Most people do not feel the need to go into rehab until they are experiencing negative consequences. There are legal, marital and occupational consequences. Some people are beginning to have financial problems because of addiction, while others are having drug-related health problems.
Loss of Control:
All of the previously-mentioned scenarios all have one thing in common — there is a loss of control This is when drug use moves from abuse to addiction.
A non-addicted person will stop abusing drugs when he begins to have consequences in his life. Even though you might think that there are a lot of addicts in society today, only 5% of the people who use and abuse drugs end up becoming addicts. The loss of control happens when a person continues to use drugs despite the consequences.
As the drug user’s foundation is cracking, he continues to use drugs. He is in constant torment mentally. This is because he is experiencing a phenomenon known as “characterological conflict” or the violating of his own morals.
Even though many addicts look and act like they have an antisocial personality disorder, this is usually not the case. They do what they have to do to get the drug. But they are filled with self-loathing and hate for themselves. In the rehab world, this self-hatred is called “serious emotional pain.” Now they have to use just to feel somewhat normal. They are fully addicted.
The addict’s life centers around getting the drug and using it. This becomes an endless cycle of characterological conflict, serious emotional pain, and frenetic drug seeking behavior. Addicts are good at covering up their emotional pain and inner turmoil. They use the amount of the drug that it takes for them to “check out” mentally and not have to deal with their addiction.
When the addict finally enters rehab, it is not because he wants to. He has to. He has been mandated there by the court system, the prison, his job, his wife, his kids, or some other highly influential factor. He is backed against the wall. Addicts want to find a way to use without experiencing consequences. But they don’t want to be drug free. Most addicts surround themselves with a wall of defenses so high that they don’t actually see a real reason to quit.
Two Major Areas of Treatment:
In rehab, the recovering addict’s mental mismanagement (denial, wall of defenses, tec.) and his emotional disorder (serious emotional pain) are dealt with simultaneously. These are treated with lectures, reading assignments, cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy and private counseling. Some addicts need to be on antidepressants and mood stabilizers in order to be in a mental state to be able to assimilate and act on what they are learning in rehab.
If both areas of addiction are treated concurrently, the addict stands a good chance of recovering. Of course, there are other important issues dealt with in rehab, but the first two are the most important.
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