs, upon frequent and habitual use, flood the brain with dopamine, which in return also gives a rewarding feeling.
Over time, the body adapts to the drug which results in the decreasing impact of the body to dopamine which is also called tolerance. People with higher tolerance levels indicate that the drug doesn’t give off the same effect as it used to. They would then turn to take larger amounts of the drug to continually feel their desired effect hence the formation of addiction.
Tips Towards The Road To Recovery
In considering recovery, you must ensure that you are determined to go for it. Addiction treatment, as I have indicated earlier, takes a lot of time and effort to accomplish.
Rehabilitation centers give programs that vary from your need. Some may take 30-days, some will take 90-days and on others, this may still be extended. Furthermore, as it takes time to be addicted, there will also come a time where you can be clean from drug addiction.
Furthermore, this article will give you tips on what you might need for recovery.
1. Free yourself from your triggers
You should start your drug-free life even in the phase of recovery. Recovery doesn’t solely fulfill itself as you stop taking drugs, but rather you need to let these triggers go. Examples of common triggers are the following;
- People that you used within the past, they may tend to encourage or pressure you to use drugs again.
- Places, on which you get the drugs from or places where you use drugs
- Drug or alcohol paraphernalia that may remind you of using.
- Avoid crowds, such as parties, that may trigger you to use drugs
- Emotions such as tiredness, hunger, sadness, and anger. These emotions or situations are a common cause of relapse.
Of course, there are instances that you cannot avoid these situations. However, as you are already aware, you can prepare yourself from it, thus giving you a higher success rate for recovery.
2. What you think is what you are
Changing the way you think yourself gives a big impact on your recovery. Sometimes, the main hindrance to recovery is telling yourself you can’t do it. Furthermore, having negative thoughts about your recovery may lead to anxiety and depression, which are the common causes of addiction.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy has proved to treat anxiety, depression, and addiction by changing negative thinking. They have theorized that negative thinking is learned; therefore it can be unlearned and replaced with a healthier way of thinking.
3. Don’t be afraid in asking for help
You may want to prove that you can do it alone in facing this alone, but it will be the hardest way to go. While addiction makes you want to isolate yourself from people, recovery involves having people with. Although not all people are in full support for your recovery, you can find those who will be.
It is important to develop a support group. These are a group of people that you know will help you through your recovery process. It may not involve much, but you’ll know you can go through it with them.
Close family and friends are the first ones on your list. They can provide the utmost care for you, are you go through recovery. Although not all may be in the same boat, there are still those who will be with you no matter what.
You might be hesitant to go with groups of people that you don’t know, but indeed, a self-help group significantly increases your chances of recovery. This group involves people who are going through the phase as you or those who are recovered and are assisting. Joining this group will help you in changing your negative thinking, as well as providing a healthier environment for recovery.
4. Be Honest!
You have lied for most of your addictive life; hiding your addiction or where it came from. While going through recovery, it’s best to be fully honest about yourself. Not partially honest, but completely honest.
It may be harder at first and it will not come off naturally in the beginning. But honesty, as you continue practicing it, telling the truth will be easier over time.
5. Learn to take care of yourself
Addiction is more often a coping mechanism used by people who would rather choose to use drugs or alcohol rather than anything else. This causes the body to feel rewarded using the drug.
We have learned that the reward system of the brain can also come naturally; by treating yourself, you are using healthier methods in substitute for substances or alcohol.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money for this kind of treatment. There are a lot more ways to cope up such as relaxation and meditation. Through practicing meditation and relaxation, your body removes unnecessary tension and gives the brain a clearer view of certain situations. It is much easier to decide with a calm mind than a tensioned brain.
Addiction is a serious matter; therefore it should also be treated seriously. While recovery may still vary from the type of drug, type of dosage, and duration of addiction, full recovery is possible for all.
It is not true that an addict will still be an addict. Addiction comes from using the wrong coping mechanism. Thankfully, there is still a chance to substitute that coping mechanism with healthier habits. Furthermore, in all types of illnesses, there is always room for treatment. Hence, don’t hesitate to enter the room of change and become a better version of yourself.