Drug and alcohol addiction can be extremely damaging and painful, both for addicts and for the people around them. With all of the good reasons that exist to quit using drugs and alcohol, it can still somehow be nearly impossible to quit. Some of the reasons that it is so hard to quit an addiction include physical addiction, mental addiction, feelings of loneliness and feelings of lack of support. Other difficulties that addicts may have include relapses, fears, and not knowing where to start.
Many substances are physically addictive. The chemicals in those substances actually bond with the brain and the body in a way that causes full and physical chemical dependence. When people are physically addicted to substances, they often become extremely ill when they do not have access to those substances. Their addiction becomes a full time job that revolves around using substances, withdrawing from substances, craving substances, and obtaining more substance. Addicts can even die from physical addiction. People who are severely physically addicted to substances cannot just quit cold turkey. They have to be carefully weaned off of those substances with specific care and under direct medical supervision.
Substances are Mentally Addictive Too
Even if you are not physically dependent on substances, you can be mentally dependent on them. If you are unable to cope with day to day life difficulties without using substances or thinking about using substances, then you need to address that level of mental addiction. Using substances to cope can become a habit that is extremely difficult to break. Even if you would not die from quitting cold turkey, you could still experience cold sweats, nightmares, and severe anxiety from trying to break that mental addiction without any help.
Being addicted to drugs and mentally unhealthy can also cause feelings of severe loneliness. Even though addicts often use substances with other people or around other people, they still feel deeply lonely on the inside. Addiction is an isolating experience. These feelings of isolation make quitting feel especially difficult. If you feel like you have no support network, then you will likely see no reasons to get clean. Once you realize that you are not alone, you can start to accept support from all of the people who care, but it can be hard to get to that point.
Many Addicts Lack Support
Many addicts lack the support that would help them to get clean in the long run. Sometimes, choices that addicts make in active addiction push away friends and family members. Other times, lack of support early in life can contribute to an addiction forming.
If people do not believe in you, it is likely that you will see no reason to get help. You might think that there is no chance that you will be able to change perceptions of you that were formed by others while you were in active addiction. Even if you lack support or feel like you lack support, there is still hope. It may be difficult to quit an addiction, but it is entirely possible.
Relapsing Can Make Things Especially Difficult
If you have ever relapsed before, then you may find quitting to be especially difficult. Past failures can turn into repeated patterns but they do not have to. Some people think failing once means that they will fail twice. Even if you have relapsed hundreds of times, it is still possible to quit your addiction.
This process can involve a lot of fearful emotions. Feeling afraid can make it extremely difficult to quit an addiction. Addicts are often afraid that sobriety will be difficult or boring. They often fear losing their existing relationships and friendships. Above all else, they fear relapse and failure. These fears are normal, but they do not have to prevent you from quitting your addiction.
You may not know where to start. That too is normal and entirely okay. No matter how afraid you feel right now, you should know that there are resources available to help you. Your fears are valid but your life and your future are even more valid. You deserve recovery and a good life. If you don’t know where to start, our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 732-392-7311.