What Is The First Step In Recovery From Addiction

What Is The First Step In Recovery From Addiction

Addiction is a complex condition in which a person’s brain is compelled to take or use a certain substance despite negative consequences. In this article, we will talk about the first step in recovery that an addict should do.

There are many types of addiction. Broadly, it can either be substance addiction or behavioral. Behavioural can be shopping, gambling, stealing, chatting, etc. Or people can become addicted to illicit substances (such as tobacco and prescription drugs, alcohol, hashish, heroin, and cocaine, etc.)

Substance abuse is the most common mechanism for dealing with mental illness. Mentally ill people use it for immediate relief, but prolonged use is harmful.

Difference Between Drugs Dependency And Drugs Addiction

There is a difference between drug use and addiction. Sometimes we take drugs to get some relief, eventually leading us to rely upon them to achieve peace of mind. Often we become dependent upon painkillers, sleeping pills, etc.

But overuse of anything, leaving it total control over ourselves, knowing that negative consequences are going to follow, can make a problem which one can refer to as an addiction. It becomes an addiction when one no longer uses it to escape something but to overcome the cravings that are beyond their control.

Process Of Recovery From Addiction:

Addiction is one of the worst habits one could ever adopt. In fact, it could only be referred to as a mental problem. Where people find leaving behind their bad habits very difficult, overcoming addiction may even seem impossible. As it truly takes control over your mind, when one is no more able to make decisions for their own, they can’t really just throw off their addiction and get rid of it. It needs proper treatment following certain steps.

Process Of Recovery From Addiction
Image Credits: Tillamook Country Pioneer

The addicts go through certain stages while bringing a change in their lifestyle, experiencing different sorts of feelings towards their situation.

In 1977, two alcoholism researchers named Dr. DiClemente and Prochaska presented the 5-stages Model Of Change that provides recovery guidance to overcome addiction. It explains the following five stages:

1. Precontemplation

In this stage, the person denies they have a problem. They do not acknowledge the fact that they might be going through some sort of disorder, causing damage to their health and personality.

2. Contemplation

Here, they are willing to consider they have a problem. Although they are fine with accepting their situation as not normal, yet there is no commitment to the recovery of their addiction.

3. Preparation

At this point, addicts usually have overcome the difficult part of denying their condition is simply the result of some problem. Sometimes, they start fighting off the demons on their own and succeed, but often they don’t achieve it and need further help.

4. Action

This stage of changing a habit or overcoming an addiction enables them to modify their behavior and bring on some positive change.

5. Maintenance

The last stage helps them stick on to the positive side and not go back to relapse.


How Do We Overcome Addiction:

Addiction is a progressive problem that only spreads its roots with time and never stops anywhere, until and unless something is done about it. Understanding the five-stage model of change, we can get guidance as to how we can overcome it.

Addict Under Rehabilitation to  Overcome Addiction

You once fell down, lost control over life, started serving new gods that you made for yourself, your life became a mess. But it doesn’t end there. You must pick yourself back up, own your decisions, manage your life better, and start reliving again! But for that, you need to sink in some things that might punch you in the face.

1. To Admit There Is A Problem

One should try to understand the real cause of the victim’s anxiety, which has led him to intoxication. Remember that it is very important to avoid blaming, commenting, and criticizing the affected person because Instead, try to “listen with sympathy” to improve your relationship with them. This may allow the affected person to openly state the cause of their distress to you.

One must accept their reality that they have an addiction problem. Denying the reality will do them no good; rather, it makes things horrible. It happens pretty much naturally that drug addicts deceive themselves by turning a blind eye to their situation and thus never consider that they need help. It, being an evil obstacle, prevents from achieving a meaningful recovery.

Once the addict admits that they do not behave normal, it allows them to diagnose themselves and motivates them to cope up with difficult parts of their lives.

Accepting that you are powerless before whatever you have become addicted to helps a great deal in battling your addiction. Breathing in a state of denial takes you miles away from your goal of achieving recovery from addiction.

2. Decide Bringing A Change In Yourself

To regain control over their own life, one must make themselves a promise to bring a change in their behavior. They need to battle their condition in order to break the addiction.

3. Surrender To The Fact That Your Life Has Become Unmanageable:

 Addiction changes our life completely, totally sucking it out of us. It takes control of the decisions we are supposed to take, our habits, health, career, etc. making it completely unmanageable. But once somebody admits that they have been defeated, it enables them to see the door to recovery from the cursed condition they have been living.

4. Acknowledge The Need For Support:

Also, one must acknowledge they need support, be it emotional, financial, social, etc. Overcoming addiction does not only require your own commitment to give up on drugs that you have been relying upon for so long. It requires you to seek help and support from others as well.

Willpower alone is not enough. It is highly self-delusional thinking to believe that you can overcome addiction on your own. The more one exerts their own power to stop and then stay stopped, the worse the situation gets. In fact, it becomes an obsession.

Once somebody steps from the boundary of “drug dependency” to the other side called “drug addiction,” they lose the ability to stop on their own. Therefore, they must seek help.

5. Find the Right Treatment Programme:

The last and most important step is to encourage the victim to seek professional help in order to deal with the addiction.

Once the person is ready for treatment, they must find themselves a proper treatment program. There are certain inpatient and outpatient Rehab centers working for the purpose of treating people to break different addictions. Inpatient Rehab Centres are meant to keep the affected person with doctors and other team and help them get rid of their addiction. Whereas Outpatient Rehab Centres arrange counseling meetings and have their other methods of treating drug addicts. At first, they are given a limited amount of the substance they’ve stayed addicted to for a long time, and later on, they are treated to decrease down their dependency on those drugs.

Once treated, a former drug addict should not just go back trying the substance again as it takes quite a time to recover them from the cursed condition. One should avoid relapse at any cost. Addiction robs one of many important things in their life; I am sure nobody wants to lose anything even to such a meaningless entity. Drug addiction should not be a defining feature of their life.

Aimun Khan

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