Substance abuse is a serious issue that affects millions of individuals every day. The number of people who struggle with an addiction to alcohol and drugs throughout the country is estimated at 23.5 million.
Struggling with addiction is not just issue with “willpower” or “not wanting it enough.” Drug and alcohol addiction leads to complex, deep-rooted behavior patterns as well as functional changes within the body. Even those who want to get sober oftentimes find that their mind and/or body betray them (physical or mental withdrawal). Addiction becomes compulsory. The urge to use is often too strong for the person to control, even when they know it’s killing them.
It is important to have a good understanding of what addiction is, and what it is not. Those who believe that sitting around sharing stories will help resolve issues with addiction are only kidding themselves. If you do not treat addiction the right way, it is not only likely to continue, but eventually escalate into a more serious problem.
Addiction is not a problem that will resolve itself. Without adequate treatment, most who struggle with drug or alcohol addiction are likely to continue using. Not seeking treatment will only serve to keep them more isolated and fall deeper and deeper into the cycle of abuse.
It is important to understand that addiction is an issue that many people are unable to overcome without professional help. Even if you manage to lock yourself in a room for days on end to withdraw, the psychological issues with addiction are left unhandled.
There is scientific evidence that specific non-traditional approaches are successful in helping motivated people overcome addiction. Using the right treatment and taking the necessary amount of time is proven to be effective with more than 70% of individuals.
You have to understand that addiction has a fundamental psychological and biological component that makes it difficult to stop using altogether. It is impossible to exert control over the impulse to abuse drugs or alcohol without properly addressing those aspects. This is a defining characteristic of addiction, the inability to stop despite the fact that there are negative consequences.
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on the type of treatment that someone opts for. For standard 12-step program, success is traditionally around 5 – 10%; on par with natural recovery rates. However, the success rates for non 12 step programs are anywhere between 70 – 80%.
No one is more prone to addiction than another. We all have the capability of being overwhelmed, over emotional, impulsive, fall to temptation and desire to escape from painful realities of life. Those are just some of what is at the root of addiction, and what needs to be repaired for one to be free.
It is not just the person who abuses drugs and their immediate family members and friends who pay the cost for drug and alcohol addiction. Increased health care costs, lost productivity, and crime cost the economy over $700 billion annually. This issue affects everyone.
It is possible for someone to go days, possibly even weeks or months without using drugs or alcohol, only to relapse again in a moment of weakness. It is important to resolve the underlying stressors and issues that led to addiction and the need to use in the first place.