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Is willpower alone strong enough to fight addictions?

Discussion in 'Other Substances' started by letitherobe, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. letitherobe

    letitherobe Member

    I was just thinking while studying for my psych. final and thought about if I was a drug addict. Im learning about the brain and how amazing it is and im pissed I dont know more about it. But i was thinking about how strong a good brain can be for someones life, and how will power can help alot. But I was wondering if a lot of people have ever overcome addictions, whether its drugs or shopping or whatever, by sheeer willpower? I mean it sounds simple but I just wonder how hard it would be if you just gathered up all your strength and just committed to getting clean. I know that theres some drugs out there that have horrible physical withdrawal periods such as heroin. But is there any stories of someone just stopping with their addictions and recovering without any medical help. I'm sure there is but I never really have heard one.
  2. SarahWorksAtHome

    SarahWorksAtHome Community Champion

    *raises hand* No rehab, no medications, just a decision. Did it twice. Once from methamphetamine and then again seven years later from alcohol and marijuana. The meth was hard to stop but recovery was easy and the aversion to it came rather quickly. The alcohol gave me some withdrawal sickness. I laid in bed for about a week resting and taking vitamins and drinking plenty of fluids. After that I was fine. I did go to a few months of Celebrate Recovery meetings after I had been sober about a month and that was great for support but I never went off to rehab or took any treatment.
    Elizabetonth and LilAnn like this.
  3. Totalarmordestine

    Totalarmordestine Senior Contributor

    Sheer willpower alone is not sufficient to fight addiction
    as a minimum, the temptation should be removed or the addict will again and again succumb to the temptation
    Easy availability of the drug should not be there, either the subject should not have any money or put the subject on an island or clean city where no drug peddling is possible
    I know a person who recovered without medical help, the person had will power and a strong motivation to recover from the addict, and the environment was changed so there is no temptation or availability of the drug
  4. tarverten

    tarverten Senior Contributor

    Yeah, but it's really hard, and very rare.
    Especially because once you've been on it for a long time, your physical brain changes.
  5. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear Senior Contributor

    No, it's not. I'm an addict in recovery. Sober since Dec 14 2007. The willpower will come in handy once you've been clean to stay clean. But while you're active in you're addiction there is no way willpower will help you. Once an addict takes a first drink or drug they become a "different person". Everything they are when they are sober is then put to the back burners and they now only care about the next drink or drug and will do anything to get it. Trust me I know all of this from experience. If I used right now, my life of caring, work, family, and everything else I've worked so hard to accomplish would go out the window and I would lie, cheat, steal, or do whatever I had to do to maintain my addiction. I'm still me, in a sense, but my priorities are almost exactly backwards. It's awful to know this "other" person lives inside you. That's why I can never cross that line of using again. Check out this site. It will answer lots of your questions. Good luck.
  6. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay Senior Contributor

    Yes, it's possible. But the difficulty is extreme. Anyone telling you it's not possible are saying that because they themselves couldn't do it.

    The mind is a powerful thing if focused. It's not impossible, just rare
  7. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    It is really possible. My grandmother stopped smoking after a very long time of smoking in a daily basis. She just become decided one day that she will not smoke anymore and that was it. No medication and no help or anything.
  8. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature Senior Contributor

    Yes, and it is hard to do, because first you have to be smart enough to realise you have the power, and then you have to be dumb enough to be illogical enough to not justify the reason why you havent stopped already,

    i think i can quit smoking whenever i want, but i see no reason to, so i dont
  9. PerkyNorm4u

    PerkyNorm4u Member

    There are a lot of cases actually where they overcome their addiction by not going to the rehab. I can't say that it is by sheer willpower because honestly, it is quite impossible. You may have a 100% willpower but it will not be effective if you are surrounded by people who doesn't support your decision to change. As for me, the people around you and the environment you are in can really make a difference rather than willpower alone.
  10. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    I did, but with smoking and alcohol, which can be overcame only by willpower. It's surprising that you haven't heard of anyone quitting on their own, as most of my friends who quit marijuana/smoking/alcohol did it by themselves. Truth is that there aren't so many rehabilitation centers in my area, so addicts have to struggle on their own.
  11. SarahWorksAtHome

    SarahWorksAtHome Community Champion

    Sometimes rehab isn't an option due to many reasons (being a parent, work, finances) so there are many who NEED to have the willpower to do it on their own.
  12. LilAnn

    LilAnn Community Champion

    Will power is enough. But you have to have lots of it. No one person is any better than anyone else. The people who have done it are proof it can be done. If you remind yourself every time you're tempted, that it isn't impossible you might be able to do it, too.

    I would like to take a moment, though, and say "congratulations!! Not many people have accomplished something that major and that hard on will power alone". You should brag on yourself to people. You earned the right. Seriously, I give you your props!
  13. dakotacensus

    dakotacensus Member

    There are some good perspectives offered by the comments in this thread, but I think it is worth noting that while willpower might sometimes be enough, it doesn't have to be. There is no shame is someone looking for help, and with the range of treatment options offered today people have to opportunity to follow a recovery path that they find best suits themselves, and offers the best chances of success.
  14. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    Yes, but unfortunately only a tiny minority of folks can garner up such levels of willpower. Most of us require support to help us fight our addictions. We need to be surrounded by loving, helpful people that will provide the support we need to overcome what is incredibly difficult. I truly do envy those who had the willpower to overcome their addiction without outside help.
  15. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    There are plenty of people who have done this. A strong brain, lol. I'm not sure that's what it is. Its more like your brain being in control of your body and will power. Sometimes the body just does what it wants against ones will. What's the expression, "where there is a will, there is a way."
    People do what they want. Set your mind to something and just do it. The important thing is sustainability. Can they sustain being free from whatever the addiction is. The real question is what is the statistic on which way gives you sustainability from what you are quitting. Doing it yourself on sheer will power or going to rehab? To each his own.
  16. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    Will Power is necessary, but having knowledge is important. Having will power is the first thing you need to fight an addiction but knowing what to do that will be most effective is necessary also. Even tho will power alone won't help you beat an addiction you can't do this without it. It may be possible to quit addictions on your own but you have to learn about things that cause it and how to effectively break the habit.
  17. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    It is something which can take time and doing it alone can be hard as it is easy to go back to the old habit and the person can face depression or stress and the person may have something which can affect the mind, and also this can make the people around the person find it hard to understand them. I reckon that with help from other people we can make the changes and try and stop the addictions which can make the people around them support them, and hope they have a strong will to make changes in their life. I think that being with the right people can make people change and also they can do things which can help the person to try new hobbies and also do things which can help the person to have a positive view in their life.
  18. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    I personally believe that willpower alone can fight off addiction. That's the be-all and end-all of recovery - you have to be willing to change otherwise you'd be stuck in the same place. Unfortunately, only a handful of substance abusers can summon their willpower without the help of others. In many cases, a steady and effective support system must be in place so that the people in question will start seeing their worth and find the motivation to change for the better.
  19. Jasmine2015

    Jasmine2015 Community Champion

    Maybe for some people sheer will power is enough. But I think for the rest of us we need more than that. It would include getting educated on what you don't know. Having some type of support group like family and friends. You may even have to avoid certain people and just move to a new environment for a fresh clean start.
  20. djolem

    djolem Senior Contributor

    I do not know if it is strong enough but it is the most important factor. The chances you will make progress in quitting are bigger if you have strong will. Basically it depends from person to person but it is essential to find it. I have strong will and it is probably due to my genes and the fact I was engaged in sports that demand that. Decision making and will power are connected and Eminem said it in one of his songs : You can do anything you set your mind to!