22 Jul Why You Can’t Quit Drugs on Your Own
When you’ve reached the end of the line and decide it’s time to quit your drug addiction, you may be tempted to go it alone. Don’t make this mistake. Drugs are very powerful motivators – motivating you to keep using. Do you think you’ll be able to overcome the craving by yourself? It’s harder than you think. Here are some reasons why quitting drugs on your own is a bad idea.
You’re Not In Control
To keep your resolve to quit drugs requires control. Let’s face it. When you’re addicted to street drugs (cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin, etc.) or prescription drugs, you just aren’t in control. The drugs control you, not vice-versa. You may think you’re going to quit drugs, but your mind – and your body – have something quite different planned. Without expert help, you won’t be able to ditch drugs.
You Can’t Think Properly
Related to control is the fact that when you are on drugs you aren’t able to think rationally and logically. Your mind is in a constant blur. Your thoughts may be disconnected, fragmented, or simply gone. You may not even remember that yesterday you promised yourself that you wouldn’t use any longer. Today is a new day, and drugs have taken over your thoughts. In fact, as the interval between the last fix and high lengthens, all you probably think about is your next hit. You need someone else to do the rational thinking for you, as it certainly isn’t your mind at the present that’s able to make logical decisions about quitting drugs.
Your Body Is All Messed Up
Depending on how long you’ve been using and what kinds of drugs you’ve abused – your body can have numerous debilitating conditions. These can include high blood pressure, damage to lungs, nasal passages, chronic cough, pneumonia, heart conditions, infections such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, kidney failure, liver damage, sexual dysfunction, spontaneous abortion (in pregnant women), collapsed veins, abscesses, and many more. Quitting drugs is, in itself, a strenuous physical process. When your physical condition is compromised, you’re not able to go through the ordeal of getting off drugs on your own.
Withdrawal Symptoms Can Be Intolerable
Quitting drugs involves detoxification – and some very nasty withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the drug or drugs you’re addicted to, these can even be life threatening. When you’re in withdrawal, your body can convulse. Your legs spasm and jerk uncontrollably, you get the chills, shiver, sweat, vomit, you feel restless, have muscle and bone pain, can’t sleep, have diarrhea, have severe cramps – the list goes on. Think about these symptoms. Are they really something you think you can handle on your own? You’ll do anything to stop them – and that means you’ll go right back to using and your resolve to quit drugs goes right out the window.
Sudden Withdrawal Can Be Fatal
When you’re in poor physical condition to begin with, withdrawal from certain drugs (such as barbiturates or alcohol), and are heavily dependent to begin with, sudden and unmonitored withdrawal can be fatal. There’s no way to predict whether or not this will happen to you. You are not the best judge of your own body’s reaction. Can you afford to take the chance that kicking drugs on your own won’t result in your own death? After all, quitting drugs is to better your life, not end it. You need professional assistance to get off your habit.
Willpower Isn’t Enough
Addiction is an intense hunger or craving for drugs. It isn’t enough to have willpower. That fades quickly when the hunger takes over and you scheme and rush to get your next fix. In fact, with protracted drug addition, your brain suffers abnormalities that simply make it impossible for you to exert the type of self-control you need to quit drugs. There may even be permanent damage in some areas of your brain that are responsible for self-control. Drug addiction actually changes the way your brain behaves. This means your thoughts and actions aren’t your own any more – they’ve been re-wired with faulty connections. Quitting drugs isn’t hopeless, but it does mean you need help. Admit you need help and then go get it. Don’t tell yourself that you’re strong enough to do this by yourself. You’re not.
Quitting Drugs Takes Time
You didn’t become addicted overnight. You won’t get clean quickly either. It takes time to detox and then time to learn new ways of coping – in other words, you need to allocate several months to re-learn a lifestyle that may only be a foggy memory. You need time to wean your body and your mind off dependence on drugs. When you’re an amateur, that is, someone not trained in rehab or not a doctor, you don’t even know what you’re in store for when you try to quit drugs on your own. Do you have the block of time you can devote to getting clean? Do you really believe you’ll be able to stick to it on your own? Not very likely. Getting help from professionals is the only sure-fire way to get free of drugs.
Medications Aren’t Available On Your Own
As the drugs leave your body, you need help to manage the sometimes severe withdrawal symptoms. This goes beyond talk, which is also important. You actually need drugs or medications specifically prescribed for patients who are weaning their body from the chemicals they’re addicted to. The only way to get these medications (naltrexone, disulfiram, buprenorphine, buprenorphine/naloxone, topiramate and others) is through a doctor. The best way is through inpatient detox at a drug rehab facility. Helping manage the withdrawal symptoms, the insane drug cravings anxiety with appropriate medication will help you quit drugs – but not on your own.
You Can’t Help Yourself In A Medical Emergency
Suppose you do try to quit drugs on your own. You may even make it a day or two. But what happens when and if you experience a severe or life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical care? You may have a heart attack, choke on your own vomit, pass out and hit your head – or get in an accident while trying to drive yourself to the hospital emergency room. Anything could happen – and you’re on your own with no medical assistance available to save your life. With inpatient detox, you have trained professionals monitoring your health and well being 24/7. If you have a medical emergency, they are right there with life-saving assistance.
Who’s Going To Feed You?
While you’re putting yourself through the ordeal of trying to quit drugs, your nutrition and other needs aren’t being met. You certainly can’t be responsible to feed yourself on a regular basis, certainly nothing that’s nutritionally correct. What about keeping your body clean? Drinking enough water and other liquids (but not alcohol)? Without help, your needs simply won’t be met. Another reason why trying to quit drugs on your own is a bad idea.
Friends And Family Aren’t Objective
Suppose you say you have family or friends who agree to help you quit drugs. That’s great, except for the fact that they aren’t objective third parties. They’re emotionally tied to you in a number of ways and certainly aren’t prepared for the rigors of helping you detox. The ordeal can be emotionally draining and physically exhausting. Add to that the fact that they won’t really be able to stop you from going out and using again when the pain becomes unbearable. You’ll be right back where you started. With professional detox and drug rehab, you have compassionate and trained professionals around at all times to help you through your detox and on the way toward recovery.
Going It Alone Is Never The Answer
Remember that quitting drugs is a really hard thing to do. Why subject yourself to the pain and mental anguish of trying to do it alone when there’s an easier and better way? Don’t let the cost get in the way of trying to get help. There are federal, state and local resources available to help. If you are sincere about quitting drugs, there is a way to go about it that will provide a more likely successful outcome. Call a drug addiction hotline for treatment facility referrals. The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) hotline for drug information, treatment and referral is: 1-800-662-HELP. It’s a good place to start to get the help you need.
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