If you have developed an addiction, you aren’t really doing things as a result of free will or as your choice, but as an out of control response to the persuasive drives that have take control your brain.  It is definitely not a lack of willpower that is forcing you to continue feeding your addiction.

It’s a common misconception that addiction is about a lack of willpower. Although addiction is not caused by a lack of willpower, that doesn’t mean willpower is a futile concept in recovery. In fact, willingness is central to addiction recovery. Willpower plays a small role in addiction, as it does with most habits we are trying to impose or break, addiction is mostly about brain chemistry and biology. It is a primary, progressive and chronic disease that is defined as the frequent use of substances that alters brain reward, motivation, memory and its related functions. Significant biological, psychological, social and spiritual changes occur through substance addiction which can make a person pursue reward in substances rather than other behaviors, activities or relationships. An addiction is characterized by impairment in behavioral control, cravings, inability to abstain and diminished recognition of problems associated with their addiction. Like other diseases, addictions are characterized by cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment, an addiction will progress and can result in disability, secondary diseases or premature death.


Sahrish SarfrazMs. Sahrish Sarfraz is a Clinical Psychologist has done her Masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Punjab. Her research project was based on “Social & Family Problems faced by Teenagers”. After completing her degree, she did an internship in Fountain House for six months. She worked as a Psychologist in drug rehabilitation center named PRCDRC (Professor Rasheed Chudhary Drug Rehab. Center). There, she got opportunity to practice her skills and deal with patients suffering from drug addiction and psychiatric illnesses.

Editor: Mr. Nadem Noor


While willpower is defined as self discipline or self control of an individual. It is the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals. Willpower is the inner strength and resolve that a person has. It is often defined as the strength of character which may be related to an individual’s ability to commit to certain causes or lifestyle choices and their resolve to resist harmful or lazy things. It can be strengthened through personal development, skill training and testing. Through this strengthening, individuals can gain the ability to overcome difficulties, resist drugs, alcohol and even have a better lifestyle.

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When Willpower Is Lacking
Recovery requires a leap of faith, backed by the willingness to acknowledge a problem and take responsibility for your choices along with the motivation to work an agenda of recovery. The decision to put your recovery first requires avoiding the people, places and things that trigger your desire to use drugs. It also requires appropriate self-care; for example, eating a healthy diet, exercising, making time for healthy enjoyment and manage your emotional reaction.