Although an addict might recognize that they need to quit drinking or using drugs, he or she might continue to do so for many reasons. They might continue to putting off getting treatment and find themselves in the addiction for months and even years later. Of course, the danger of endlessly putting off treatment is that the addiction can lead to jail time or even death. In some cases, an addiction might have caused so much damage to the brain or body that full recovery is no longer possible. This is true of men and women who have been addicted to alcohol and who have developed cirrhosis of the liver. Another example is those who have been addicted to methamphetamine and who incur lasting damage to the brain.
Despite the incredible risks, there are many reasons why people avoid getting the treatment they need. They might know that they need to quit, but continue using drugs or drinking anyway. Some of these reasons include:
- –Feeling ambivalent about whether to continue life as it is or to stop. Wrestling with the pros and cons to both keeps one stuck in the addiction.
- –There might be a significant amount of fear about changing one’s life, which is getting in the way of treatment.
- –There might be some enjoyment, hope, or idea that someone will find happiness in substance use, which only keeps one hanging on to the addiction longer.
- –Someone might have a misunderstanding about what recovery is and their beliefs about recovery might prevent them from seeking treatment.
- –Some addicts are waiting for others to save them from their problems. Their helplessness and powerlessness keeps them stuck in the addiction.
- –Others might be waiting for their lives to improve so that they can begin treatment. They might be waiting for a relationship to get better or their work life to improve. Yet, often addiction only creates a downward spiral.
- –Some might feel fearful of stepping outside of a group of friends that use drugs or drink. They might fear rejection from the group.
- –Others might feel resistant to the idea of getting help. They might feel vulnerable or don’t want to admit that there is a problem.
- –Others might not know how to stop an addiction. They might feel they don’t have the power to seek help and make such a life change.
- –Some men and women may not believe that they deserve a life that’s better than the one they have now. Those who have a low self esteem might feel unworthy of a life filled with happiness and health.
These are very common thoughts that addicts can have and wrestle with for some time before getting treatment. And, sadly, some addicts never have the opportunity to get help. If you’re struggling with an addiction and you’re fighting the idea of getting help, remember that the best time to quit is right now.
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