Why Willpower Alone Isn’t Enough

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When it comes to recovery, it is a mistake to think that having strong enough willpower alone is the secret to overcoming a substance use disorder (SUD.) Finding the right comprehensive treatment for you is key to sustaining a long and happy sober life. Certainly, willpower is a piece of the puzzle, but there are other pieces one needs to persevere through the daily challenges of cravings, triggers, and temptations.

Dependency Changes the Brain

The biggest reason that willpower doesn’t suffice as a lasting solution to recovery is that dependency rewires the brain. The reality of substance dependency is that it is a chronic disease with lasting effects on both the structure and function of the brain, with the brain believing that drugs are as necessary for functioning as food or water.

Through the opposite force of surrendering to their substance abuse problem and admitting it is bigger than them, those with SUD can courageously take the first steps into beginning recovery and being sober. Once they have decided to surrender and commit themselves to sobriety, finding the right combination of treatment to aid them as they learn and grow in recovery is the next step.

More Than Willpower

Exploring the many options of substance abuse treatment may seem overwhelming. There are so many treatment options available, but finding what works best for you is vital to the recovery process. These treatments will bring about real change for an individual in recovery, more than any amount of sheer will since they can bring support to the individual and act as daily reminders.

Below are some of the clinical options that may be included in an individual’s recovery treatment plan:

  • Individual or group therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Psychiatric evaluation and treatment if necessary

There are many complementary, alternative therapies also available, including:

  • Yoga
  • Writing therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Meditation and mindfulness
  • Wilderness therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Spiritual coaching

Now that substance use disorder has been better studied and understood, willpower alone is not a reasonable solution for quitting substances. By trying out different treatment options, you can find a comprehensive, individualized solution for a successful recovery. At Avalon Malibu, we believe in creating tailored substance abuse and mental health treatment programs specific to the individual. We offer a continuum of both clinical and holistic treatment options, so no part of a person’s needs goes unaddressed. If you are ready to enjoy a lasting recovery and get back to living a balanced, joyful life, call us today at (844) 857-5992.

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