If you're struggling with drug addiction, you might feel like it's an uphill battle that you can't beat it. This is completely normal, but it's also not the truth. You can beat addiction, whether you're struggling with pills, alcohol, or any type of drug. It's not guaranteed to be an easy road, but getting your life and freedom back is worth it.
At least 75% of people recover successfully
Despite the perception that recovering from addiction is hard, at least 75% of people who seek treatment successfully recover from addiction. That's a promising statistic. It means the deck isn't stacked against you – it's actually in your favor.
Addiction can be extremely destructive, but it's not impossible to beat. It's just not commonly known because the people who rebuild their lives don't usually talk about it, unless they become a popular speaker. Even then, they don't really get featured in the news so their stories rarely reach the public.
It's also interesting to note that one study found around 80% of people who recovered from addiction achieved something associated with self-improvement, like getting a degree, a new job, or they started volunteering. This should give you hope for your future because there is life after addiction.
Addiction is highly psychological
If you think recovery is hard because of biological addiction, think again. Healing the psychological aspect of addiction can help you recover faster, and it's best to treat both at the same time. One isn't more important than the other, but the psychological aspect is often left behind, and when you include it in your recovery, you'll have a greater advantage.
You've probably learned that the physical body becomes addicted to substances easily, and that's true. There is a strong physical component to addiction. For example, nicotine goes straight to the central nervous system and creates an arousal response that becomes addictive. When smokers go without nicotine for a certain period of time, they begin to experience cravings, depression, anxiety, and other symptoms.
The same is true for alcohol addiction, and some people need to be heavily monitored as they taper off alcohol because stopping too quickly will put their body into chaos.
There's also a psychological component to addiction. For instance, when someone drinks alcohol to escape a painful situation, it becomes an emotional crutch. Some smokers are psychologically addicted to going out to have a cigarette as a way of relieving stress throughout the day. In these cases, the physical act of drinking or smoking is also addictive because it becomes the primary method for getting relief. Anytime stress is experienced, the go-to will be the addiction.
What's interesting is that some people are able to beat their addiction by addressing the psychological components alone. This is why drug addiction counseling is an essential step in your recovery process. You need to address both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction to fully recover. Otherwise, when you experience those triggers, you'll want to go right back to the addictive substance.
Even if you have a strong biological addiction to a substance, therapy can help you work through all the reasons you don't want to give it up, and all the reasons you're resisting healing so that you can finally heal. Therapy can also provide you with the support necessary to sustain your recovery and avoid relapsing.
It's time for the narrative to change
The usual narrative is that addiction is a condition that doesn't have much room for improvement and the chances of recovering are slim. The truth is that addiction has a good prognosis and people experience a significant improvement in their lives while they are in recovery – and even afterward.
If you've been struggling with addiction and aren't sure you can recover, remember that 75% of people do recover and go on to do good things with their lives. Research also shows that recovering from addiction can improve resiliency to other addictions.
That's even more promising because there is a myth that once people recover, they will just substitute with another addiction, and that's not actually true.
The key to succeeding is getting treatment as fast as possible and connecting with an addiction therapist to support you along the way. Regardless of the severity of your addiction, you can recover and improve your quality of life.