Physical and Psychological Detoxing
The most immediate aspect of any program of recovery is to get the person to quit using any substances, for then the body can begin to heal. This often takes place in detox facilities which provide medical supervision and a controlled setting and that is fine as for many people it is a necessary stage in recovery, but the issue of addiction extends far past those physical needs. For someone to become physically addicted to a substance it often takes a fairly significant amount of usage, but to remain clean they must address what issue drove them to that abuse. Otherwise, that cycle of use and addiction will likely recur the first time they are confronted with the opportunity. Part of that cycle is physical and psychological detoxing.
There is a definite correlation between substance abuse and degradation of mental processes like impulse control. The longer a person abuses a substance, the worse their control over it becomes. If left unchecked, they lose all their ability to refuse it and will do almost anything to get it, even things they considered morally reprehensible just a short time ago. The same goes for recovery, the longer a person abused a substance, its hold over them grows in proportion as well as the time required to “de-program” their mental processes. Those images of addicts portrayed in films and television programs are accurate and many people wind up committing criminal acts to fund their habit.
Physical and Psychological Detox
Some people categorize physical addiction as having a clearly defined set of withdrawal symptoms and classify psychological addiction as just the desire for a substance. They do not realize that even a severe psychological addiction can also manifest in similar physical symptoms from withdrawal. The worse a person’s habit is, the stronger the psychological grip a substance has, can lead to panic attacks, anxiety, sleeplessness, irritability and even nausea, the same set of withdrawal symptoms a person suffers during their physical detoxification.
Just as the physical symptoms are treated during detox as they are the most immediate, the psychological aspect of substance abuse takes far longer to unravel. It is only by addressing these issues can the subject ever be truly free of their addiction. For even if a person is not actively using, they can still suffer addictive thinking and spend hours a day thinking about using, remembering and romanticizing past use and those thoughts wear down a person’s resolve. The psychological aspect of addiction is the harder one to treat as it requires time and effort on the part of the addict to identify and unpack the issues that led to their use in the first place.
Getting a person off their substance is just the beginning, as the desire will often haunt someone in recovery for their first year, another reason the newcomer is advised to avoid relationships. Any type of added stressors outside of the normal day to day routine can trigger a relapse, and this is why it can be extremely difficult for someone to successfully kick their habit on their own. For many addicts, a residential detox program is necessary as they cannot take a time out from their life to physically detox, but without addressing those underlying psychological issues the addict has almost zero chance of staying clean.
Another reason so many people have difficulty kicking their addiction is a lack of will power and the fact that humans are free to make their own choices, even when those choices are harmful. Just not taking a drug or picking up a drink is far from enough, as the reasons that caused their addiction remain and usually people require counseling to unpack those issues which drove them to their addiction. Sadly, addictive thinking is what allows that substance abuse to grow stronger as they think, erroneously, that they are capable of stopping whenever they decide. Addicts also frequently deny to others, and themselves, that the problem even exists and the addict will cut off communication with people who might call them out regarding their addiction.
Addiction Treatment in California
These are just a few of the reasons it can be so difficult for an addict to get clean and sober, it takes work and commitment and many people would rather abuse a substance than confront whatever it is that drove them to use in the first place. It can be quite unpleasant dredging up old memories and correcting their thinking but without doing so, they are doomed to remain stuck in their cycle of avoidance and abuse. If you or a loved one who suffers from a substance abuse problem, contact the professionals at MD Home Detox by calling (888) 592-7931 or, click here to email them.