Why Don't They Just Stop? Addiction and the Loss of Control

Watching a loved one struggling with substance abuse can be incredibly difficult for family members and friends of addicts.

Many people still falsely believe that addiction is a lifestyle choice and that just as people start using drugs or alcohol through choice, they can easily give up voluntarily. However, the nature of addiction is such that it takes intensive inpatient drug rehab treatment to help people overcome its powerful influence.


Addiction is a chronic illness that has a massive impact on a person’s mental, physical and emotional health. However, it is not just the individual abusing drugs and/or alcohol who is affected by addiction. People in close relationships with those suffering from addiction, whether social or professional, can be dragged into a negative spiral which can irrevocably damage even the closest of bonds.

In many cases, it is a lack of understanding about the nature of addiction that often destroys interpersonal relationships. In this article, we provide clarity on how addiction develops to become a compulsion to use drugs or alcohol that is beyond an individual’s control.

Can You Quit Without Inpatient Alcohol Rehab?

Willpower is a controversial subject and many people attach a sense of morality to it, implying that abusing drugs or alcohol is a personal choice. However, this does not factor in the way in which substances work on the brain to create their effects, which in turn creates an increased risk of developing dependence or addiction.

When someone uses drugs or alcohol, they interrupt the brain's neurotransmitters to flood the body with dopamine, which is accompanied by pleasurable sensations. Substances have an extremely intense effect on the brain which can lead to significant damage unless treatment is sought. By interrupting the natural function of the brain through the artificial stimulus of drugs and alcohol on a regular basis, it is not long before tolerance develops.

Tolerance is one of the main indicators of an increasing problem with substance abuse and can often provide an early signal that an individual requires inpatient alcohol rehab. Tolerance is marked by the emergence of withdrawal symptoms when the person is not using, which may start off as relatively mild flu-like symptoms, but often become much worse without inpatient drug rehab.

Withdrawal symptoms indicate that the body is craving the substance the person has been abusing regularly and unless treated, they can become extremely severe, sometimes life-threatening. Withdrawal symptoms are only alleviated by taking more of the abused substance or by passing through withdrawal in supervised detox at an inpatient rehab center.

It is this physical need to use substances to reduce withdrawal discomfort that generally signals a developing addiction.

Compulsive Behavior

When someone is using substances simply to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, they are no longer in control of their alcohol or drug use. One of the main characteristics of addiction is that individuals will feel compelled to use without any sense of rationale or logic, despite the havoc substance abuse is causing them.

Many people struggling with substances will be aware of the fact they’ve lost control but their behavior is no longer considered. It is not unusual for an addict to make several attempts to give up as they recognize they are unable to control their habit but without professional inpatient alcohol rehab, they are very rarely successful.

Unfortunately, it is the compulsive behavior that characterizes addiction that often drives a wedge between the addict and their loved ones. This is mainly because of the disconnect people have in recognizing that their loved one can’t seem to stop using alcohol or drugs, despite pleas for them to do so. Consequently, addictive behavior is perceived as selfishness, sometimes even narcissism, whereas this is very far from the truth.

Inpatient Rehab Helps Families Heal

Residential or inpatient rehab is considered to be most effective in treating substance abuse and it can also provide respite for loved ones along with a source of healing for them also. Removing the addict from their environment not only gives the family and friends the space to deal with the aftermath of addiction, but it also allows the patient to focus entirely on overcoming their illnesses.

Inpatient rehab is heavily structured, which means there is little downtime to dwell on obtaining or using drugs or alcohol. Along with other treatment components, family counseling will generally be offered to provide a platform from which relationships can be rebuilt. Education and awareness of addiction illness are also provided both to the addict and their loved ones so that everyone is on the same page in managing recovery.

Although addiction affects the individual abusing substances the most, they are much more likely to achieve long-term recovery if they feel supported by their families. For this to be possible, it is often essential to educate everyone concerned about how addiction works, which improves communication between family members. With the right kind of professional inpatient drug rehab, it is possible to overcome even the most severe addiction to go on to enjoy a happy and fulfilling life with the full support of family and friends.
 
 
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