Many people have heard the saying that the first step in recovery from any addiction is admitting to the problem. Without knowing that you have a problem and without wanting to change, change will often not come. Admitting to the problem and wanting to make it better are both essential parts of any substance abuse recovery. If you or someone you love has a drug or alcohol abuse problem, wanting to recover is the first step in a successful recovery program.
There are thousands of stories floating around about people who were addicted and what they had to do to recover. Those stories all have one thing in common; the people telling them finally hit that point in their lives where they wanted to change. Realizing that there is a problem is often the hardest step but once it has been accomplished, it is much easier to see a future free from drugs and alcohol.
Victims of drug and alcohol abuse often do not see the negative effects that their abuse is having on their bodies and their lives. Admitting to substance abuse carries such a negative stigma in society that many will fool themselves into believing that they can “quit anytime they want”. This has become a very common saying among victims of substance abuse and it is one that is not always true. Many addicts cannot simply lay down their substance and walk away without some sort of help and admitting that they have a problem is the first step, a step that must be taken, in order to get that help.
One victim’s story, Jorge, tells of his addiction and how many factors led to his abuse. Living without a father for most of his childhood and moving from home to home led him to years of drug abuse. When Jorge finally realized that there was something wrong with his picture, he knew that he needed help. Many stories begin just like Jorge’s and many substance abusers find themselves without friends or family to help them get through their addiction. Fortunately, there are many programs that can help victims of drug and alcohol abuse to pave their way to a new future, free from those harmful substances.
In order to gain full recovery, there are questions that the abuser will need to ask. Knowing why drug or alcohol abuse started or what specific events led to the abuse is vital. It may be difficult for some to admit that they do have a habit and even harder to determine just when that habit got out of control. Realizing what prompted the addiction however, is essential in getting better.
Recovery requires a lifestyle change. For many, it may mean leaving behind friends who influence substance abuse. For others, it may simply mean getting help from a professional rehabilitation center and learning to cope better with circumstances that led to drug or alcohol abuse. One of the best ways to stop addiction, no matter why that addiction began, is to completely remove all access to it.
A support system is also a vital part of getting over any addiction. Those who have alienated family and friends may need to make amends. Having the support of loved ones is important when overcoming any disease. Being accountable to those who have been hurt by addiction is important and knowing that these people will be there to offer praise is a big part of recovery. The support system is also in place to give substance abusers the motivation that they need to get over those tough hurdles and keep on their road to recovery.
There are many steps to recovering from any substance addiction. The first step, admitting to the problem, is one of the most important. When someone is abusing drugs or alcohol, they may honestly believe that they have everything in control. Even if family and friends know that there is an addiction problem, the person who is addicted may not realize it. Seeing this problem and realizing that it needs to be stopped is essential. Without admitting that there is an abuse going on, the abuser is not likely to really want to change. Wanting to change, wanting to get over the addiction and go on to live a full and happy life, is the only way that a substance abuser is going to finally recover. Recovery is not always easy and for some, it means years of dealing with addiction problems but it can be done and the first step is in choosing to get the help that is needed.