It is not uncommon for drug addicts and alcoholics in the early stages of substance dependency to completely convince themselves that despite their frequent use they can stop using whenever they please. While this may be true initially, all addicts will eventually reach a point in their use when they lose all control over how much and how often they use. This is an absolute and conclusive symptom of addiction – despite negative consequences, the addict will continue using, lacking all control. Once the addiction reaches this point it will be exceedingly difficult to kick a drug or alcohol habit without professional intervention and extended therapeutic treatment. Research has proven that long-term drug use undeniably leads to serious changes in brain function that persist for a significant amount of time after an individual ceases use entirely. The behavioral changes caused by these brain functions will require professional medical treatment in order to be remedied thoroughly and permanently. If you have personally tried to quit on several occasions, finding each time that you pick back up (possibly convincing yourself that you are ‘not ready’ to quit), it may be time to seriously consider entering an inpatient drug rehab.
Can I Do It On My Own?
In some instances, it may be possible to quit on your own. If you have just begun using consistently and want to stop permanently before losing control entirely, simply attending local 12-step meetings and dedicating yourself to working through the steps with a sponsor may be enough. It is important to remember that everyone is different, and while daily attendance at 12-step meetings may work for some, intensive inpatient may be a requirement for others. The most significant factor is how far progressed the disease is at the time treatment is being considered. If you simply cannot go more than several hours without using no matter what, a physical separation from your environment is most likely essential. Drug rehab acts as a barrier from the outside world, eliminating all external triggers, sources, and distractions. Even if you are able to stop using for days, weeks, or months at a time, drug rehab allows the opportunity to uncover and treat underlying causes of addiction and ensure long-term abstinence and a meaningful and fulfilled drug-free life. Thus even if you believe you can do it on your own, the likelihood of relapse is astronomical, and the reality is that true addiction can never be overcome alone.