How We Become Drug Addicts
We use drugs because they help us cope. Whether the problem is shyness, lack of confidence, wanting to feel calmer or, wanting to feel more energetic, etc., a drug that helps us overcome such problems is likely to be perceived as extremely valuable. The more we feel unable to deal with the problems, the more difficult it is to stop using the drug. At some point, biology kicks in and we become not only psychologically and emotionally dependent on the drug, but we also become physically dependent as well. The body adjusts itself to the drug so that it literally becomes a part of us. We may not even recognize a drug addiction as such at first, because it seems like just one of those little things we do to get through the day.
Maybe people you care about told you that it upset them when they saw you high. Maybe you woke up and couldn’t remember where you were or how you got there. You began to worry that you might have a drug addiction. If quitting has crossed your mind, then some part of you understands that what you have been doing is unhealthy, and you need to stop.
How to Quit
Given that getting addicted to the drug was a complicated process, quitting it and getting on with your life drug-free will be an equally if not even more complicated task. Removing the addiction from your life will be traumatic on several levels. It is important to be prepared for a struggle as you enter into the relatively confusing recovery period. Professional support can help you recover strengths you lost when you succumbed to the addiction. It can also help you learn basic coping skills for reintegrating yourself into society drug-free. The problems and situations that led to the drug use and subsequent drug addiction can be addressed in counseling and behavior therapy sessions.
Regret versus Shame
Sadness and regret over time lost due to drug addiction can be healthy, but going overboard with feelings of shame and guilt will get in the way of the recovery process. It is important not to prolong your dysfunction by engaging in self-defeating feelings of shame that further prevent you from rejoining society. Counselling can help you clarify your thinking in order to get you on track again, but it is vital that you realize for yourself just how destructive shame can be to your well-being.