What exactly is addiction? Psychology Today tells us,
Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (gambling) that can be pleasurable but the continued use of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work or relationships, or health.
An addiction to drugs is a vicious cycle that has the ability to trap the affected person in its unyielding grasp for years. Recovering from this can be a long, and difficult process, and in many situations, the person trying to seek treatment may need more than just willpower to get them through the tough times. Gaining freedom from addiction is made a little easier by following a step-by-step method, where the main goal is abstinence, followed by moderation, going in for treatment, and finally branching out on the road to recovery. But it’s not easy. When you are ready to take the first steps to recovery, know that this issue is something that you will deal with your entire life.
When talking about abstinence, what we mean is the abrupt stopping of your indulgence in drugs either by removing it all at once, or by cutting down over a period of time. Though there can be a great deal of issues when stopping a controlled substance addiction cold turkey, many agree that it’s the best way to get you on your way to sobriety. But this may not be true in every case. For those who are addicted to substances like heroin, stopping suddenly can lead to many health problems because of the effects of withdrawal that are experienced afterwards. For those individuals it’s better to take the slower method of cutting down on doses in a phased manner, as this way is more effective towards getting them to an addiction free stage. Some people even take certain medications to help them come down off of the narcotics slowly, and in a more healthy way.
We learn from Dr. Phil,
Remember, you don’t ever break a habit. If you want to get rid of bad behavior, you have to replace it with something positive something that will make you stronger instead of weaker. Work on identifying positive behaviors that would make good replacements for your addictions.
Most people do not become addicts overnight, and for many, the process of getting out of an addiction is much the same as the way they might have gotten started with the drug in the first place, since recovery will also, not happen overnight. After taking the first step of getting off the drug, your next step needs to be seeking treatment for countering the withdrawal symptoms, which can be a very stressful task for any person with an addiction. Withdrawal symptoms vary, and usually depend on the level of addictiveness of the person using, and the nature of their specific drug of choice.
For some drugs, a detox of the body may be necessary to remove any remaining traces of the drug in their system, and once a person’s body is free and clear of the toxic substance, they can begin the stage of finding a rehab, to help them to prevent any relapse from occurring in the future. They will also be able to talk with therapists and other people that have been in the same situation, and work through some of their issues. This process is of the utmost importance on the road to recovery, and it involves developing a strong mental framework in the individual’s mind to forever rid themselves of the destructive path of abusing drugs, and will in turn, lead to a healthy, addiction-free lifestyle.