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Is it still possible for addicts to change?

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by mwin43587, May 20, 2015.

  1. mwin43587

    mwin43587 Active Contributor

    Is it still really possible for the extremely addicted people to completely recover? Let’s help and inspire people who are starting to do drugs and other addictive things, whether because of life problems or just because of peer pressure. Let’s help and inspire people who are already extremely addicted. You can share your stories and opinions. If you have already tried some addicting stuffs, how did you manage to stop it? How does it feel that you are successful on overcoming your addictiveness? And why did you decide to try it? All opinions and inspiring stories are very well appreciated.
  2. Domen

    Domen Active Contributor

    Hello. I used to smoke cigarettes regularly for 6 years. I haven't yet completely recovered but I now smoke two cigarettes a week down from a pack every two days. Full recovery is possible but in my opinion the percentage of people who are able to get clean and stay clean is very small. It requires a lot of discipline and will power. It all gets easier if you have a good reason to quit, like family or fast degrading of health. I somehow pulled it off and I have no cravings to smoke more than two cigarettes a week.
  3. imperivm1

    imperivm1 Community Champion

    It's hard. Not impossible, but difficult. It takes a special kind of motivation to completely recover from hardcore addiction. I've known people who did this, though. You can never know for sure if they're completely cured but it certainly looks like it on the surface. So, yeah, it is definitely achievable if you really set your mind to it.
  4. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    It can definitely be done. A lot of it is psychological. I quit smoking almost 25 years ago. I had smoked for 15 years and had tried to quit probably three or four times. But I always went back. One day I went to the doctor with a nasty sinus/respiratory problem. He asked me if I smoked. I told him I did, and he replied with: "Quit. Today. Not tomorrow, not a week from now. TODAY." So I did. It turns out that was the motivation I needed. Since that day, I have not cheated once. Not even a puff in almost 25 years.

    I quit drinking almost seven years ago. My son was struggling with addiction to heroin and we had a family therapy session at his treatment facility. The therapist told me and my wife to be the change we wanted to see in our son. So we both quit drinking that day. Not a sip of alcohol for either of us since.

    I also quit drinking Diet Coke about five years ago. I was a constant Coke and Diet Coke drinker for about 30 years. I knew it wasn't good for me, so one day I just decided to quit. In the last five years I think I drank a half a Pepsi at a baseball game once because the line at the concession stand was too long and that's what my son had to offer me.

    Granted, my examples are not the same as someone with a hardcore addiction to drugs or alcohol (although they do say that nicotine is one of the hardest drugs to quit). I guess my point is that you can do anything if you set your mind to it and don't give up. I firmly believe that. Breaking bad habits is tough, but in the end it's so worth it.

    P.S. For some hardcore addicts, complete sobriety may be too lofty a goal to start with. I think that harm reduction is a great approach for them. Maybe cut down on the amount of the drug you use, and make sure you use them as safely as possible. Perhaps a small reduction can lead to a better quality of life and, over time, an easier path to total recovery.
  5. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    I believe it is possible as long as that person is willing and determined to change for the better. There is no hopeless case. You just have to toughen yourself and be more patient.
  6. I used to have great hope that my husband would find sobriety and he did several times, but never more than 2 years. I do not understand it! It frustrates me so much that he would risk his family over pot. I can not let my focus be trying to understand something that I never will
  7. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Any addict can change but only if they realize that their addiction is a problem.

    Sometimes bad things in life. And when someone no longer is able to obtain drugs either because they are physically disabled or don't have the money to buy the drugs they are forced to fight their addictions.

    I knew one old man, an alcoholic, who lost his job. The little money he earned from his second job wasn't enough for both his family and addiction. He had to give up one — he chose to stop drinking. I believe when one must make such tough choices, it is possible for them to change forever.
  8. whitenoise

    whitenoise Senior Contributor

    Yes, sure you can change yourself if you're an addicted. The secret is always the same: never give up. There is a famous said which says: "Don't cry to quit, cry to keep going!". There is nothing else that could describe better what you should do in these circumstances. Nothing in life is easy, especially if you're an addicted, so get your claws out and show them how great you are!
    CallipygianGamine likes this.
  9. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    It is really possible! I was a extreme addict drinking out of control to the extent of losing control in all of my body sphincters and reach the stage previous to death.

