As you tread through the days/weeks/months/years of your addiction, it is going to continue taking a great toll on your mind and body. At every turn, you are going to find yourself dealing with situations you likely never imagined you would have to deal with in your lifetime. Still, you have to deal with them pretty much every day.
One of the great misconceptions about addiction sufferers is they are flawed people. Their inability to stay away from drugs or alcohol makes them weak and immoral. The reality is actually quite different. What most people don’t realize is all addictions are actually illnesses. This is a fact. Approximately 15 to 20 years, the medical and psychiatric communities began listing addictions as diseases. Worst than being just diseases, they are diseases without a known cure. What exactly does that mean? There is no cure for drug or alcohol addiction.
Once someone gets caught up in the disease of addiction, the best they can hope for is to arrest the disease and render it dormant for their lifetime. If addiction is a disease, and it is, it would seem very unfair to assign addiction sufferers with the label of being an immoral flawed individual. In fact, they have no more control over their disease than someone who is suffering from chronic arthritis. We don’t make fun of people who are suffering from pain and maybe we shouldn’t be judging people who are caught in the cycle of addiction. That is what makes the titled question so compelling. On what basis should a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center want to punish a client? Yes, the addiction did start with the decision to start using drugs or drinking.
However, it is not fair to judge someone for that behavior without any knowledge as to why they started using drugs or alcohol in the first place. Even if the start of using was simple experimentation, it should be easy to accept that some force drove the individual to keep using perhaps as a means of escape. In the next sections, we will discuss the things that drive people into the illness of addiction.
Common Reasons People Become Ill with the Disease of Addiction
To reiterate, some people get involved in substance abuse because of experimentation. Their friends rave about the effects of prescription painkillers, and they figure why not give it a try. What they don’t always know is there could be something living inside of them that is looking for help. It could be almost anything that will drive them to start abusing a drug or alcohol without them fully understanding why. To that end, we thought is would be prudent to list a few common reasons why people fall prey to the disease of addiction:
- Mental or emotional disorders that need masking
- Feelings of inadequacy and the need to belong
- The masking of chronic pain issues
- Escape from the harsh realities of life
- Helping to cope with mental, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse
- Loss of an important loved one or relationship
These are not excuses or rationalizations. They are legitimate reasons why people become vulnerable to the disease of addiction. Here are two ways treatment can help arrest the disease of addiction.
1. Identify the Driving Force of Addiction
A big part of treatment focuses on individual therapy. While working with a licensed therapist, each client gets the opportunity to look deep within their psyche in search of answers. The answer they need is the whys behind their need to self-medicate away their trouble. Finding the root causes is necessary in order to start looking for appropriate solutions, meaning ways to arrest the addiction.
2. Prompt the Need to Develop Better Coping Skills
In many cases, the best way for someone to arrest their addiction illness is through the development of better coping skills. If someone has the skills to cope with the triggers that drive their need to abuse a substance, they can in fact lay their illness to rest and start living a sober life. If you are suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, you are not deserving of any kind of punishment. What you need is the right kind of help. That is something with which we would be glad to assist you. For more information about treatment, you can pick up your phone and call our treatment facility at 833-497-3808.