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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

Why do addicts, like me, have such a hard time recovering

Recovery from addiction can be challenging for various reasons, and it's important to recognize that you are not alone in facing these difficulties. Addiction is a complex and multifaceted issue, and several factors contribute to the challenges that addicts often encounter during the recovery process:

  1. Physical Dependence: In the case of substance addictions, physical dependence can lead to withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit. These symptoms can be uncomfortable or even painful, making it challenging to break free from the addiction.

  2. Psychological Dependence: Addiction often involves a strong psychological dependence, where the substance or behaviour has become a coping mechanism for dealing with stress, emotional pain, or life's challenges. This emotional attachment can be challenging to overcome.

  3. Cravings and Triggers: Addicts often experience intense cravings for the substance or behaviour they are addicted to, especially in response to triggers like stress, environmental cues, or social situations. These cravings can make it difficult to resist the urge to use or engage in the addictive behaviour.

  4. Neurological Changes: Long-term substance abuse or addictive behaviours can lead to changes in the brain's reward and pleasure centres. These changes can persist even after someone stops using, making it hard to find pleasure in other activities and contributing to relapse risk.

  5. Social and Environmental Factors: Surroundings and social connections can strongly influence addiction and recovery. Being in an environment or having relationships that encourage or enable addictive behaviour can make recovery more difficult.

  6. Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders: Many addicts have co-occurring mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or trauma. These conditions can complicate recovery and may require additional treatment and support.

  7. Lack of Support: Recovery often requires a strong support system, which may be lacking for some individuals. Having a supportive network of friends, family, or support groups can significantly aid in the recovery process.

  8. Relapse and Shame: Relapses are common on the road to recovery, and they can be demoralizing. Feelings of shame and guilt can further complicate the recovery process, potentially leading to a cycle of addiction.

  9. Complexity of Change: Overcoming addiction often involves making significant life changes, including altering routines, avoiding triggers, and building new coping strategies. Change can be difficult and uncomfortable.

  10. Personal Motivation: A person's readiness and motivation to change play a crucial role in recovery. It can be challenging to find the internal drive to break free from addiction, especially if it has become a central part of your life.

It's important to understand that recovery is possible, and many people successfully overcome addiction with the right support, treatment, and strategies. Seeking professional help, such as therapy, counselling

, or support groups, can be highly beneficial. Remember that recovery is a process, and it may involve setbacks, but persistence and a commitment to change can lead to a healthier, addiction-free life. If you're struggling with addiction, it's advisable to reach out to a healthcare professional or a support group to start your journey toward recovery.


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