Addiction of any kind can feel like a huge burden. Many addicts even believe they’ll have to live with the burden of addiction for the rest of their lives. However, addiction is treatable and curable, as long as you are willing to commit to turning your life around.
Can you beat addiction on your own? Yes, you can, although we wouldn’t recommend it.
The prevailing view of Alcoholics Anonymous and the National Institute on Drug Abuse is that addiction is a disease that changes your brain structure and function, thus making it difficult for you to control substance use. This means that even if you’re personally willing to quit using drugs, the structure of your brain has been changed by your addiction to the point where you feel physically compelled to keep abusing substances, even though you’d like to quit. Therefore, if you try beating an addiction on your own and without professional help, there’s a high chance that you’ll eventually suffer a relapse.
There have been numerous cases of people beating addiction on their own, without ever seeking help from a rehab facility. However, considering that quitting on your own is potentially dangerous and vastly more uncomfortable, is it worth it?
Why is it dangerous trying to quit addiction on your own?
When you’ve been abusing an addictive substance for long enough, your body develops dependence. This means that your body comes to believe that it cannot function normally without the influence of the substance in question. In the event you abruptly stop using this substance, your body will respond by exhibiting withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms will vary from person to person, depending on the substance that was being abused, the addict’s physiology, amongst other factors. General withdrawal symptoms that occur (regardless the substance of abuse) include: nausea, vomiting, tremors, delirium, intense cravings, diarrhoea, body pains, depression, as well as fever and other flu-like symptoms.
Depending on the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, the experience can be either mildly uncomfortable or painfully unbearable. The severity of symptoms will depend on the level of your addiction. For instance, moderate addictions may give rise to moderately intense withdrawal symptoms, while more severe addictions will give rise to a more intense withdrawal period.
If your addiction is moderate, quitting at home poses fewer health risks, but is still not advisable. If your addiction is severe, quitting at home could prove fatal. This is because withdrawal symptoms can last for anywhere between days and weeks, taking your body through a variety of strenuous episodes.
For example, there is the danger of dehydration, brought on by vomiting and diarrhoea. There is also the risk of asphyxiation or choking on vomit during withdrawal. Most dangerous of all is the possibility of a fatal overdose occurring if you relapse during withdrawal.
By attending a rehab facility, you’ll have access to treatment that won’t only address your symptoms, but can also minimise them to the point that you’ll experience the least discomfort possible. Also, because you won’t have access to your substance of abuse in a rehab facility, the chances of suffering a relapse during withdrawals are far reduced.
How often do people quit addiction on their own?
Many people have quit drug abuse and recovered on their own. However, doing so is almost impossible for individuals with a severe addiction, especially one that involves the use of more than one drug. Simply put, addiction treatment is important for many people – and your chances of making a full recovery from addiction and attaining long-term abstinence will be far more likely if you opt for addiction treatment at a rehab facility.
How do addicts stop of their own accord?
For an addict to stop substance abuse of their own accord, they clearly need to be motivated and possess an iron will. You need to realise that your drug habits are severely compromising your health, future, family, career, and everything else that matters. Once you reach this realisation, you have to be willing to commit to turning things around for the better by changing your lifestyle.
Support is equally important for successfully quitting on your – especially that of a loved one. Finally, you must be willing to drop all activities and associations that influence you to use drugs. This is because having such temptations and triggers in your life gives you a reason to relapse.
A variety of home detox kits are available to help you quit on your own, but keep in mind that these can only help with the physical aspect of addiction treatment, not the psychological.