Addiction is not a death sentence. Unlike far too many terminal diseases, getting addicted to a drug does not guarantee an overdose, or an otherwise painful death. With the right treatment, and the right people, you can get better and kick addiction – no matter how long you’ve been struggling.
There is no time limit for rehab, no point in life where giving up drugs has stopped being an option. No matter how many years you feel you’ve been trapped and enthralled, you can still turn your life around.
It’s Definitely Not Too Late To Kick Addiction
Addiction only “wins” when you stop trying to get better. And until the day you pass away, every waking moment gives you the opportunity to get help and reclaim your life. It’s never going to be too late, until the day you die.
Understanding that means understanding that no matter how powerless and lonely you feel, you do have one small modicum of power – the ability to ask for help and find that help. Sober living programs and treatment clinics exist across the country, and most forms of health insurance will even shave off a significant amount of the cost from addiction treatment.
You’re not alone. Elderly addiction is a growing phenomenon, and from alcoholism to drug abuse, a growing number of aging Americans will have to face down their addiction and get treatment over the coming years. By 2020, the numbers are estimated to be 60% higher than they were in 2000. The takeaway, however, is not just that addiction is becoming a growing issue in America – it is that there’s always hope for getting better. Even just brief abstinence has shown to improve quality of life and reduce the risk of certain illnesses, like liver failure and cirrhosis, while helping add on numbers to a person’s life expectancy.
So long as you live and think and breathe, you can fight this – and if you keep fighting, the addiction will never win. But for many, time and time again, relapse or tragedy puts them back in the hole and takes them out of that mentality of strength and determination. Keeping motivated and staying in recovery requires immense willpower and a solid social structure – it’s important to have a clear reason in mind for why you want to kick addiction and be sober, aside from staying on this planet a little longer.
Why You Should Get Sober
Sobriety at its core means not being intoxicated.
But to stay sober, you’ve got to fight. And fight hard. Drug cravings are incredibly powerful and become more powerful the longer you’ve been addicted – breaking away from an addiction fully and ignoring the temptation can take years.
That’s where motivation comes into play. People need reasons to stay sober, other than not wanting to be addicted anymore. With sobriety and abstinence come a whole host of benefits. Many of these benefits may seem almost foreign to someone who has been fighting addiction for years and decades – but they’re worth the fight to get there.
For one, when you kick addiction it means seeing things more clearly and being able to experience life for what it is. At first, this can be incredibly scary and unbelievably painful. Confronting your past with sharp sober clarity can bring up some powerful emotions, including anger, shame, and sadness. This makes early recovery so difficult and dangerous: the emotional rollercoaster of experiencing real joy and happiness, alongside the potential for crushing depression and thoughts of shame.
As time passes and you learn to process your thoughts and emotions with more clarity and honesty, you will find the opportunity to take these moments of pain and convert them into times of learning and forgiveness. All the people you’ve wronged and the mistakes you’ve made will at first coalesce as sobriety begins but clear up and open a way to self-acceptance.
That is when sobriety becomes worth it. After the initial trial, you’ll find new ways to enjoy life, you’ll find it in your heart to open to others and make new friends, and you’ll find that there is so much more to life than getting high or looking for the next one to avoid the physical and emotional pain of withdrawal.
There’s More Help Than Ever
We have come a long way in addiction treatment over the past few decades. Therapies and programs are no longer cookie-cutter, build upon addressing an individual’s unique circumstances and grievances rather than a classic once-size-fits-all approach, and treatments today are data-driven, backed by science, statistics, and decades of research rather than unproven concepts and faulty ideas.
The growing pains for addiction treatment are in the past, and we are fast approaching an age of bountiful innovation, with solutions built upon psychotherapy, a combination of emotional, physical, and social treatments, and a greater understanding of addiction and its relationship with the body, with stress, with mental illness, and other related factors.
There is no perfect treatment – but there are plenty of treatments to choose from, enough for anyone to find their best way to getting better and staying sober. All you need to do is sign into your nearest reputable treatment facility or reach out and ask for help from friends or family.
You Can Start Today
There is no limit on when you should start your treatment, and no reason you can’t start on the path to kick addiction today. You don’t have to show up to a clinic and sign yourself up for residential treatment – but you can take the crucial first few steps towards long-term sobriety by deciding to get help.
Look in the Mirror
Step one is always admitting to yourself that you have a problem – a severe one – and accepting that you need help trying to beat it. Some people mature out of addiction over time, or even quit on their own – but many do not, and as the years go by, being passive about the problem will not help.
To that end, you must look into the mirror and ask yourself if you really care about quitting. If you do, then you have taken the first step.
Help can come in many forms – from asking a friend to go check out a facility with you, to asking your family or friends to help you fight addiction, or to finding a professional on your own and signing up for treatment, there are many ways to start your recovery. The best one is the one you start with on the journey to kick addiction for good.
Remember What’s Important to You
It’ll be a long road until you get to a point where you can feel comfortable in your sobriety. Getting the cravings under control and living a happy life in a world filled with stress and temptation can take years of training and dedication – which is why it’s important to have something to hold onto.
For some it’s a dream, for others it’s family. What gives you a reason to keep going? Find it and never let go.