Why People Go Into Addiction Recovery

Loss is a reason to get help for an addiction.

Understanding Why People Go Into Addiction Recovery

The primary reason why people go into addiction recovery is loss. The following are common losses that happen as a consequence of drug addiction and alcoholism:

  • Health - Alcohol and drugs attack individual health. Liver damage or other addiction-related health issues can threaten one's health and even life.
  • Money - Savings are squandered or threatened.
  • Family - Spouse and kids leave or family members abandon the addict because they can't tolerate the addict's behavior.
  • Friends - Friends abandon the addict because they can't tolerate his/her behavior.
  • Status - Status is an important motivator for many addicts. Eventual loss of status is a nearly guaranteed loss due to alcoholic behavior. Status depends upon genuine respect and it's hard to respect an addict.
  • Work - Being fired, or being unable to get or keep a job, is very common with drug addicts and alcoholics.
  • Freedom - Jail time may result from a driving under the influence incident, or there may be other trouble with the law due to addictive behavior or possession.

To understand why people go into addiction recovery, you must realize that losing one or more of these fundamental life support systems often causes the alcoholic or drug addict to "hit bottom," meaning that they've lost everything they cared about. Although hitting bottom isn't necessary for the recovery process to begin, many addicts recall it as their turning point.

How Friends and Family Can Help

With professional advice, friends and family can help speed up the process by having an intervention and/or "Bringing the bottom up." This is where family or friends accelerate the inevitable losses by voluntarily removing supports.

Examples include:

  • Family and friends cut the person off financially.
  • Friends leave, explaining that they will not see or speak with the addict until they enter recovery.
  • Family members leave, explaining that they will not see or speak with the addict until they are in recovery.
  • The addict is told to leave the house until they are into recovery.
  • When a legal incident occurs, the friends/family do not intervene.
  • An employer tells the addict to stop coming to work until he/she are into recovery.

Stripping away these fundamental human needs can help the addict realize they are alone with only their addiction for companionship.

Have you ever wondered why some addicts seek treatment and others develop even deeper problems? There are many reasons, including genetic background, psychological issues, and the addict's social situation. However, in some cases, friends and family may unintentionally delay the recovery process. One reason why people go into addiction recovery is that their friends and family haven't protected them from addiction-related losses. By delaying these losses, the friends and family of an addict may actually prolong the disease. Helping an alcoholic to continue his/her addiction is called enabling.

Why People Go Into Addiction Recovery