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5 Reasons Why Can't You Do It on Your Own

Fundamentally, the problem seems ridiculous; and when all that's required for a better life and better health is just to stop doing something harmful, it can be tough for those who have never endured an addiction to understand exactly why this is so difficult.

A lot of us abusing don’t even completely understand our actions. We just know that we can’t seem to stop, and whenever we even try we fail so badly that it seems completely hopeless.

Addiction creates neurological changes in the brain. Your brain just works slightly differently after you become chemically dependant; and once you are addicted, choice goes out the window, and willpower becomes meaningless. Addiction equates to a loss of control over your actions and your use, and very few people can better an addiction with determination alone. You can't stop doing what you have no control over.

Addictions professionals and scientists have been working diligently on the mysteries of addiction for decades, and although complete clarity eludes us, we do now have a much better understanding of what's really going on in the brain with addiction; and we also know some effective strategies to manipulate behaviors and give people a great opportunity to get past devastating chemical dependencies.

You want to do it on your own; you feel badly to need such disruptive and expensive treatment, and you can’t even explain why you couldn't just stop. Here are 5 reasons why you need professional help.

5 Reasons to Get Help

1) Enforced Sobriety

Never mind any of the therapies offered, simply staying sequestered away from access to drug or alcohol for a month or more has incredible value. The clarity of sobriety comes only with time, and none of us are truly ready to participate honestly in the therapies of relapse avoidance until we've got a couple of good weeks of sobriety completed. Enforced sobriety also gives our minds a chance to begin the healing process, and we start to relearn how we can enjoy ourselves without a need for intoxication.

Rehab offers a lot, but simply staying sober and away from drugs or alcohol for a month or more can be life changing in itself.

2) Learn Why You Act as You Do

For a lot of us, there exists something within our beings that makes us seek out intoxication. It may be a lack of confidence, family trauma or anxiety that drove us to abuse initially; but whatever it is that makes us need to get drunk or high, unless we can start to unearth our issues, we are destined to repeat our failures.

You may not solve all of your problems in a month or more of rehab, but through working with a therapist you will at minimum gain a greater self awareness, and begin the self healing that's always required for long term success and sobriety.

3) Learn How You Can Increase Your Chances by Minimizing Your Temptations

Addiction occurs deep within the brain in an area beyond our conscious awareness or control (the mesolimbic). While addicted, we act in ways that appear willful and decided, but are in fact just the end result of powerful impulses from deep inside us.

Nothing but time allows the brain to heal and for the damage done by addiction to fade, but we can learn concrete and effective strategies to minimize the influence of the mesolimbic, and hopefully get past the period of its relapse provoking pulls.

Through therapies and cognitive behavioral teachings we learn how we can control not only our actions, but even our thoughts to reduce the temptations that doom so many of us to failure. We also learn concrete and effective strategies that can get you out of situation of temptation, and keep you sober for another day.

Time will heal you, but you need to give yourself time. Therapies and education show you how to get past the first few months of cravings and temptation.

4) Develop a Unique and Workable Relapse Prevention Plan

You cannot leave anything up to chance during the first few months of sobriety, and to ensure you stay on a path of sobriety, in rehab you will develop a relapse prevention plan. Most people that relapse do so only after they start to ignore their self produced document of sobriety. Within this living and changing document are the strategies, inspirations and even phone numbers you'll need when you feel you can no longer resist.

You can make one on your own, but developing a plan in consultation with addictions professionals ensures that you’ve really got something that's going to work, and that accurately reflects the unique threats to your sobriety.

5) Recover and Get Inspired by Others Just Like You

When you try it on your own, it feels impossible; but when you recover in a group with other people that you know suffer the same trials that you do, watching them get better can be a real source of inspiration. Most people working in rehabs are themselves recovering addicts. They know what you’re going through, they know what you need to do to get better, and they understand just how tough it can be. Learn what works from others in recovery, and learn how those people who've done it got sober, and stay sober everyday.

You can’t say it's impossible when you spend time everyday with a group of people overcoming their demons, and with a group that already have.

Get the Help You Need

Some people can make a willful decision to stop using and never get drunk or high again. The vast majority of us are not so fortunate, and need professional help to have any chance of getting sober. It's not easy, and if you’re like most addicts considering help, you’ve tried and failed on countless occasions to quit.

There's no shame in admitting you need help. It takes great courage to reach out in your time of need, but there is tragedy in knowing that you need help and lacking the motivation or determination to get it.

You can get better, you can start tomorrow, and you'll never regret a single thing you do that gets you there.

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Page last updated Aug 05, 2010

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