It would be really great if quitting drugs were just a matter of willpower. Imagine it—someone realizes that drugs are hurting him or killing him and he says to himself, “You know what? I should really stop doing this.” And just like that, he’s sober! Sadly, this is just a fantasy. In real life, it’s incredibly difficult to just stop using drugs like this. In most cases, a drug addict will need a comprehensive rehabilitation program to really get sober or clean.
Here are some of the reasons why.
Drugs Change the Way You Think
Before using drugs, any individual person has certain priorities in his or her life. It could be a career at the top of the list, or one hobby that requires an extreme amount of time and attention. For many people, family is the most important thing on our minds.
When someone starts using drugs, these priorities change. Getting high or drunk again becomes the most important thing in the world. Why? Drug use is actually affecting the drug addict’s mind. Addiction has taken over the addict’s mind, so that family ties, friends, personal moral standards, nutrition and hygiene are all secondary to the drugs.
In this state, a person can’t just quit. Right after a hit, the addict may think that he can give it up any time, but the more time that goes by after getting high, the harder it’s going to be to deny the urges.
Physical Damage From Drug Use
Drug use doesn’t just affect the mind—it gradually destroys the addict’s body. Someone that wants to quit has to face the fact that his or her body may now have a heart condition, damaged lungs and nasal cavity, collapsed veins, liver disease or many other conditions. Continued drug use can sometimes seem to hide these conditions, but trying to quit is going to bring them screaming out into the open.
Quitting most drugs can be an excruciatingly painful process. In addition to dealing with whatever physical diseases or symptoms are flaring up, your body goes through a number of horrible withdrawal symptoms once the drugs are removed from your system. Depending on what drug you’re trying to quit, you could start convulsing, vomiting uncontrollably, having pain all over your body, constant diarrhea and many other symptoms.
How could any person face all of this on their own? For many people, they simply can’t. You would need a support team at the very least, and professional drug rehabs have trained counselors to help you through this process. You also need someone medically trained to oversee your withdrawal from drugs and the entire detoxification process, because coming off of some drugs can even kill the addict if the process is rushed or done incorrectly.
It Takes Time to Detox
Another important fact to face is that it can take a lot of time for your body to detox from drugs. While getting all of the drugs out of your system will eventually leave you healthier than before, it’s a long painful process that can take days, weeks, or (in some cases) months to completely stop experiencing the withdrawal symptoms.
Can you do this on your own the whole way? The chances are that you can’t. Let someone help you. Get yourself to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility to get yourself clean and sober. Make sure the program you choose has a proven outcome fro results for sobriety. For more information or to understand the criteria for effective treatment see our latest Outcome Monitoring Reports.