When a loved one suffers from alcoholism
or drug addiction
, many believe that it is because the individual lacks willpower. But the truth is that willpower is more of a problem than the lack thereof. Alcoholics and drug addicts need strong willpower to feed their obsessions.
The process can be compared to the drive for success in achieving goals. The stronger the desire to attain a goal, the more an individual will prioritize for it. People will sacrifice and take risks to reach goals they believe will improve their lives. Where alcoholism
and drug addiction
are concerned, there is no higher goal than to get the next drink, hit, or fix of their drug of choice.
For those who are unaware, most alcoholics and drug addicts enter treatment only after they “hit bottom”. They have been willing to harm relationships, deplete bank accounts, and suffer legal consequences for alcohol or drugs. The mounting problems did not meet the level of urgency they felt for more of the substance.
The strong willpower, coupled with the physical need to continue using alcohol or drugs, places a brick wall in the way of suggestions to enter treatment. Family and friends are seen as a threat to the relationship they have with a substance because they want to take it away. So the will to protect the relationship grows.
This does not mean it is a hopeless endeavor to suggest treatment before problems pile up. Indeed, it is not likely that demands will work. The approach must be made in a loving manner when the individual is momentarily sober. The best way to break the willpower of an alcoholic or drug addict is to organize an intervention
So the next time someone says to you that alcoholics and drug addicts lack willpower, show them this article. Remember that alcoholics will crawl in the rain at 1:00am, and drug addicts will brave dangerous encounters in dark corners of a park, just to get what they need. That is sheer willpower.
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles
can help with interventions, and provides drug
and alcohol detox
as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare
in alcohol and drug treatment
. If you or a loved one needs help with drug addiction or alcohol dependence, please call us now at 800-996-1051 or contact us here
Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California
in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.