    Even though I recovered from it and have not relapsed for the past six years to date, and despite I have had a couple of drinks in between this period, not my wish or need but inadvertently in social situations. Nonetheless, tasting alcohol again after recovery didn't cause further craving, relapse nor interest to try it a gain on my own, what debunks the myth that you will never ever be able to drink alcohol even if a minimal amount, but not advisable for someone to try.

    Remember that each of us have different tolerance to substance and different metabolism, what caused me not trouble, might cause to you, so refrain if you have been an alcoholic and have recovered or in the process of doing it.

    As for the inspirational story, if mine serves for something, you can always read it here, http://talk.drugabuse.com/threads/an-alcoholic-background-story.2301/
  10. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    It is never too late to change. Not for anybody. As long as you want to change then you can definitely do it.
  11. JohnBeaulieu

    JohnBeaulieu Community Champion

    People can change, but true fundamental change in their personality or deep seated behaviors does not come naturally or easily. It doesn't mean they shouldn't try and it doesn't mean we shouldn't support them.
  12. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    Well said, @JohnBeaulieu. It's not easy. And we should recognize that and support anyone who's trying to change.
  13. mwin43587

    mwin43587 Active Contributor

    Thank you so much for all those wonderful opinions and for sharing your inspiring stories! Yes, I too believe that change and recovery is not impossible not only for the addicts but for all of us undergoing different problems in life. It all depends on theirselves, and I also believe that family is an important factor in recovery.
    deanokat likes this.
  14. CallipygianGamine

    CallipygianGamine Community Champion

    I’m with those who think that it’s possible once one realizes they have a problem and they want to change it, but it won’t always be easy because it’s a process. There will likely be setbacks, and one needs the determination to move past them when they happen. And one may require help, whether that’s simply in the form of support from loved ones, or professional help. But it is possible.
  15. calicer1996

    calicer1996 Community Champion

    I will go against the common notion. It's NOT never too late. It's good to be optimistic but it's better to be practical. As someone said before,"It takes a lot of self discipline". I'll be honest and tell you that most people lack it. Most can't even beat procrastination. There is a point of No return.
  16. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    @calicer1996... I understand what you're saying, and there are definitely countless people who do not find recovery. And they either continue on with their addictions or their lives end very badly.

    That said, I still believe that there is no case of addiction that is so strong that it can't be overcome. Does it take loads of self-discipline? Most definitely. Might it even take, in some cases, a miracle? Absolutely. But if someone truly wants to get clean, I believe that they can. Now, whether or not they will put forth all of the effort required, and whether or not all the stars align properly so they can be successful is another story.

    But the bottom line is that I don't believe anyone is a lost cause or hopeless. I would never look at someone and say that they are at a point of no return. Maybe my outlook is just too positive, but no one should ever give up--either on themselves or someone else. (To show you just how crazy I am, I also think that self-discipline can be learned.)

    There's a quote from a philosopher/professor named David Orr that I just love: "Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up." To me, that means as long as you're willing to work at something, there is always hope.

    I've seen too many success stories come out of situations that were downright dreadful to ever give up hope.

    Peace.
    calicer1996 likes this.
  17. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I believe addicts can change no matter how extreme their addiction might be. Even if I had not read or seen it happen I am a firm believer in the power of change.

    This idea of once an addict, always an addict is a concept I totally reject.
  18. JohnBeaulieu

    JohnBeaulieu Community Champion

    I don't think there is a power of change so to speak. I think the power lies completely in the desire to change and the will to do so.
  19. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    Change is difficult to concretize because it works differently for different people and many seek it for varying reasons. As for myself, I'd like to think of change (in so far as addiction is concerned) as a personal quest to be better (i.e. emotionally, physically, spiritually and psychologically). This endeavor requires willingness, inner strength, acceptance and motivation on the part of the person seeking change. Only then will it be possible to let go of the past and move forward.
  20. SarahWorksAtHome

    SarahWorksAtHome Community Champion

    I think the ability to change is measured by the desire to change. You cannot change someone else or save someone else. You can support, encourage, be there for and motivate but the decision has to be made in THEIR mind, not yours. I had to make my choice for myself in my own timing and I know that has been true for every other addict I have been close to.
    deanokat and JohnBeaulieu like this.