A person must simply understand the reasons why quitting substance abuse is important, what to expect from the process of quitting and where to turn for help. Quitting substance abuse is not an easy task by any means. It involves discomfort, negative emotions and sometimes physical illness. However, it is something that millions of people have done successfully around the world, and every person is capable of achieving it with the right help.
A sober lifestyle is a wise but difficult change to make. When you make the decision to quit substance abuse, you should know that you are in for a challenge. Even if the body and the brain are not dependent on the substance, they are accustomed to it, and they will crave it. It is up to you to manage the triggers and urges to relapse by developing healthy alternatives and coping mechanisms. You should be prepared for irritability, mood swings, cravings and other frustrations.
That you should quit substance abuse is a given, but why you should quit substance abuse is not known to everyone. Mood altering substances, such as alcohol and drugs, have enjoyable short term effects but negative long term effects. They inevitably do damage to a person’s physical and mental health. In the short term, they make a person relaxed, loosened up, forgetful and without a sense of consequence. But in the long term, they create chemical imbalance within the body and brain.
There are many resources available to the public that are aimed at making the transition to sobriety as painless as possible. Quitting substance abuse is widely known to be difficult, which is why no one expects you to go through it alone. Some of these services include rehabilitation programs, support groups, counseling, sponsorship and self help methods. They provide a support system, a sober environment, sound advice and a defense against substance abuse to allow you to fully rediscover your sobriety.
It is common, when trying to lend a person empathy, to try to understand how they think and get inside their head. We attempt to do this for people going through a hard time or struggling mentally. We even attempt to do this when a person is abusing a substance. However, a person need not bother trying to understand why someone may abuse a substance. The fact is, there is no logic to discover, and the harder you try to understand substance abuse, the more tied into knots you will become.
Looking for logic in substance abuse can only result in unhealthy thinking on the part of the empathetic party. Much like Stockholm syndrome, a person trying to empathize with substance abuse is essentially relating to broken thinking, which is not good for anyone. Empathizing with this behavior can only result in justifying it, enabling it or getting sucked into substance abuse yourself. Justifying substance abuse is horribly counterproductive because there is no good reason for destructive behavior. Enabling it is doing a disservice to the substance abuser because it assists their self destruction. And emulating the substance abuse is a terrible practice of boundaries, self respect and good judgment.
The truth is that substance abuse is an absence of logic, a bad habit, a maladaptive behavior and a type of mental problem. Abusing a substance represents broken logic, not different logic, which does not deserve to be pursued. It is merely a type of bad habit that one develops because of underlying issues. It is also a way of coping with and interacting with the world that is maladaptive, meaning the individual engaging in it developed the habit against their own better self preservation. And lastly, substance abuse is a certified mental problem that entire treatment programs are geared toward correcting. It frequently comes with a type of mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or ADHD.
Treatment for co-occurring substance abuse and mental disorders is more laborious than treating just one or the other. Patients must be prepared for treatment to be longer lasting and more intensive than treatment for those with a single diagnosis. Certain treatment centers and rehabilitation programs specialize in treating both kinds of disorders at once, with staff that are licensed experts in substance abuse disorders and mental disorders. Recovery requires a large commitment on the part of the affected individual, and cannot be achieved without a significant amount of work, but there are many who have been successful at it.
This style of specialized treatment is multifaceted. Its aim is to educate the individual on what their disorders encompass, how they can affect a person in tandem and how a person can manage and cope with them. Dual diagnosis treatment exposes the patient to the latest health information on the effects of drugs and alcohol, and what affect they are having on the patient’s life. It helps the patient set a plan for sober living and practicing healthy life skills through individualized counselling and therapy, as well as connecting them to ongoing support and recovery services.
The path to recovery for people who are dual diagnosed with substance abuse and mental disorders is not without its struggles and setbacks, but for those willing to put in the effort, it is possible. Medical and mental health professionals are eager to help individuals confront these problems so that they and their loved ones can experience a higher quality of life together. If you or someone you love requires treatment for a co-occurring disorder, seek the help of a rehabilitation program that is certified to treat a dual diagnosis and has a history of success doing so.