Why Addiction Doesn’t Care What Drug Is Used

Why Addiction Doesn’t Care What Drug Is Used

Addiction has many common factors, regardless what specific drug you are addicted to

No matter what substance you are addicted to, be it Xanax, opiates, inhalants, alcohol, depressants or something else, the effects of addiction are the same. Addiction develops in similar ways regardless of the person or type of substance used. Because of this, do not assume that you require a completely new method or approach for treating your addiction. Instead, know you can safely and confidently follow already established treatment methods. For example, the 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have helped countless individuals from all walks of life to overcome addiction. The strategies used by these programs have been proven effective, regardless of the substance that an individual is addicted to. Similarly, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is another very popular method that has worked for many people. The basic structure of CBT, which helps people to change their thoughts, behaviors and feelings, is very effective in helping addicts cope with cravings and relapse triggers.

These treatments do not need to be recreated or torn apart to be applied to help you with your situation. It is normal to feel like no one else understands how you feel or understands your addiction, but that is not true. Over 24.6 million individuals aged 12 or older were current illicit drug users in 2013. It is actually a fear-based form of thinking that makes you feel that your problems are so different that you cannot be helped by traditional treatment. You will move forward once you submit yourself to the recovery process. You still will have the opportunity for specific, unique, personal treatment with a therapist. Your therapist will often use talk therapy, or psychotherapy, as a way to treat your addiction. While this may sound a little scary or awkward, it really isn’t. As you talk about your struggles, you will learn about yourself and you will find growth and healing.

Addiction Often Starts the Same

You did not plan to be an addict. No one does. You may have had some genetic predisposition to becoming addicted, and you were also influenced by your environment and the events you experienced in life. Perhaps you were experimenting with a substance at a party or some other social situation. Once you discovered how the substance makes you feel, you may have wanted to prolong that euphoria by continuing to use the drug. You may have begun using drugs as a way to cope with underlying emotional issues such as stress, anxiety or depression. Regardless of how your addiction started, it most likely began as an innocent-seeming way to relieve stress or have fun. However, once dependency sets in, you now can no longer make the choice to stop using, and may continue to use just to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. Once addiction sets in, it changes neural pathways in your brain, and must be treated like any other chronic disease. Just like type 2 Diabetes or heart disease, you can live a healthy life if you are an addict by participating in continuous treatment.

Addiction Does Not Go Away by Itself

Sadly, by the very nature of addiction many who are addicts will also have times of relapse. Continuous, personal treatment and a strong, healthy support network are two of the best ways to avoid and overcome relapse triggers. Exercise and maintaining a balanced life is another great way to stay healthy. Stay connected to friends, family, and individuals you meet in addiction support groups, as having a string sober support network can help strengthen your recovery. Since addiction is a chronic disease that affects the brain, the more you are tempted the more likely you are to do drugs again. When you limit your exposure to triggers and intentionally surround yourself with a sober network, you will find it is much less stressful to pursue a sober lifestyle. Many individuals find support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous very useful as they are a way to interact with others who face the same struggles. You may even decide to find—or be—a sponsor to help yourself and others maintain accountability.

Replace Your Addiction with Healthy Behavior

Instead of continuing in pursuit of harmful behavior, you can make the conscious choice to improve your life. In the 12 Steps program you make amends for your mistakes, and get help from a higher power. In CBT, you learn to think in a healthier way and disconnect from the past behavior that sent your life spiraling out of control and caused harm to both yourself and the ones you love. Over time, you start to find growth and healing with the guidance received from professionals during your treatment. This does not happen overnight. Rather, it is a gradual process of making good decisions and taking steps that build over time. The step that is right for you could be just talking with a friend right now about the addiction you’ve been hiding from others.

Wherever you are in the addiction process, you can find the support you need by calling our toll-free helpline. You can speak with one of our trained counselors who has experience in the area of substance addiction. Don’t wait—get the help you need today.

Are you ready to seek treatment?

If you are ready to beat a Xanax addiction and start a new life in recovery then we can help. We have admission counselors standing by 24 hours a day to take your email, live chat request, or phone call to get you in the addiction treatment center that best fits your unique & specific needs.