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Why Willpower Isn’t Enough

Everyone suffering from the disease of addiction has experienced a moment when they wanted nothing more than to be free of their dependence on drugs and alcohol. Before thoroughly engaging a process of recovery, our commitments, no matter how strong they were at the time, always failed. This is because addiction is a complex disease that overtakes our ability to simply stop using, no matter how strong our willpower may be.

Willpower alone is simply not enough for someone suffering from addiction to stop using drugs or alcohol. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains, “Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to.” The disease of addiction, in a sense, hijacks the brain in a way that makes our willpower and convictions to stop using drugs entirely fruitless without a process of recovery.

The way chronic drug use alters the brain overtakes one’s ability to exercise willpower. According to David W. Freeman in a 2011 CBS News article entitled Blame Addiction on Poor Willpower? What Doctors Say Now, explains, “the brain’s reward system can change as a chemical named dopamine conditions it to routines that are linked to getting something you’ve found pleasurable, whether it’s smoking, having a few drinks, or overeating. When someone’s truly addicted, that warped system keeps them going back even after the brain gets so used to the high that it’s no longer pleasurable.” Many of us have made promises to stop using, and we meant them with every fiber of our being, but quickly found ourselves returning to drugs and alcohol. The effects of addiction on the brain overtime make substances a priority over all else, and our drug use feels just as necessary to our survival as food and water.

Through recovery, you can find the power needed to overcome addiction and alcoholism.  You can discover a life of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety by making the decision to seek help now. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together the highest quality behavioral health and addiction specialists, spiritual guides, and holistic experts to help you develop all the tools necessary to live a fulfilling life free from the chains of addiction. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431