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Why Willpower Doesn’t Work in Addiction Recovery

If you have suffered from addiction you have likely been asked why you couldn’t “just quit”.  You may have even asked yourself this question after trying countless times to will your way out of substance abuse.  The belief that addiction recovery has anything to do with willpower is damaging to the addicted person and their loved ones by creating a false narrative that implies that addiction is a choice.  This implication can remove compassion and understanding from the situation and make it harder for an addict to ask for help and begin to recover. If willpower worked against addiction, substance abuse would not be nearly the epidemic that it is.  Most addicted individuals will at some point, or perhaps many points, decided they want to quit and even take steps to entirely walk away from their addiction.  However, without the proper tactics and informed support, they will almost always return to their drug of choice, breaking promises they made to themselves and their loved ones.  Willpower rarely works on its own even for weight-loss or fitness goals, so it is irrational to think that it would work against strong, brain-altering substances. Acknowledging an addiction means acknowledging a disease in your brain that causes you to seek out your drug as if it was necessary for your survival.  It is not your fault that you have become addicted, but you are responsible for taking the proper steps in order to begin your recovery. Recovery is not a straight shot to success and usually requires a well-rounded approach to your physical and mental health, as well as strategies for preventing relapse as well as for getting back on track if relapse does happen.  

At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.