Understanding that the Symptoms Are Similar, but the Individuals Are Unique in Treating Addiction
Uniqueness, what sets you apart from the rest of the pack? This day in age, people are celebrated for being unique, but why should it be any different for treating addiction? Everyone has likes and dislike, things they are passionate about, so why when people seek treatment for their addiction are they grouped into one section and labeled an addict?
By grouping people into a certain section, you take away their identity and treatment them in a generalized manner. Being labeled an addict has a negative stigma attached to it, which causes people to deny they have an addiction problem or to be ashamed and hide their addiction. While we are working feverishly to break this stigma of negativity, it still exists.
Let’s take a detailed look into this situation. Annie has a passion for drawing. She has won several awards for her work and has a promising future ahead of her. She goes on hikes to find inspiration for her work. One day Annie gets in a bad car accident and is now on pain pills for her injuries. The pills slowly, but steadily change her and her ability to be passionate about drawing and also hinder her from hiking. Yes, the addiction has taken over her, but that does not mean she has to be thrown into a general group and be treated like every other addict that walked through that treatment center’s doors.
In the world of addiction, one of the main components in spotting an addiction is losing interest in something that the person in question was once passionate about. If this passion identified a person before, why wouldn’t we try to integrate that passion back into them?
Lucky for us, addiction treatment centers are catching on to this and exploring different ways of treating addiction. For example, Annie can now find a treatment center that offers hiking and art therapy mixed into her treatment. This will allow Annie to get reacquainted with her passion and ultimately the goal would be to replace her addiction with hiking, drawing, and other healthy activities.
You may ask: what if the person seeking addiction treatment was never passionate about anything? Some treatment centers offer different paths and classes to choose from if someone is indecisive about what they are passionate or interested in. Usually in this case, people find something that interests them that they might not have tried without being at the treatment center, like surfing, yoga, or equine therapy. Shouldn’t that be what treatment is about? Finding yourself or your passion can help solidify your path to recovery. Using your passion as an outlet can help to get through many stressful situations. For example, if James has a bad day at work, he would normally go home and drink, now he can go for a walk, exercise, or meditate. James can now break his bad habit and replace it with a positive one.
While people struggling with addiction may have similar symptoms as far as how they act or situations they are going through, acknowledging that they are individuals and treating them as such allows them to rise above the stigma of addiction. Once they get past the stigma, they can focus on what really matters, treating their addiction and finding themselves.