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How to Overcome Addiction

How Does a Person Overcome Addiction?

Every year, millions of people in Europe and North America make the transition from abuser to addict. What’s more, once the transition is complete it becomes exponentially more difficult to conquer the habit in question. However, overcoming addiction is possible. As long as the addict is still alive, his/her addiction can be overcome.

The most important thing to understand about addiction recovery is that it begins with a decision by the individual to seek treatment. Statistics consistently show that addicts forced into recovery programmes are far more likely to relapse afterwards. If someone does not truly want to be helped, he or she likely cannot be.

Overcoming addiction involves three basic components. All of the different treatment options fall into one of these three categories:

  • detox – breaking the physical dependence

  • rehab – breaking the psychological dependence

  • aftercare – preventing relapse

The Personal Choice

Despite years of research looking into possible genetic causes of addiction, one component has never changed: personal choice. Regardless of the causes of addiction, the addict chose to take his or her first drink or their first hit. The addict chooses, every day, to continue addictive behaviour.

If the addict is to overcome his or her problems, they must choose to do so. Otherwise, any efforts they make will likely be fruitless in the long run. What’s more, failing at recovery the first time does not necessitate the addict living the rest of his or her life controlled by their addiction. It simply means they need to try again.

Friends and family members of addicts see the idea of personal choice as a juxtaposition, and rightly so. The addict has already demonstrated he or she cares little for them self. That being the case, the likelihood of that individual willingly choosing treatment is slim to none. That’s where the intervention comes into play.

Intervention Strategy

An intervention is a situation in which a group of concerned family members and friends openly confronts the addict regarding his/her behaviour. Experts in the addiction community suggest that an intervention is a very successful motivational tool when used properly. The key to a successful intervention is the case presented by the team.

If the intervention team’s primary avenue of confrontation is to expose the harm the addict is doing to him or herself, they’re likely wasting their time. As previously stated, the addict has already proven he or she does not care about his or her own health or well-being. A better strategy is to present the harm being done to others. For example:

  • Spouses – A spouse could talk of how the addictive behaviour is ruining the marriage, causing undue stress, and destroying family finances. The spouse would talk of the emotional pain being suffered at the hands of the addict as well.

  • Children – When the children speak of being emotionally and/or physically harmed by the addict, that often touches a nerve. Children can also talk about shattered childhood dreams, missing out on special times with the parent, and so on.

  • Friends – The friends of an addict often have the hardest time during intervention because they are not as close to the individual as family members. However, friends can still address emotional suffering and damaged relationships.

The purpose for conducting an intervention this way is rooted in the belief that addicts do not purposely set out to harm others. And in fact, their minds might be so clouded that they fail to see any harm they might be causing. By showing the addict he or she is harming others, the intervention team might be able to reach them.

There are specific strategies for conducting an intervention properly. We suggest you seek advice of a professional before conducting one. Here are a couple of guidelines:

  • team members must commit to holding the addict accountable

  • team members must not make excuses for the addict

  • the tone must be firm but not aggressive

  • clear choices must be presented to the addict.

Seeking Treatment

Once an addict makes the conscious decision to seek treatment it then becomes a matter of finding programmes and facilities. Keep in mind there is no one-size-fits-all recovery solution for everyone. The programmes and facilities chosen will depend on a number of factors, including the length and seriousness of the addiction, the substances or behaviours involved, the current health of the addict, and finances.

Helping you find the right programmes and facilities for your circumstances is what our organisation is all about. We constantly research all of the options available, both domestically and abroad, so all you need to do is make one phone call to us. We will assist you in making admission arrangements.

What to Expect

Regardless of the programme you choose, you can expect one thing: you are not going to be treated like a child. You are going to be treated like an adult who must learn to take responsibility for his or her actions. That’s the only way you can truly be helped. You can also expect the following:

  • Detox – You must undergo detox in order to achieve complete victory. Moreover, although detox can be unpleasant, it usually lasts no longer than a week. Detox breaks your physical addiction to drugs or alcohol.

  • Rehab – The rehab process usually takes many months to complete. Nonetheless, in a residential treatment programme, the rehab portion takes between 6 and 12 weeks. Once you leave rehab, you will be part of an aftercare programme that can continue for as long as you need it.

  • Counselling – Part of every complete programme is counselling. It is designed to help you address those mental, emotional, and psychological issues related to addiction. Counselling can occur on an individual or group basis.

  • Group Support – You will also want to participate in group support when those options present themselves. The idea of group support is to provide accountability, encouragement, and a sense of community; three things that go a long way toward helping the addict overcome.

  • Time – Above all, keep in mind that addiction recovery takes time. You did not become an addict overnight; you will not have complete victory overnight either.

Addiction recovery begins when the addict chooses to get his/her life in order. From there it is a matter of finding the right treatment options and completing them. If you are currently in the throes of abuse or addiction then we urge you not to wait any longer to get the help you need. You can begin the process of overcoming right now. Just call us or send an e-mail. We will respond right away.

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