Attitude and Drug Addiction Recovery
There are many different things that play a role in whether or not you succeed in recovering from a drug addiction – or any type of addiction for that matter. But one of the factors that plays a very important role in your drug addiction recovery is your attitude.
Let’s face it: the path to drug addiction recovery is certainly not all roses and sunshine. It can be a long, arduous one for most addicts. Not many approach it with the same excitement they might have for an upcoming trip to Hawaii. So, if your attitude is not one of “Hey, this will be a really fun adventure,” that’s okay – and expected.
What You May Have to Give Up to Recover from Drug Addiction
You may be focusing on everything you have to give up. Let’s see:
- All my friends who do drugs
- All my drugs – and the pleasure I get from using them
- All the places I used to go to use
- Time (spent in treatment) that I’d rather be using for something much more appealing
Yes. You will have to give up a lot. But you’ll also be gaining a lot. But more on that later.
It’s certainly understandable that starting a drug addiction recovery program is a huge step – and one that should never be taken lightly. It’s a very serious decision. That’s why going into it with the right attitude – the right mindset – can make a significant difference with regard to whether your drug treatment is successful – or whether it ends up being an expensive waste of time.
Personal Responsibility Needed to Recover from Addiction
One of the first questions you need to ask yourself before getting into treatment is, “Am I willing to take responsibility for my life?” (This, of course, includes taking responsibility for your drug addiction as well.)
It’s easy (and very common) for addicts to blame others for their problem – their parents, their friends, their ex, their abusive stepfather, their critical mother, and so on. Unfortunately, as long as you blame anyone but yourself you’re probably not going to be very successful in your drug addiction recovery.
You see, when you blame others, you always give yourself an easy “out” for failure. Blaming others keeps you mired in a victim mentality. Victims, unfortunately, stay stuck. Survivors (or winners), on the other hand, take action and change their situation for the better.
Maybe it’s not a person that you’re blaming. Maybe you’re blaming your unique genetic makeup, your “addictive” personality, your melancholy temperament, God, the cosmos, the really crummy hand you were dealt, or a physical or mental ailment. If you continue to blame some external factor rather than take responsibility, you’re setting yourself up to fail. After all, it’s really hard to put forth the effort to change if you believe you have some fatal flaw or impossible obstacle to overcome.
Necessary Changes You Need to Make to Recover
Another attitude shift that’s necessary for your drug addiction recovery is a willingness to make the necessary changes to ensure success. The road to recovery doesn’t end the day your treatment program does. It’s an ongoing process.
You didn’t become an addict overnight – nor did you become one in a vacuum. Even though blaming external factors isn’t the right approach, it is still important that you acknowledge the role they play in your addiction. Perhaps you had friends or a significant other who enabled you or who encouraged you to use. Or, perhaps you lived in a neighborhood where drugs were readily available and it seemed everyone was using.
For successful drug addiction recovery, those things need to change. Yes, you do have to give up your drug-using friends and you may need to move far away from your old neighborhood. This is the time for a fresh start – one that’s conducive to a clean lifestyle rather than going right back to your old environment, and your old ways.
Conquer Your Drug Addiction for YOU
Many people end up in drug rehab because someone else manipulated, forced, tricked, cajoled, or guilt-tripped them into it. And, while some of them may ultimately succeed, many will end up relapsing – either out of resentment or because they weren’t ready (or willing) to get clean.
Going through drug treatment really needs to be something you want for YOU, not for someone else. It’s kind of like losing weight: if you lose weight to please your spouse, your boyfriend or girlfriend or your nagging mother, you probably won’t keep the weight off – if you lose any at all. But, if you do it because you want to do it for yourself – because you’ll feel better and look better – then you’re much more likely to succeed. The same goes for drug addiction recovery.
Focus on the Gains of Being Drug-Free
We started out by discussing how easy it is to focus on everything you have to give up if you want to get clean and stay clean. But one of the most important shifts in your attitude – and one that may take the most time – is to begin to focus on everything you’ll gain in your drug addiction recovery.
Let’s look at just a few:
- Improved health
- Better relationships
- Ability to think more clearly
- Increased self-esteem
- Improved performance and functioning in all areas of your life
Granted, these aren’t going to happen all at once. Some may gradually occur over a lengthy period of time. But if you can keep your focus on the long-term gains, it’ll make the treatment process much more tolerable – and worthwhile.
You can have a very successful – and lasting – drug addiction recovery. Strive to make these shifts in your attitude to ensure that success!