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Overcoming Drug Addiction: Mind Over Matter

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Overcoming Drug Addiction: Mind Over Matter

Overcoming Drug Addiction and Taking Control of Your Destiny 

Overcoming drug addiction for many people means confronting negative emotions that stop them from seeing their true value as a human being.  For most people it is getting past shame, guilt and humiliation.  These are erroneous concepts about self that often can keep substance abusers trapped in the cycles of addiction.  Broken down, these are all powerful emotions by themselves that can have a tremendous crippling effect.

For instance, shame according to psychiatry, evokes a physiologic response of the autonomic nervous system. This reaction is evidenced by an increase in heart rate, slumped shoulders, blushing, sweating or feeling cold and clammy. In fact, feelings of shame can be so painful to the psyche that most people will do anything to avoid it such as reaching for some type of mind altering substance.

In Betsy’s story about overcoming drug addiction, she describes shame as the worst emotion she experienced as a result of substance abuse.  “Shame turned my thoughts into discouragement and sheer humiliation” she said.  Not surprisingly, she also said shame and fear would always cause her to drink.

Guilt is another equally devastating emotion that is common in the addiction process and an offspring of shame.  People experience guilt when their inability to stop using drugs force them to behave in ways that cause embarrassment to their loved ones and themselves. Repeated failure to stop drug abuse and avoid consequences such as losing a job, hurting a loved one while under the influence of drugs or alcohol also fuel guilty feelings.  Guilt and shame are also closely tied to the stigma of addiction. Addressing guilt, shame and humiliation therefore represent an important aspect of overcoming drug addiction.  In fact, the rehabilitation process helps patients to recognize that these emotions can perpetuate addictive patterns of behavior by…

  • Destroying a positive self-image
  •  Establishing a strong affiliation with the addiction
  •  Preempting other positive thoughts that would help to curb drug use
  • Keeping the person in addiction locked into reminiscing about past mistakes
  • Encouraging isolation to avoid feeling judged by others

Anyone that has experienced addiction can attest to the fact that, without appropriate intervention, it can be extremely difficult to overcome.  Scientists at Psychology Today suggest that addictive illness presents as great a challenge as any clinical issue that scientist have had to confront.  This resistance to easy solutions has made addiction one of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders facing society today. A major eepidemiological study also reveal that the cost of substance abuse exceeds that of all other mental illnesses combined.

Finding the most effective solution to a substance abuse problem is therefore critical for many reasons.  But the real purpose is to help save lives. What many people have discovered is that treatment that help to stop chronic drug abuse, and the situations that contribute or perpetuate addiction as well as address mental instability and emotional issues with guilt and shame are hard to adequately address in periodic office visits with a physician.  Studies show that the most effective and strategic approach to overcoming drug addiction is best achieved through a comprehensive continuum of care that encompass a thorough evaluation of the patient’s individual needs in order to determine the safest approach to drug detoxification, the most appropriate pharmacological intervention to manage cravings and a spectrum of behavioral therapies to achieve full recovery and enable sustainable sobriety.

Decide To Make A Change

For Many People who are contemplating getting help for their addiction the hardest step is actually deciding to make a change. Some get help because their families demand it, others because it is court ordered, but until you decide that you want help and want your life to change, you will remain in the same cycle. It is normal to feel uncertain and worried. Often addicts fear judgetment, worried they will loose friends, and most of all scared to fail. However, that is normal, and no one was ever judged for trying. Trying to get help and trying to change your life is courageous and with the right people behind you such as familiy friends and a rehab program, you can succeed. This type of support will assist you with healthy changes such as:

  • The way you deal with stress
  • Keeping your environment positive
  • Finding healthy hobbies & finding a purpose
  • Improving self-confidence

Still Contemplating Addiction Treatment: Try This

  • Keep a journal of your daily alcohol consumption or drug use, this will help you grasp the role substance abuse plays in your life and provide an idea of how serious your dependence is.
  • Create a Pro’s and Con’s chart : use your list of daily consumption to find out what addiction is costing you, consider any legal troubles you may have, family difficulties and compare those to mending family relationships, getting your job back, building healthy relationships, and helping your loved ones also heal.
  • Building on your Pros and Cons list consider what is important to you, maybe you have lost custody of your children, your parents have cut you off, your friends have abondoned you, do you miss anything from before you starting using. How did addiction change you, what have you lost or what have you possibly gained?
  • Speak to other individuals in recovery from addiction, get their perspective. Maybe they felt similar feelings when contemplating treatment. Consider heading to an AA meeting to get an idea of how many others are in similar situations and how many people have improved their lives since attending a treatment program.
  • Think about the people you have lost, the risks of continueing down this dangerous path, and what your life could be like in 2 years if you were sober.
  • ASK YOURSELF WHAT IS HOLDING YOU BACK?

Ready to Get Help for Overcoming Drug Addiction?

  • Remind yourself the reasons you want to change
  • Think about what could have been different in the past
  • Have you been in Treatment previously? What worked, what didn’t, what influenced a relapse, how could your treatment program better assess your needs?
  • Make amends with family and friends and let them know your making changes
  • remove negative influences from your life. Let those who are still using know that you no longer can be apart of that lifestyle

Explore the Treatment Options: Talk to A Caring Addiction Treatment Counselor or Sponsor

  • Treatment Should Not Be A One Size Fits All Approach- Find the rehab program that is experienced in treating substances that you are dependent on, find programs with therapies that work on struggles you were having in life. Additionally look for programs with environments that you think would improve your treatment experience.
  • Find a Holistic Treatment Program- One which addresses each aspect of your life including family, work, school, and your future needs.
  • Commit to the right length of stay
  • Remember there are many places you can look to for help! 

The evolution of the drug intervention process coupled with ongoing research has changed the recovery process to the degree that it is the most effective it has been since the introduction of the drug rehabilitation concept. Today, patients can choose from various treatment options, experience gender specific treatment, combine conventional and alternative remedies and utilize innumerable cutting edge support tools in their goals to overcome drug addiction. With the right support, a healthy mindset, and a great treatment program, overcoming drug addiction is possible. Many stories of recovery and hope attribute their support and keeping a positive attitude to their sucess in sobriety.

Sources:

1.       https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200910/overcoming-addiction

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