Does Willpower Have A Place In Recovery?

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

word Willpower on chalkboard

Willpower is our ability to resist temptation.  It is the same as saying no to a second dessert or saying no to buying something you already have.  Willpower in recovery is a separate issue.  For addicts, it is difficult to simply say no to drinking or taking drugs following months or years of abuse.  We have lived a certain way throughout our addiction and saying no might not be a simple option.  The behaviors we engaged in consumed our daily lives with seeking the drugs or alcohol, finding resources to get the drugs or alcohol, using the drugs or alcohol, and making adjustments to hide our drug or alcohol use.  It takes more than willpower but willpower does have a place in recovery.

Willpower in recovery means that you are responsible for your sobriety.  Willpower alone is not sufficient to help you get through the work that is needed in recovery but it can help.  Willpower can be viewed as the willingness to work on yourself throughout recovery and is an important concept to understand.  Having an open mind during recovery can help you to make good choices.  Researchers have suggested that the ability to have freedom over choices during recovery helps to motivate us.  This becomes the “will” in willpower.

When a person decides to stop using drugs or alcohol, the addict will need to admit there is a problem and be willing to make changes.  Also, the addict will need to take responsibility for their actions and recovery.  Recovery involves many changes in most areas of one’s life.  The addict in recovery will make lifestyle changes and learn to be present in recovery both physically and emotionally.

Willpower does not really help one start an addiction, but willpower can help one recover from one.  There are others way to look at willpower in recovery.  There are many changes that take place in recovery.  You will have new support systems, you will learn new coping mechanisms, you will make lifestyle changes, and you will be educated on addiction and the recovery process.  Willpower in this sense can be seen as the “will” to recover and the power to do so.


You have the power to recover. Avalon Malibu wants to help support you in finding serenity in mind, body, and spirit, while building the tools for lifelong recovery. Call us today for a confidential assessment and more information on our programs for primary mental health and substance use disorder treatment: (888) 958-7511

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