Overcoming an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or anything toxic in your life is not an easy task. If it’s a serious addiction, whether you have come to realize it yet or are still in the process of developing an addiction, you don’t have to do it alone. Understanding what addiction is, the power a substance can have on both your mental, emotional, and physical state, and identifying the ways to get sober are the first steps. Once you’re able to recognize where your addiction stems from and stands at the moment, you can then motivate yourself with the many reasons to get sober.
What is an Addiction?
By definition, addiction is a complex condition and considered a brain disease that manifests itself as compulsive substance use, despite the harmful consequences that may come with it. Those who fall into addiction develop a severe substance use disorder, focusing on using certain substances such as drugs and alcohol, to an extent that it impedes their daily living activities and can change their lifestyle. Even if an addict knows that using these substances can cause problems, he or she will continue to use them—it’s a clear indication of when addiction has taken over. Someone with an addiction may have the best intentions, but the disease can hit a level where that person may need outside help due to the powerful effect substances have on a person’s brain and body.
Many with a substance use disorder experience distorted thinking, behavior, and body functions. This is because substances can change how the brain is wired and reprogram it to make strong connections with a substance and create a sense of need for them. If you’re addicted to something, your brain can signal intense cravings for either the substance physically or emotionally, which causes a vicious cycle of continually wanting and needing that substance. People with addictions tend to experience a rush of intense pleasure, calm and increased senses caused by their substance of choice. As addiction continues, tolerance to a substance builds, which means larger amounts are needed to feel these same effects. This can cause serious health problems the longer the addiction continues.
The areas of the brain that have shown to be affected by addiction, are the same areas that control judgment, decision making, learning, memory, and behavior control. Some symptoms that indicate a substance use disorder included impaired control of being able to stop using a substance, social problems such as failure to complete tasks due to substance uses, risky use of a substance even with knowing it’s harmful effects, and tolerance or withdrawal symptoms for the drug of choice.
Types of Addictions
The type of addiction a person develops depends on the substance of choice. Some common ones include addiction to Adderall, marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, meth, and opioids. While these types of substances may have different physical and mental effects on a person, the one common factor that ties them together when it comes to addiction is the mental and physical reliance one can develop on them. This could mean depending on them to go about the day, to obtain a desired emotional or mental state, or to a point where the absence of them can cause physical or emotional withdrawals. Having a use disorder with any of these common substances can result in very negative impacts to both the mental and physical well-being of a person. For those struggling with any type of addiction, there are ways to get help overcoming addiction.
Ways To Get Sober
Overcoming addiction starts with first, recognizing that the substance use disorder is a problem. Oftentimes, it’s hard for someone well in the weeds of addiction to even realize their substance use has become an issue, not only for them but for those around them. For those who have a loved one who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, one way to prompt treatment is to stage an intervention. This intervention is when friends and family confront someone they are concerned about and want them to seek help for their substance use.
A treatment plan usually doesn’t just take a one-way approach. It can include a combination of different forms of help. For example, both medication and individual or group therapy can be used to start weaning a person away from their reliance on a substance. Medications that may help control drug cravings or ease withdrawal symptoms can help address the physical dependence on a substance and takedown that particular barrier to recovery. Addressing the mental health component of addiction is another key focus of addiction treatment programs. Therapy can be provided to those struggling with addiction to help them understand why they are using a substance in the first place. Once they can figure out their motivations for using a certain substance, they can begin to replace that substance with healthier solutions that can help address the root of the problem. For example, if a drug is used to cope with stress, exercise may be a viable option.
Determining the best way to getting sober is based on the individual and what his or her particular needs are. Some treatments can include hospitalization, therapeutic communities, and outpatient programs. Aion Health Group has multiple treatment programs to choose from that cater to individual needs to help with the road to recovery.
Reasons to Get Sober
The reasons for getting sober are endless. If you or a loved one is trying to figure out “the why” to overcoming addiction, the following reasons are a good reminder to help keep up motivation and on the right path.
1. Feel better both mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Once you’ve achieved a sober state, your body and mind can start to repair themselves from the damage it endured during your addiction. You’ll feel free from relying on a substance to reach a certain mental and emotional state and be more physically equipped to do everyday activities without any substance holding you back.
2. Save money.
Not only do using drugs and alcohol take a toll on the body, but it also can make a dent in your wallet. Getting sober can help build your equity back up so you can use it on things that serve you better than any substance ever did.
3. Gain more productivity and time.
All that time you wasted being hungover or busy using instead of doing everyday life tasks, such as work and social activities, is given back to you when you become sober.
4. Build better relationships.
There are people who care about you and are rooting for you. The time you may have spent on your addiction was time lost with the people you love and who love you. When you reach and maintain sobriety, you’ll be able to shift your focus on rebuilding these relationships with them.
5. Live in the moment.
The key to happiness can be found in enjoying the present and living in the moment. Without drugs or alcohol muting these feelings or taking you to a temporary euphoria, you can place your energy on what is happening right in front of you and start living your life in the present—which lets you reach the ultimate (natural) high.
What To Expect When Getting Sober
You understand what addiction is, the type of treatment options available, and the reasons why you should get sober. Although this might seem easy enough, setting your expectations for the tough road ahead helps you push through moments of weakness and recover more quickly.
You may experience a rollercoaster of emotions. This is natural as your brain is trying to reset to baseline and re-wire itself without the reliance on a substance. Physical withdrawals are also very real. Your body was relying on a certain substance and when you start detoxing, you can expect withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, vomiting, anxiety, insomnia, and muscle pain. While it may be one of the toughest parts of overcoming addiction, just know that it is temporary and once you get over the physical withdrawals there is light at the end of the tunnel and you will feel stronger, more energetic, and in better physical health.
Another thing to expect when overcoming addiction is your life as you knew it is over, but for the better. This is a time where you close the chapter on something that did not serve you physically or emotionally to your benefit. You may lose some people in your life that may have enabled your addiction, you may be overwhelmed by the therapy and the people trying to help you, but just know, your addiction chapter has closed, and the next chapter is way better. The recovery journey is worth it because you’ll be in a better place than ever before.
Tips to help you stay sober
Overcoming addiction entails not only treatment plans but also trying to do everything in your power to help you stay sober. Be sure to stay out of risky situations where you would be tempted to use again. Surround yourself with those who support your decision to stay sober. This can mean seeking help from friends and family or attending a support group of others that are experiencing or have experienced this same journey.
Additionally, creating a relapse prevention plan can help you stay focused as you overcome addiction. Relapsing is very common, and it is okay if it happens. But having a plan in place can help you move forward from a relapse, so you don’t lose the gains you’ve already made along the way. For more information on the types of relapse you may encounter and how to put together a relapse plan, read.
Overcoming Addiction with Aion Health Group
You know the reasons to get sober, now you just need to take the next step and get the help you deserve and need for overcoming addiction.
Call for help at 888-917-2454 or contact us online to take the positive steps away from addiction and towards getting sober. You’ll be connected with admissions and find out which addiction center locations are near you. With the help of our professionals at Aion Health Group, you’ll have the guidance, tools, and treatment that can get you on the path to recovery.