Once addicted to drugs, because of the changes to the brain, regular use is the order of the day. The addicted person’s level of functioning is reduced as their drug seeking behaviour takes precedence of most else. Personal health and relationships, whether they are family, social or working relationships also deteriorate.
In most instances addiction treatment centers are contacted by the friends and family of the addict seeking advice as the patient themselves rarely believe that there is a problem. Often this phase is referred to as being in denial or pre-contemplative and is a natural state for the addicted person to be in.
Addicted people only begin to seek advice to give up drugs and guidance on how best to achieve this when their awareness has been gently increased by, first gaining their trust, and then reflecting their lives to them.
However this is only the first step. Once the patient is stabilized and is beginning to have an increased awareness into what their drug use has actually been like, they’ll be more open to receive advice from their peers in rehab with them, the addictions counseling team and their family.
Once open to advice the real work starts as that’s when the changes have to be made. It’s immensely scary to realize that your greatest coping mechanisms no longer works and has become your most destructive trait and just about everything in your life needs to be restructured if you hope to have a healthy, clean and sober future.
Admitting that you have a problem is the first hurdle to overcome and is a necessary step in giving up drugs. Often ambivalence and denial can prevent people from wanting to give up drugs and seeking advice to do so.
Often people that want advice to give up drugs experiences so much conflict that they swing from being desperate to give up and then back to wanting to continue drugs without advice and rehab.
People seeking advice to give up drugs sometimes aren’t sure of just how bad their addiction problems are. A part of an addiction is being somewhat deluded to the full implications of the addiction. People often want advice to give up drugs and then regret the decision to seek help. It’s important to understand that this ambivalence and internal conflict is entirely normal and natural and a part of giving up drugs.
Challenged by Addictions Counselors
Once engaged in some form of treatment to give up drugs the counselors may challenge patients towards a different view of events and the realities of their drug taking.
Being open to advice when new in addiction recovery is a real skill and receiving this feedback from those close to you, the addictions counselors and your peers in rehab with you, will be an important aspect of giving up drugs. Being open to advice is a useful way of reducing the delusions and denial associated with active addiction.
The Need for Motivation
Often the motivation to give up drugs was due to the consequences of using drugs, however once withdrawal starts, that motivation can wane and may no longer be sufficient.
New coping skills need to be taught to remain motivated to give up drugs, along with support and encouragement from those around you and perhaps even from other connections with people found in the rooms of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous)
Early Abstinence – Advice on the Second Phase of Giving Up Drugs
This is a difficult phase when learning to cope with life on life’s terms, without the use of drugs can make it tough to focus. Accepting advice from people who’ve given up drugs and been through what you’re experiencing may be useful.
Treatment in the Second Phase
During this phase the withdrawal from drugs has taken place and patients expedience their feet being more firmly on the ground they have in a long time.