Addiction is a very powerful mental health situation, and if you are addicted to drugs, alcohol, and other toxic behaviors, even if you want to, you might find it difficult to break free. It affects the brain in ways that make quitting difficult, both physically and mentally.
Some people believe that addiction rehabilitation just entails abstaining from drugs and alcohol. But treating addiction often requires therapy and special care. Addiction can stem from several factors, and some of them are; Family history of addiction, genetic predisposition, peer pressure, taking a highly addictive drug, etc.
What Is An Addiction?
Addiction is the inability to stop using a substance or engaging in a certain toxic behavior even when it is causing physical and psychological harm.
The term addiction not only refers to the dependence on substances like cocaine or heroin, it can come in other forms.
What Are Some Common Challenges Faced By People With Addiction?
There are several challenges people face when recovering from addiction, the most common of them are:
1. Developing New Coping Strategies
Several people suffering from addiction use drugs and alcohol as a crutch to help them deal with emotional issues. During rehabilitation, this crutch is removed and you’ll be forced to deal with the trauma and shame without the use of these addictive substances, and this can be very hard.
People recovering from addiction will have to deal with challenges head-on, which would require a personal decision and a lot of bravery. Therapists will help you focus on building your confidence and introduce different strategies to help you overcome your challenges. Achieving long-term sobriety isn’t only about quitting alcohol and drug use. It is about developing a lifestyle that supports your recovery journey.
2. Building New Relationships And Repairing Old Ones
Usually, when facing addiction problems, your relationships are usually the first to be affected. Your priorities will focus solely on drugs and alcohol and all your responsibilities will be neglected. You might even start to steal from loved ones to feed your addiction, leading to fights.
However, social support is an important part of recovery, and making amends with friends and family helps overcome the destructive behaviors exhibited in the past. In rehab, you’ll learn to build new relationships and also make amends with old friends even though it might take months or years. Your recovery is tied to this process.
During the treatment program, people are constantly surprised by how challenging boredom is in recovery. Treatment programs have a daily schedule that consists of group meetings, personal reflections, leisure, meals, and exercise. After completing rehab and returning home, you may find yourself dealing with boredom, which can be a threat to sobriety.
Since all your free time was consumed by using drugs and alcohol in the past, you’ll have to learn how to use your time in other ways. You can pick up reading, playing sports, meditating, enrolling in a sober living program, working, or starting up a new hobby.
Leaving the gap open is very dangerous and would most likely lead to a relapse. However, coping with this is about being patient and deploying smart behavioral strategies so your brain can adapt to your new life.
Addiction is a chronic disease, even if you’ve been in a meth detox at recovery center still relapse is very common in this case. Stress, anxiety, old friends, and cravings for alcohol and drugs can be serious threats when you’re trying to remain sober.
However, having a relapse shouldn’t make you feel like a failure, you only have to minimize the damage and try again.
Fortunately, rehabilitation is designed to help you establish life skills, develop a mentor and peer support system, and modify unhealthy behavior. Nobody is perfect and it might take more time to achieve good results.
5. Finding Your Purpose
An addict’s sole purpose is to abuse drugs or alcohol. When this purpose is no longer in existence, it can be very challenging for them. It isn’t just about finding something to do, it is about finding a purpose in life.
Discovering a purpose is never easy and it can be harder for someone recovering from substance abuse. Introducing them to creativity, learning, or even parenting are useful ways to help them find a purpose in their lives.
6. Transitioning Out Of Rehab And Back Home
Transitioning from a treatment facility into an independent life of sobriety is more challenging than many people realize. You go from a sheltered and supportive environment back to the same environment where you learned all these vices. Meeting with old associates or other people suffering from addiction will interrupt your recovery process, and resistance is very difficult.
For that reason, transitional care is very important. This might come in the form of intensive outpatient programs, a sober living environment, managing responsibilities at home, and handling financial obligations.
7. Strong cravings for the substance
Cravings pose a huge problem when recovering from addiction since it was these same cravings that led you into active addiction. However, coping with it when you have decided to never use drugs and alcohol again can be hard, since it comes as a command that can be difficult to refuse.
In dealing with cravings you have to identify and avoid triggers, and also develop behavioral and emotional regulation strategies that will help distract the craving, and keep you present.
These strategies can be a new skill or fun activity, and even though it can be difficult at first, constantly doing it will become a habit. Also, having a supportive environment can be very helpful to your recovery.
8. Money Problems
Addiction can be very hard on your finances. Funding your addiction will cost money but, losing your income, incurring high-interest debts, and paying for legal and medical expenses will be much worse.
It can be very frustrating to come out of treatment, feeling you have made the best decision by turning your life around, only to discover your finances in complete chaos. This alone can certainly lead to depression.
9. Mental Health Issues
Most people with substance abuse issues have reoccurring mental health issues. A good treatment program will identify these issues and begin treatment, since managing them is important to one’s recovery.
However, there are some people who try to get sober on their own by going to AA(Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings, which brings relief to their mental health issues. Therefore for recovery to last, mental health therapy is very necessary.
People who are new to recovery always face a dilemma. You are aware that hanging out with old friends who do drugs and drink, will suck you back into the past you are trying to run from. But you don’t have new friends yet, and so you feel lonely constantly.
Loneliness is a big challenge, and it can lead to depression, anxiety, and boredom, all of which are a problem for your recovery. As stated earlier, social connection is a very important part of recovery, and the best way to deal with it is by having friends and family by your side.
How can we help you?
Addiction or substance abuse is a brain disease and it affects your decision-making ability. These changes make it difficult to stop even if you want to. Therefore, if you or your loved one has any form of addiction, speaking to a health care provider or enrolling in a health care facility will help guide you to the treatment you need.
Usually, a person needs a combination of medication and therapy to recover from addiction, therefore look for the best facility and medical personnel to help you fight it.