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Recovering from addiction can be a pleasurable experience

Addiction is often viewed as an offense rather than a disease. However, most people are unaware of the fact that like any other disease, even addiction requires treatment and care. In reality, drug abuse is a primary, chronic disease of the brain leading to biological, social, psychological and spiritual repercussions. Sadly, the stigma surrounding addiction compels a person fighting substance abuse to be ill-treated, alienated from the society and often be in isolation.

However, when a person battling with drug addiction decides to quit the habit, he or she is reluctant to go through the treatment process due to the widespread misconception that it is highly painful. They believe that the recovery process not only causes unbearable pain, but also requires the patient to undergo therapies and processes that are torturous rather than comforting. Hence, many people prefer to stay away from the rehabilitation centers thinking that it might lead to deprivation.

To increase awareness about the benefits of recovery process, a 2015 study by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) called the recovery treatment as a reward rather than a deprivation. Apparently, people suffering from an addiction consider the addictive substances as their support for living, and thus, when there are asked to stay sober, they think that life without them is deprivation and for them, kicking the habit seems like a dreary task.

Behavioral activation combats lure of drugs and alcohol

Every addictive substance releases dopamine, the neurotransmitter in the brain associated with the pleasure of receiving rewards. Though the chemical is naturally released by the brain, an influx of addictive substances increases its rate of release, resulting in euphoric effects in the user. This experience lures people to use the addictive substance time and again, ultimately leading to an addiction. Moreover, such people cannot imagine their life without the addictive substance, and hence, consider the treatment more as a deprivation than a boon.

It has been found that behavioral activation, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), also helps in combating the allure of drugs and alcohol. CBT includes talk therapy to manage the issues of addiction and mental illness by inducing changes in the behavior and way of thinking of the patient.

Interestingly, involving oneself in activities as minor as cooking something new, planning a party, visiting monuments and exhibition or doing exercise can help someone stay away from an addiction. “These activities can replace the time and energy that they had been spending on addictive behaviors, enabling them to experience pleasure without the devastating consequences of alcohol or drug use,” said Glasner-Edwards, principal investigator at UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs. Eventually, the drug user might find these activities much more pleasurable than their addiction and thereby, considering recovery treatment as a reward rather than a deprivation.

Attaining sobriety is equivalent to waking up from a nightmare. Only the patients who wish to continue with their addiction, think of recovery treatments as a deprivation. However, only after undergoing the treatment process can a patient differentiate between a sober and an addictive life. Precisely, recovery introduces them to a new level of happiness, pride and freedom. Many also tend to discover their hidden talent while following the path of behavior activation, wherein they invest their time in doing constructive activities rather than wasting time and money on addiction.

Seeking professional help

It is important for every patient suffering from addiction to seek medical treatment at the earliest.  If you know someone who is addicted to any substance, contact the 24/7 Recovery Helpline for seeking the best substance abuse treatment centers. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online with our experts to know about addiction treatment centers near you.

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