Anybody who's dealt with an addiction may have asked themselves, How do I stop this cycle? This is a difficult question for a addict to ask themselves and and even more difficult to answer. Most addicts break the cycle periodically, maybe keeping it at bay for a couple of weeks before they give in to their addictions.
However if you're asking yourself this question, chances are you've already taken the first step to being addiction free which is to admit that you have a problem. Unless an addict can acknowledge that they have a problem, they won't be able to confront their own demons. This is why most rehab centers use 12 step programs, to slowly ease an addict into having a drug free life.
This cycle can start in many different ways. Sometimes the addict is struggling with pain, physical or emotional and they turn to their drug of choice to null this pain. As this drug becomes a crutch for their pain, the addict becomes more and more addicted to it. Eventually they come to a point where unless they have the drug, they don't feel normal and they cannot stop. This individual may attempt to stop their addiction at this point, however tackling an addiction by yourself is a very difficult task and many people get overwhelmed. The only way to break this cycle is to get addiction help because the cycle will only continue if you try to break it on your own.
Typically in a twelve step program, the next step is to the acknowledge the existence of a higher power, greater than him or her self. For most people, this higher power takes on the image of God, and for many others it can mean earth or a spiritual being. The higher power itself is not as important as the acceptance that there is something greater than themselves. The higher power is there for the addict to surrender themselves to and choose to stop living a life that was destructive to them.
The next step in the program is to look within yourself. The addict is asked to look at what they have done and the consequences of those actions. They are forced to look at not just how their decisions have affect themselves, but also the ones that are close to them. Honesty is critical at this juncture because the addict will have to face his or her own demons. The addict will also be required to tell the higher power and another individual what they have done and ask for help in removing these flaws.
If the addict has reached this point in the program, they are ask to make amends. The addict is asked to create a list of all those that he or she has brought pain to, intentionally or unintentionally. They are asked to apologize to each person on the list and to try to make amends on their actions. Once the addict can do this, they set themselves free and have to just maintain their abstinence from drugs. This includes staying vigilant and being willing to being wrong.
Breaking the addiction cycle is never easy as it looks, but it is a necessary step for any addict if they wish to have a drug free life. There will be many obstacles to overcome, however a support line such as family and friends is necessary to make sure this works. Just remember to stay alert and stick with the promises you have made.
S. Thomas is a freelance writer who provides articles on a variety of drug and alcohol rehab topics on behalf of a Florida drug rehabilitation center.