Drug addiction or alcoholism doesn’t make someone a bad person. Let me just get that out of the way right from the beginning. The term “drug addict,” has a terribly negative connotation. It can affect people from all walks of life- every color, race, or age, regardless of socioeconomic status- both males and females. Anyone can be afflicted with addiction. It is a psychological problem, which tricks our brain into dependence to something we don’t really need. For most, drug addiction starts as a way to numb our problems or feelings. Drugs or alcohol become our universal anesthetic. The substance provides us with a temporary relief to our problems and we feel better. Over time, we become dependent on the drug or alcohol as the only way for us to feel better. At this point, we have become addicted.
Addiction is a dangerous and complex behavioral cycle that can easily spiral out of control and ruin your life. Most don’t know how to escape it because they are in a state of mind control, hypnotized by their own brain into using drugs for relief. They don’t want to change their behavior because it works for them (or so they think) and become stuck in addiction. Few people make the conscience decision to screw up their entire life by using drugs or alcohol. That drunk homeless man asking you for change to purchase booze didn’t have that endgoal in mind. Addiction is what led him to that point in his life.
People immersed in an active addiction are incapable of seeing themselves how others see them. They are unable to even see that they have a dangerous compulsive problem, despite all of the negative consequences they might endure. The more that things go wrong, the more the addiction grabs hold. It keeps squeezing and squeezing, becoming harder to break free. It can sometimes literally choke the life out of people. If you haven’t personally struggled with addiction, it is often difficult to see why someone can’t just change. Why can’t they just stop using to save their job, their family, or even their life. I wrote this to try to help people have a better understanding of addiction.
The key to conquering addiction is all in the mind. Unfortunately, the mind is also what has caused the addiction. It is extremely difficult for addicts to admit that they have a problem and really do need help until they become sober. In sobriety they start to realize that they don’t actually need drugs or alcohol, and then they can finally work on fixing their destructive behaviors, and the underlying psychological problems that led to their addiction. Then they are on the road to recovery.
Understanding and support from loved ones goes a long way, but addicts ultimately need to be held accountable for their actions. Sometimes it can take a very serious catalyst for the necessary behavioral change to begin (such as jail or rehab.) Admitting to themselves that they have a problem can be the hardest part of all, but is the initial key to changing the behavior. The fear of change and accepting that they no longer have control and their addiction has become unmanageable is what keeps people from escaping addiction.
Addicts can change, if they stop lying to themselves and break down the various walls they have built up to keep feeding their addiction. Then they will be able to seek the necessary treatment and help needed to keep them from relapsing back into their addiction. It is not easy and takes much hard work, but a person can be cured of addiction….if they want to. They need to address their flaws, feelings, and the reasons they have been running away that led to their addiction. Group therapy and recovery programs are a great place to start. (Rehabilitation centers, therapy, or even 12 step programs. Alcoholics Anonymous is a great program usually located in forgotten rooms in churches, filled with cheap coffee, powdered creamer, and lots of people with a similar goal….To remain sober.) Don’t let your mind go to waste, perception becomes reality. Mentality = ability, and the rest is just time and effort.