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Drug addiction is classified as a disease, but that doesn’t mean that the addiction is entirely physiological. There is also a psychological dependence that is very real and just as difficult to break. In fact, long after physical cravings for drugs have ceased, there can still be emotional cravings that are much harder to overcome. Explore why psychological dependence on a drug is so difficult to break.
One of the biggest reasons that individuals turn to drug use in the first place is a desire to escape a current life situation or change something they don’t like. For instance, someone stuck in a career path that seems unfulfilling, or a marriage that is violent and unloving, might turn to drugs to alleviate those feelings.
After being treated for the physical symptoms of a drug addiction, these individuals won’t magically have a better life situation as a result. The career choices, the relationships and the lack of happiness may still be there just like before. As a result, the same psychological cravings can still appear.
In order to break this particular psychological reliance and desire for drugs, it is necessary to combat the problematic life situation. Gaining self confidence is often helpful in terminating unhealthy relationships or making moves to find a life path that brings fulfillment and happiness.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there are nearly eight million individuals in the United States who suffer from mental health conditions as well as substance abuse or addiction. Clearly, there is a significant link between the two. In many cases, the psychological dependence on a drug is a result of a mental health disorder. Patients suffering from bipolar disorder, for example, may feel that they need to rely on illicit drugs in order to appear or feel normal.
During withdrawal, during rehab and even weeks or months after addiction treatment is completed, patients can struggle with things like depression and anxiety. These conditions are often temporary, and may be a result of the addiction. However, they can absolutely make it harder to resist the psychological cravings that are present among those trying to recover from drug addictions.
An addiction to drugs can also change the reward system in the brain. After continued use of drugs, individuals may only be able to associate pleasure with the drug itself. Taking away the drugs, then, can result in unhappiness or feelings of longing.
It may feel that the only way to have pleasure or enjoyment again is through drug use, hence the psychological dependence. Thankfully, however, these feelings will fade with time and appropriate treatment.
Another aspect of psychological dependence on drugs has to do with routine. If someone is used to administering or consuming drugs at a specific time on a daily basis for months or even years, it will be very challenging to change that habit. Some experts say that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, which may help tremendously during rehab.
Some of the ways to end a psychological dependency on drugs will be covered in rehab treatment and ongoing addiction treatment. These treatment methods can include the following:
Breaking a psychological dependence on drugs is challenging, but we can help make it possible. Call Beaches Recovery in Jacksonville FL, at 866.605.0532 to start living the sober life you deserve.