One of the biggest challenges people face when dealing with an addition, is overcoming addictive behaviors. Part of the reason for this is because addictions can alter the brain’s chemistry, which makes it even more challenging to kick an addiction. Addictions are harmful not only to the person suffering from the addiction, but also to their family, loved ones, and friends due to the difficulty of breaking the addiction cycle.
Far too often, you might hear someone say they can stop on their own and do not need professional help from a counselling centre. They will try to curb their addictive tendencies using various methods, such as:
- Avoiding friends or situations that encourage the addictive behavior.
- Avoiding places or activities where they can be tempted to give into their addiction.
- Making promises they will stop for their family, loved ones or friends.
- Eliminating the addictive substance or activity from their life and home.
While these are all important aspects to recovery, there are problems the addict will experience when they undergo these processes on their own. Initially, it will appear like they are making progress at overcoming their addiction.
Unfortunately, with certain addictions, there can be serious side effects and consequence the person has not even considered. For instance, with various drugs, simply stopping them is just as dangerous as continuing to use them and the addict has to be slowly weaned off the substance in order to successfully deal with their addiction.
Another issue has to do with the extent of the addiction itself. In moderate to severe addictions, there are often withdrawal symptoms the addict will experience as the substance is fully flushed from their bodies. During this time, it is easy to simply give into the addiction rather than deal with the uncomfortable and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
Furthermore, in mild to moderates cases, some addicts will appear to have kicked their addiction, but instead have replaced it with a new one, which they do not even realize they have done. For example, an alcoholic stops drinking. To help compensate for the urges they will experience and avoid drinking alcohol, they turn to snack foods and consume those whenever they have an urge to take a drink. Rather than actually overcoming their addiction, they have simply transferred it and now, instead of having an addition to alcohol, they have developed an addiction to snack foods.
Transference of addictions is quite common and can actually lead to a person developing multiple addictions. Eventually, without professional help, they will give into their initial addiction, “fall of the wagon,” and be right back where they originally started. Yet now, they will have more than one addiction to overcome.
Another reason people fail when they attempt to manage their addiction on their own is because they are not doing it for themselves. Promising family, loved ones, or friends you will stop is a great gesture, but unless you actually want to stop yourself, it is only a matter of time before you return to your addictive tendencies.
Fortunately, there is help available at Bayridge Counselling Centres when you are ready to overcome your addiction and regain control over your life. Contact us at 905-319-1488 today to learn more or to book an initial consultation appointment.