Willpower isn’t the way into addiction, but it is part of the way out of addiction. Of course, willpower is just part of the problem. Just as someone with diabetes requires medication and lifestyle changes to successfully manage their disease, you will need new coping skills, a support system, education about the disease of addiction and new healthy routines in order to stay clean and sober for your new beginning.
No One Chooses to Have an Addiction
it’s something that has happened to you that physically changes how your brain now works. Most people are powerless to control these overwhelming drives without help. (An addiction is the result of repeated and intentional use of a substance.) Substance abusers use drugs or alcohol for any number of reasons including from wanting a new experience, peer pressure, for satisfaction or for more intense reasons such as way to overcome significant personal issues. In some cases a person may not be aware that they are addicted to a substance until it is too late, such as in the case of using a prescribed medicine or over the counter drug. When using a drug or drinking alcohol for the first time, an individual does not seek out the opportunity to become an addict. They take the drug to feel different, to relax or to become energized. But as a person uses the drug more repeatedly and in higher doses, the tolerance to the effects of the drug increases and dependence establishes in the body. Dependence on a drug is known to change how brain processing occurs. Psychoactive substances alter the chemical connections in the body and change behavior and emotional responses. A person finds themselves thinking, feeling and behaving differently as they use the substance more often and in higher doses. As an addiction develops, the drug takes over their body and they desire, crave and need the substance to exist.
No One Enjoys Having an Addiction
what used to be a normal life with all its ups and downs has turned into a nightmare that can only be relieved by eternally feeding your addiction, even if you really do wish you could stop. You are being confined by your addiction, and very often, you can’t see any way of escaping.
An addict person will go to almost any lengths to satisfy his specific needs. And even though he knows it will cause him personal harm, and distress to those who care about him, he seems powerless to control his behaviors, even when he wishes he could.
This is not to say that an addict isn’t responsible for his behaviors. Each person is responsible for how he behaves and thinks… he is just not to blame. Taking responsibility means owning his recovery program and having an active plan for sobriety. So, a little willpower might get him back on the right track, but to win the war, he needs an army and a plan. To achieve recovery an addict wants his army and his support system.
When willpower or motivation lacks, we all want someone who will help us to find our strength again. Willpower alone just doesn’t cut it. In fact, according to researchers from Florida State University, when willpower is lacking, it can be learned through therapy and other forms of treatment. So, being actively involved in some form of therapy or in a program at a drug and alcohol rehab can be a critical key in early recovery from addiction.