It’s easy for individuals who don’t understand or have never dealt with addiction to believe that stopping the use of drugs is as easy as not doing it. However, if you’ve ever dealt with addiction yourself, you know that recovery isn’t just simply stopping the use of drugs or alcohol. It’s much more complicated and challenging than that. Addiction is a disease that affects the brain, bodily functioning, and even personality. So, there are reasons that people may continue with drug use that have nothing to do with wanting or not wanting to be sober. Fortunately, identifying these continuous drug use behaviors can help loved ones and even individuals struggling with addiction to realize that they need help. And, allow them to take the necessary steps to get that help and establishing a life in recovery.
1. Changes in Brain Chemistry
Many people may not be aware that addiction is labeled a disease not because of its effects, but because of changes resulting in brain chemistry. It’s common that people believe that addiction isn’t a disease and that sobriety is as simple as just simply not using anymore. These changes in brain chemistry impact a person’s ability to control impulses, which makes it so that they literally cannot stop drug use. If it was as easy as not using drugs anymore, more people would do that and less would be addicted.
2. Traumatic Events
Often, addictive behaviors are brought on by the attempt to manage symptoms of traumatic events. When individuals live through trauma, they may try to mask the feelings of shame, guilt, and/or sadness with the numbing effects of addictive substances. However, with long term use of addictive substances, addiction inevitably develops. But, just because addictive substances may numb negative emotions, the effects of trauma are still there. So, they continue to use drugs as a method of keeping emotions stemming from trauma at bay.
3. Feelings of Remorse Following a Relapse
Sometimes, individuals do gain sobriety, but they end up relapsing. Instead of getting right back on track with sobriety efforts, individuals may feel guilt and shame over their relapse. They may also feel like they failed and will never be able to get clean, so why even try? So, they attempt to mask these emotions with drugs or alcohol. And, get swept back into the perpetual cycle of addiction once again.
4. Feelings of Hopelessness
Finally, one of the last reasons people continue with drug use is because they think they’re either not worthy of help. Or, that they are completely helpless. So, they end up continuing using because they don’t see the benefit of getting help. However, the truth is that everyone is able to get the help they need to stay sober. And, that help is effective in providing the tools needed to establish lasting recovery.
Finally Finding help for Addiction
If you or a loved one is having trouble with quitting the use of an addictive substance, help is available for you here at Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services. We understand the challenge of moving past addiction. So, we provide a complete, comprehensive approach to treatment that allows for withdrawal management, therapeutic techniques, and various resources.
To learn more about our program and how we can help you to heal from an addictive lifestyle, contact us today.