Overcoming an addiction to drugs and alcohol is one of the hardest things you can do. Not only does it involve overcoming a chemical dependency that has practically consumed you, but you’ll have to face painful withdrawal symptoms and evaluate practically every aspect of your life. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s work that will change your life for the better.
With all that being said, it’s easy to assume that you’ll be much happier when you’ve made it through a drug treatment program. Sadly, that isn’t always the case. Yes, you’ll almost certainly be physically healthier by the end of the program, but it’s not uncommon to feel miserable during or after a treatment program.
Confronting Underlying Issues
Addiction to drugs and alcohol is often misunderstood. Many people see addiction as a moral failing, as if it’s your own fault if you use an illegal substance to the point of dependency. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It may have been one bad decision that led you to start using, but there are likely reasons why you made that decision, and none of them have anything to do with being weak or a bad person. People often turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with other issues in their life such as trauma, depression, and anxiety.
Their drug of choice brings them temporary relief from their symptoms, so they keep using until they become addicted. If this describes your situation, it’s not enough to treat the physical addiction; you need to treat the underlying cause that drove you to drugs and alcohol in the first place. That requires unpacking a lifetime of trauma and other emotional issues, which is something that can take years. Confronting these issues can be incredibly painful, even if you do so in a healthy way with the help of a therapist. Combine that with the elimination of your primary means of self-medication, and it’s no wonder why you might be unhappy during and after treatment.
Changing Your Lifestyle
Overcoming an addiction to drugs and alcohol also means changing many aspects of your life. If the majority of your social activities involved drinking and getting high, you can’t go back to your old ways if you want to be clean. This means restructuring almost everything about your old life and cutting ties with many of your old friends. This is just as hard as confronting your own emotional issues with a therapist, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why people relapse. It’s also why having a healthy support system is so important if you want to overcome an addiction, so make sure you keep your healthier friends and family members close when you need someone to talk to.
As we said before, society often isn’t kind to those trying to overcome addiction. Even though addiction is never your fault, it can sometimes feel like it is. Many people feel weak for becoming dependent on drugs and alcohol, and many others feel weak for needing help. As easy as it is to say that this is completely wrong, it’s also impossible to control your own emotions. If you’re predisposed to feeling this way, it will be hard to overcome it.
Undergoing a drug treatment program and overcoming any addiction will be difficult for anybody, and not just because of the physical addiction. The hard work you’ll have to put in will last for years, possibly for the rest of your life. You might have to face some truths about yourself and your past that will make you unhappy, but you will be stronger for it in the end. If you feel like it’s all too much, there is always support available to you. Some of this will be from family and friends, but it can also come from your therapist, a support group, or anything else that can help you cope with your darkest thoughts in a healthy manner. Just know that you can become happy and healthy as long as you are willing to work for it and get help when you need it. It just might take some time.
If you or someone you know has a problem with drugs and alcohol, there is help available. Contact us at 833-762-3739 at any time of the day or night for assistance. Overcoming addiction is always a difficult process, but we will gladly help you get started.