Substance abuse takes many forms. Whether a person is struggling with prescription drugs, illicit drugs, alcohol or tobacco, the toll on the user and those around him or her is clear and often destructive. In an ideal world, every addict that arrives in drug rehab would be willing to quit drug and fully determined and devoted to stay drug free. But when it comes to addiction the situations are very rare. There are very few number of people who want to quit drugs willingly, but they are unaware of the fact that recovery is going to be challenging though. Millions of people tell of the total loss of control of their lives they experienced through substance abuse.

Watch a video by Dr Sadaqat Ali on addiction and alcoholism
Dr Sadaqat Ali talks about Addiction and Alcoholism

Fareeha NazFariha Naz has joined Willing Ways as clinical psychologist. She completed her MS in Clinical and Counseling Psychology, from Beacon House National University, Lahore. Fariha had served as a trainee clinical psychologist in Psychiatry Department of Jinnah hospital and Mayo Hospital Lahore. These training periods included assessment and management of psychological disorders. In Mayo Hospital she worked in play settings, where she worked on psychological testing.
Editor: Arman Ahmed

There is ongoing debate about whether an addict who doesn’t want help can be helped. There are people out there who still believe that only the addict can help themselves. All they need is to have that urge to quit. Most of the addicts never want to quit drugs, all they can think of is to bring themselves to that level that they can be functional with using drugs, which is impossible.

Changes in the brain, which has been hijacked by drugs, leave the addict powerless to truly see themselves and make rational decisions. Brain is the miraculously powerful machine in our body, when some substances changes your brain chemistry, it makes impossible to be logical, rational and do right things. Getting into drugs is quite easy but once you start depending upon it, it makes your life miserable. Addicts come to depend on drugs to function; they will make excuses, justify the indefensible and put off treatment as long as possible. But you need to be very clear about one thing that how you can get an addict to the treatment. There are several waysin which addicts are pushed into treatment: court order, divorce, loss of child custody and hospitalization, crisis intervention etc. the important thing here is that if you will wait and try to convince the patient, he will never agree upon getting treatment, so it’s better to do what is needed to.


Most addicts develop the motivation to sustain their recovery after being helped into treatment, when they start learning about their disease, their insight and that feelingof getting better than they have since they started using. No matter what it takes, you have to get addict into treatment even if it seems impossible. Because it’s compulsory to seek proper help if you want to go on the path of recovery. There are people who still think that addiction is a character flaw, in fact it’s not, and using drug for the first time is your choice but after that drug starts leading you. You have to get aware of the fact that it is a disease just like other diseases, when we don’t hesitate in seeking help in other diseases then why not in addiction. Addiction is a chronic, progressive brain disease characterized by compulsive drug-seeking even in the face of job loss, damaged relationships huge loss in terms of physical and mental health and other negative consequences. The only way to help an addict is to get him/her to the treatment, it’s never too late, you can still get addicts out of that mess.  With patience and courage everything is possible.

Here is a video that depicts a family intervention
Intervention: Help your loved one defeat addiction