When we tell our story to people who have not had to experience the personal journey of addiction and recovery we are often met with the question why. Why didn’t we stop? Why couldn’t’ we see that things had become bad enough? Why did we have to have things become even worse than they already were in order for us to realize they were that bad? Why did we have to use drugs in the first place? Answering why is complicated because the why we have to offer doesn’t make much sense to people who don’t understand. The neurobiology model of addiction offers insight as to how addiction takes over the brain. When it does, it comprises all the areas of the brain associated with rationality, judgment, perception, pain, and decision making. To outsiders addiction doesn’t make sense. To those who have experienced it, it can only make sense if you’ve been there. Here are some of the reasons you can understand if you’re in recovery, or currently addicted, and some of the reasons you might not be able to understand if you are researching addiction for a loved one.
- Low Self-Esteem: Struggling with low self esteem means struggling with an idea of worth. Addicts are known for having especially low self-esteem, driven ever lower by their consistent use of drugs. Convinced of their beliefs that they are not worth anything different or better, they continue to stay in a harmful relationship with drugs because it is what they are used to. Addiction interacts with memory processes in the brain and creates habit. “What they are used to” isn’t a figurative term, but a process happening in the brain.
- Drugs Are Priority: Loved ones are usually shocked by the way someone can put drugs first no matter the negative consequences it is having in their life. Drugs overtake key areas of the brain which make decisions and choose priority, namely the midbrain where the brain’s core order of operations live, like eating and sleep. Drug addiction takes over everything. Avoiding symptoms of withdrawal, maintaining chaotic normalcy, and not feeling worth anything different, adds up to a persistent drug addiction.
Everyone is capable and worthy of change. Change is always followed by action. If you or a loved one is struggling with drug addiction, there is hope in recovery. Helping clients change their lives one step at a time, our treatment programs are designed to change mind, body, and spirit. For more information on our recovery services, call us today at (877) 267-3646.