Dictionary.com defines the word willpower as "control of one's actions and impulses," and many people believe that drug addictions can be broken simply by the addict using willpower to do so. If you are not an addict, you may also think this is true, but it is honestly not that simple. Breaking a drug addiction is one of the hardest things people ever have to do, and trying to break an addiction with willpower alone is typically not enough.
Drug Addiction Is a Disease
According to experts with addictions, drug addictions are diseases. A person who becomes addicted to drugs will experience major changes in his or her brain. To break the addiction, it takes overpowering the brain, and this takes time and work. In fact, even after breaking an addiction, a former drug addict may struggle with cravings and temptations for the rest of his or her life. This is all because the addiction is a disease.
What Willpower Is
Many people believe that drug addicts have the choice to use drugs or not, but it is not really that simple. A person can have willpower and make the choice not to use drugs, but this alone does not mean he or she will not use drugs. The person might even go through all the right steps to stop using, which can include changing where he or she goes, dropping old friends, and getting rid of all drug paraphernalia. Making these changes requires a decision, a choice, willpower, but this on its own does not guarantee that the person will not go back to drugs at some point.
How People Break Addictions
So, if a drug addiction is a disease and willpower is not enough to break the habit, what will work? Well, there are a lot of different types of treatment options people use to stop the habit, including outpatient drug treatment therapy. This form of therapy is designed to allow a person to stay living at home while receiving treatment. The person must attend meetings and classes that teach the students about drug addictions. Addicts will learn why they are addicted, the effects the addiction has on their brain, and ways to avoid relapsing. They will get drug tested while there, and they will meet people that can help encourage them to stay clean.
To break a drug addiction, a person must make the choice to do so, and he or she must seek help for it. Breaking an addiction is hard and is not something most people are able to accomplish on their own. If you know someone with an addiction, contact an outpatient drug addiction treatment facility, such as Evergreen Recovery Centers, to learn more.