There are many addicts seeking sobriety who will fail. Many will
relapse in the first few days. For them repeated attempts are necessary but still, some people will never become sober again. There are many reasons for this unfortunate fact.

Understanding the Dangers of Continued Substance Abuse

People who fail to escape their addiction face a real danger because:

  • Addiction is a downward spiral. Over time a person’s situation will continue to deteriorate until the point of death.
  • The longer a person is in the throes of active addiction, the more likely they are to lose their battle. They’ll continue until they hit such a low rock bottom that they’re unable to recover from it.
  • Any time spent trapped in addiction is wasted because the person can’t live their life to the fullest or reach their greatest potential. While the addict’s delusional thinking leads them to believe that their addiction is making their lives more bearable, it’s really the source of their suffering.
  • Regardless of what you’re addicted to (e.g. alcohol, drugs), it’ll cause a lot of damage to your body’s mind and organs. The longer your addiction continues, the more likely this damage will be permanent.
  • The longer the addiction continues, the more family and friends will also suffer and the harder it will be for an addict to escape from their addiction since it consumes their self-esteem making them feel helpless. Eventually, addicts also start believing that they deserve to suffer.

Hitting Rock Bottom and Being Willing to Quit Addiction

Most addicts go through periods when they’re more willing to quit than at other times. This typically happens out of remorse for something they’ve really messed up on. It may also happen when they’re suffering from bad hangover symptoms. During these times addicts can’t deny how bad their situation is and so they want to stop.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t guarantee their success. Instead, it becomes a pattern unless action is taken immediately.

Hitting rock bottom is only good on a subjective level because it doesn’t guarantee success. Unfortunately, for some people, it’s not even good on a subjective level because it means death or losing their sanity. Nevertheless, the addict must conclude for themselves that they’ve lost enough and don’t want to lose anymore.

Why Some Addicts Still Continue Their Addiction After Hitting Rock Bottom

Alcohol Rehab says there are many reasons why people fail to give up their addiction even after hitting rock bottom, including:

  • Denial is an easy state to return to
  • They’re ambivalent about sobriety – while they understand its benefits, they still believe there’s some pleasure left in their addiction
  • Without help it’s difficult to escape addiction
  • People are afraid of facing withdrawal symptoms because they’ve grossly overestimated their discomfort
  • People around them who are still in active addiction may discourage them from getting sober
  • The longer the delay, the more excuses addicts can find
  • Most addicts have low self-esteem, so they underestimate their value and abilities
  • Most people fear change even in the worst circumstances
  • Motivation may wane after a few weeks if the addict doesn’t get enough support
  • They’re unwilling to take control and make things happen but prefer others to do so for them
  • Unrealistic expectations of life automatically becoming easy can set them up for failure

Overcoming Addiction

For those addicts who really want to become sober again, it is possible. They’re the ones who are willing to overlook all the excuses and stop creating reasons for delaying sobriety. They’re also the ones who truly look forward to creating the type of life they really want and deserve. There are several ways addicts can gain their sobriety, including:

  • Making sobriety their number one priority in life: It’s important for them to not allow anything else to get in the way of their recovery. They must understand that failure here is not an option because it will result in them losing everything.
  • Choosing to do whatever it takes to remain sober: This is a hard attitude to obtain but once a person has it, they won’t be able to fail. Taking responsibility here means being open and willing to make the best use of any and all resources that are presented – like
    staying in a transitional living home. By being open-minded they’ll reap even bigger rewards than someone who’s being closed-minded and arrogant. For one, they’ll be able to learn the skills that are needed to build a successful life away from their addiction.
  • Realizing that withdrawal symptom is never worse than having mild flu: While this may not be comfortable it’s important to realize that this only lasts for a short amount of time. Since you’re in a rehab center your treatment team will do their best to help you remain comfortable. However, you must understand that the benefits of this short, uncomfortable period will far outweigh any negative aspects.
  • Immediately entering rehab: This will greatly increase their likelihood of being successful with recovery since there’s no guarantee that the same willingness to get sober will exist the next day or in the weeks to come. Rehab ensures that people can make it through the difficult first weeks. It also helps them create a strong foundation upon which they can build a sober life.
  • Understanding that recovery is a process, not an event: The individual must be willing to accept that they must invest continued effort if they want to remain sober. While you may be given a “graduation day,” this is a lifelong process.
  • Creating a new group of friends: Anyone who wants to stop their addiction will need to create new friendships. This is important because whomever you spend most of your time with is who will influence how you act. Some people believe they can simply limit the time they spend with these people, but this places them at too big of a risk of having their friends drag them back into their addiction.
  • Letting go of thinking they can safely use drugs or alcohol again in the future: Having an ambivalent attitude towards recovery will only set them up for guaranteed failure. This is why so many people must go through rehab more than one time.
Author's Bio: 

Elianna Hyde has been a freelance writer since 2009. She has attended the University of California and graduated with masters in public health. She has been writing on health and lifestyle topics for a while.