Psychoactive substances like alcohol, heroin, opioids, and other drugs latch onto the brain and body, disrupting organ functioning. They stimulate the release of neurotransmitters and hormones, regulating our mood and bodily systems. With time, the body grows overly dependent on substances, resulting in drug dependence that’s challenging to overcome.
People struggling to overcome substance abuse addiction combine pharmaceutical interventions with counseling and lifestyle shifts. The withdrawal symptoms are significant obstacles on the path to recovery, and they often compel people to reuse illicit substances. Understanding your challenges is crucial in devising coping strategies to stay committed to the detoxification journey.
Let’s take a closer look at the challenges of overcoming substance abuse addiction.
Painful Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms occur when people attempt to quit after prolonged substance abuse or excessive alcohol consumption. Drug dependence triggers withdrawals as the body demands an injection of the same psychoactive substance it has consumed for so long. The body’s adaptability to the drug creates painful and debilitating withdrawal symptoms that often weaken the resolve to recover.
The intensity and symptoms vary, depending on the substance, usage duration, and unique bodily health profiles. Typically, the symptoms include irritability, exhaustion, muscular aches, mood disturbances, appetite reduction, congestion, nausea, vomiting, shivers, and tremors. Patients also become overly restless and suffer insomnia and sleep disturbances.
People with severe addictions experience intense symptoms, such as delirium, hallucinations, and life-threatening seizures. The intensity of the symptoms depends on the drug and consumption dosage, and the cold turkey method is strongly ill-advised. Combining pharmaceutical interventions and behavioral therapy is crucial to address stimulant withdrawal’s physical and psychological symptoms.
Individuals looking to quit should consider undertaking treatment for stimulant withdrawal at a rehabilitation facility to prevent life-threatening risks. Rehabilitation experts ease addicts through a controlled period of substance use to prevent health risks caused by quitting suddenly. The body and brain need to transition through a gradual decrease and eventual elimination of substances within the system.
Rushing through the process isn’t a strategy that works; instead, it runs the risk of organ damage and possible overdosing. Suppose you have a long history of substance use and drug dependence. In that case, you cannot combat this challenge alone without the assistance of licensed addiction experts and rehabilitation specialists. When bodily organs are affected, the risk factors and challenges demand more than just willpower and inner strength.
Dealing with Trauma without Substance Use
Addiction experts and substance use researchers often associate escapism with the causes that encourage substance abuse. In the context of substance use, escapism refers to using drugs and alcohol to distract oneself from trauma, stress, and life struggles. People develop drug dependence and substance abuse patterns as a defense mechanism to distract themselves from underlying issues.
These issues are unique to every individual’s life story and struggles. For instance, some turn to alcohol and illicit substances to overcome the pain of child abuse or neglect and sexual violence. Others depend on alcohol to treat their perpetual sadness instead of seeking treatment for chronic depression. Undiagnosed and untreated mental health illnesses also encourage us to seek temporary relief through mind-altering substances.
Most people develop drug dependence while consuming alcohol or drugs to relieve stress and anxiety. There are hundreds and thousands of causes, and each points to an underlying issue that requires treatment. When people try to eliminate substance use and alcohol consumption, their underlying issues rise. Addressing these issues without substance use becomes a mammoth challenge, as trauma encourages unhealthy patterns.
Addressing underlying trauma, mental illnesses, and stress through constructive means, such as therapy, is crucial to overcoming substance abuse.
Creating a Healthy Lifestyle
The decision to quit addictive substances, be it alcohol or tobacco, demands a lifestyle shift to eliminate temptations and distractions. This lifestyle shift focuses on creating a wellness-focused mindset that encourages you to prioritize your wellbeing. This endeavor isn’t easy, especially if everything in your immediate environment and surroundings tempts you to consume drugs.
At times, people struggling to get healthy have to break ties with friends and peers who indulge in substance abuse. Making new friends isn’t easy, but it’s necessary when your health and wellbeing are at stake. Quitting substance use is a process that demands you quit all individuals, activities, and hangout spots that tempt you to reuse drugs.
You may have to change your routine, dietary patterns, and social circle and embrace a lifestyle that nourishes your mind and body.
Repairing the Damages
The 12-step substance abuse recovery process demands we take responsibility for all the damage we’ve done to ourselves and others. We must take responsibility for damaging our bodily organs and brain functioning by exposing ourselves to harmful substances. It’s essential to reflect on how substance abuse has impaired our life quality, professional opportunities, and social standing.
Then, we must look outward and take responsibility for the damage we’ve done to our relationships, loved ones, and loved ones. Realizing the damage is one aspect, and repairing is the other; recovering addicts must make amends to restart their lives. Recognizing one’s mistakes and making amends is never easy but is instrumental to personal growth and empowerment.
These are only a handful of challenges from a journey that is riddled with overwhelming obstacles and complexities. Recovering addicts struggle to regulate their moods, find joy in everyday experiences, and overcome the need for substance-induced stimulation. However, the word ‘challenging’ doesn’t imply that the goal is unachievable.
We strongly advise people to quit substance abuse by seeking professional treatment from a rehabilitation facility. It makes no sense to embark on this journey alone, without the resources that will boost chances of recovery.