A person with an addiction problem , in the early stages of addiction, cannot see it as such. Therefore he or she does not realise the need to ask for guidance, support and help. They may feel frustration, helplessness, confusion, despair but still there is no request for help or intention to change as there is no awareness of the problem or perception of the risks it may entail.

Once the addicted person is able to see and recognize the existence of a problem, and accepts that he or she needs help, it is very important to start and go through a complex path of recovery to stop this harmful behavior, among other things…

We’ll now look at the consumption logic behind addictions, why it’s good to seek help to get out of them as soon as possible , and where to start.

Reasons to seek help for addictions

Below you can see why proper withdrawal from a substance is necessary to get out of the serious problem of addiction.

1. Stopping consumption is the beginning

When you stop consuming, you start to go through the different situations of daily life in a new way, with the reactivation of your own resources and without the need to consume substances. It is essential to become truly involved in a specialized treatment , which starts with stopping consumption (detoxification and cessation stage) and continues with the construction of healthy life habits, the elaboration of personal growth projects, the improvement of ways of relating to others, and new ways of resolving intra- and interpersonal conflicts.

2. Protective factors are identified

In a specialized treatment for addictions, work is done on the strengthening of potentialities and capacities . For example, it will be important to observe and strengthen if the person has the capacity to make decisions, to control emotions and impulses, to observe him/herself (to know oneself more and better). In addition, self-esteem is improved, and the presence of support networks that accompany this person and the motivation to study and/or work also constitute other valuable protective factors.

In this way, the person tries to build up, through therapy, a knowledge about his or her discomfort , in order to limit compulsive and repetitive behaviours and to understand the possible meanings and functions of his or her addiction.

In general terms, the main protection factor is within the person and lies in the awareness of their problem and consequent predisposition to generate changes and improve their quality of life.

3. Risk factors are visible

It is important to identify what the unique risk factors and vulnerabilities are. It investigates personal and social aspects, placing consumption within both individual and family history.

Thus, in contrast to the protective factors, the lack of support and containment on the part of family , friends and institutions, the absence of motivation, anhedonia and abulia, and especially, the lack of awareness of the health problem constitute strong risk factors.

4. Changes occur

One experiences modifications in doing, thinking and feeling, for which one may experience certain crises insofar as these changes produce contradictions or a sensation of strangeness when implementing one’s own resources that are new and very different from those implemented in times of consumption. Therefore, these critical moments can be considered as their own and inherent to this stage and even expected and necessary.

Probably before a treatment it was common to avoid or calm anguish, anger, sadness, loneliness, fears, shame, impotence, (among other feelings, emotions and problems of daily life) with substance use, interpreting it as an exit, refuge or support to avoid or forget an unbearable situation .

5. New resources are built

During a treatment, in the face of painful sensations or conflicts, new resources are built and implemented , which are expected to continue to develop and strengthen after the treatment.

An example is the resolution of conflicts through words, perhaps something unthinkable in a consumer situation, where the act (usually violent, towards others and/or towards oneself) replaced the word.

Other examples are: incorporating health and body care habits, such as healthy eating and physical activity, promoting spaces for listening and family dialogue, putting into words what used to be silent and sick, undertaking, training and seeking personal growth with self-care practices.