The Psychological Strength of Drug Addiction
You may think that drug and alcohol addiction is just about the chemicals. Yes, the person may get a big high or get really drunk, but they could really quit if they just got their will power in gear. Right? Wrong. Find out how strong the psychological part of drug and alcohol addiction can be in a person’s life.
Compulsion To Keep Using Drugs and Alcohol
Drug and alcohol addiction allows the formation of a very destructive process called compulsion. This is a strong uncontrollable urge to do a certain thing. When a person finds that excessive drug or alcohol use helps them cope, they may start thinking about it a lot. And when they start thinking about how much the prefer being stoned or drunk, they really really want to do it.
When a person gives in to the compulsion to drink or use, they set up an ever-shortening feedback loop of instant gratification. The quicker they give in, the more they are conditioned to continue feeding that urge. And since they have little practice controlling that urge, it is usually perceived as practically impossible to overcome. They must drink or use, and right now if at all possible. Everything else falls to the wayside including family priorities, work, and financial situations. As the compulsion strengthens, the next process takes hold – addiction thinking.
I have described this phenomenon many times on the blog. Addiction thinking is how an addiction preserves itself in a person’s life. OK, it may sound strange that I’m referring to an addiction as some kind of living parasite. But in a way, it makes sense. The addiction does whatever it can to sustain itself, no matter how destructive it may be to its human host.
Addiction thinking will twist logic around so the addicted person truly believes they don’t have a problem. The person will lie, minimize their drug and alcohol use, make up excuses, steal money to support their habit, and break promises to people they love. Their compulsion demands that they do so to keep pace. Sounds cruel, but addiction thinking is all about pure survival.
Drug Treatment Helps With Psychological Addiction Problems
When a person goes through drug treatment, they will learn all about their compulsions and their addiction thinking. They will understand how it all works together and some ways to make it less powerful over their lives. There is no guarantee that they will never feel another compulsion or have a period of addiction thinking come back. But they can learn how to live with the psychological aspects of drug addiction and stay on the side of sobriety.
Photo credit: foto footprints