“Recovery is not for people who need it; it is for people who want it.”
Addiction to drugs or alcohol starts as just a casual encounter with these substances, leads to forming a habit that ultimately translates into a mental health illness called Substance abuse or addiction. There can be various causes for it. Some of the common ones are emotional baggage, past trauma, broken relationships, heartbreak, family disturbances, and so on. Addiction can also come from a genetic origin; this means that in a family where there has been a history of addiction, the future generation is more prone and likely to sort to substances than the families where there is no such history. Many times people feel that they are causally drinking but when it is a repeated action, the body starts to get addicted. In terms of treatment the best is to start by identifying the triggers because more often than not, people with addiction are not aware of how it all started or gets continued.
It is difficult to have an insight into one’s issues and conflicts especially when they are on a subconscious or psychological level. Addiction is not believed to be an illness; it is looked upon as bad and irresponsible behavior. However, people suffering are not just being irresponsible, they are going through a mental disorder. Family members and society look at these people as a shame to the family, they mistreat them and believe that they behave recklessly on purpose. What alcohol and drugs do to a person is beyond their control, these substances change the physiology as well as chemical balances of the brain. One fact about substance abuse is that a person’s tolerance increases with every ounce of drug that he takes. For example, if a person was satisfied with a quarter ml of alcohol for a month, it is possible that the same amount might not satisfy his urge after some days. It leads to dosage increasing as the body starts to crave to reach that high.
The cycle of addiction is vicious and extremely difficult to break. What is most required is immense and unconditional support and empathy from family and loved ones. For a person to recover, he needs to know the reason for his problems. Taking help from a mental health expert as well as from family can help a person develop this insight. Rehabilitation is helpful for most cases of addiction as it takes the person away from the triggers and gives him a chance to look at life from a fresh perspective. Changing habitats can also help him rediscover himself in absence of any substances.
Once these triggers are eliminated even for a specific number of days, the person realizes that the absence of the substance can be dealt with and recovery is possible. Additionally, it increases his willpower to fight the battle with addiction. The battle with addiction however does not end at discharge from a rehab; in fact, another battle begins from thereon. This is the battle the person has learned to fight during recovery and going back he has to apply these coping skills to prevent relapse.
Relapse is not losing the war and it doesn’t mean that the person is addicted again. Addiction being a vicious cycle, relapse is the last phase from where the loop needs to be cut. When a person relapses, he knows this time what triggers exactly took him back and why. This understanding comes from the journey towards recovery. This is the time a person himself opts to rehabilitate, change his surrounding to eliminate triggers without any additional pressure from family for doing so. It ensures that chances of addiction coming back reduce majorly.
All in all, addiction is a tough nut to crack but the right kind of help, support, insight into one’s triggers and immense willpower makes an individual tougher to fight this battle. The road to recovery from addiction may be through a dark tunnel and relapse is an indication that there is light at the end of this tunnel. It is a signal that recovery is possible and easier to get when it is with one’s own will.