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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

Continuing the fight against drug addiction

The nature of addiction is that it is polarising, to the point where it takes over practically every aspect of an individual’s life. When an individual experiences addiction, they go through different phases. Something that is often – if not always – a shock, however, is how quickly addiction can capture a person, taking over their lives. In the case of drug addiction, for example, the severity of the pills and potions that people pump into their bodies can have a dramatic effect on their quality of life, becoming fatal far quickly than other addictive substances. We hear a lot about addiction. It seems to always be in the media, surrounding us in everyday life. Rather than focusing on the addiction itself, this piece is about focusing on the recovery process.

The process of seeking help is very much a system of catch and release; unless the individual is ready and willing to undergo the rehabilitation process for themselves and themselves only, there is a very real chance that the treatment may not take. This is something that drug addicts struggle with the most, this concept of something not quite working out, no matter how hard they try to keep it in check. Drug addiction affects everyone differently. There are various studies and research models on the effects of drug addiction on men versus women. The criminalisation of drug use is necessary and understandable to a point, but it also alienates addicts from feeling like they can comfortably come forward about needing help. Of course, this is a problem.

To even get to the point that rehabilitation is a remote possibility takes immense courage and self-discovery. For an individual to make the decision that they are ready to go to a rehabilitation centre, there are a lot of points in the process to go through. Often, drug addicts are so stuck in their habits that they sometimes do not even realise that they have a problem. The experience is so immersive that it becomes their normality, and they do not even notice the drastic changes taking place in their everyday lives. Because of the addiction, they become so dependent that breaking the habits to make healthy changes seems impossible. This first stage is often – if not always – the most difficult for drug addicts (or anyone with an addiction, for that matter) to surpass.

Addiction of any kind is an incredibly rough experience to go through. There is not a person alive that would tell you that they want to be addicted to a substance that has the potential to destroy them and their very lives. And yet, this is a problem that countless individuals all over the globe are dealing with every single day. Breaking the patterns and making healthy decisions to instil positive life-changing choices is something that is hard to understand unless one has been there. And yet, all over the world there are rehabilitation centres that work with addicts to bring them to a place and a time in their lives of peace – with themselves, with their demons, and with their stance in life. This is often when the change begins to become possible, and people become ready to seek the help they have needed for so long before this moment. This is the pivotal point in the process.

Finding a rehabilitation centre is a process that can take some time. Not every centre will yield the same results for every drug addict, and they must find the place where they feel safe, supported, and encouraged to break through the barriers that are holding them back from pursuing a healthy lifestyle again. The rehabilitation centres that focus on the individuals, rather than the groups that go through their programs, are the ones that tend to have the biggest success rate across the board. This is because these are the programs that are built on foundations of personalisation and individual programs, and addicts feel safest when they feel like they are cared for carefully and accurately to their specific journey.

Drug addiction is one of the most harrowing forms of addiction there is, because its power takes hold so quickly that it is a shock to the system before an individual can even fully realise what has happened. The recovery process for a drug addict, like any other form of addiction, is very much a process of give and take, catch and release. Only when the individual is completely ready to seek help and make positive changes, can they be sure that treatment is going to stick. More than ever, with the rising rates of addiction the world over, we need to be honest, open, and supportive to all we know dealing with drug addiction. Their lives depend on it. And one day, it could be us that is calling out for support.

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