When a person struggles with prolonged drug use, they are literally not themselves.
To say that addiction is a slippery slope is an understatement. Once the door is opened, actions lead to actions with demoralization at the base. An explanation of this circumstance is known as behavior disinhibitions.
What Are Behavioral Disinhibitions?
Behavioral disinhibitions can be detected in anyone who consumes alcohol or drugs that act as depressants of the central nervous system (CNS). This includes benzos. Specifically, benzodiazepine use can damage the frontal lobe of the brain and disinhibit the frontal cortex from self-regulation and control. Behavioral disinhibitions in people who use benzodiazepines chronically and for a longer period of time refers to a lack of ability to control behavior, and engage in acts without considering the potential consequences. Read more about this here.
Matt's Addiction Descent
Matt Brown, an author on Addiction Recovery Care , explains his descent into addiction and increasingly destructive behavioral disinhibitions in the article entitled, "Addiction — a mental and physical problem with a spiritual solution: Matt’s story":
Once she and I divorced, I no longer had to hide my use. This also coincided with the beginning of what I call the oxy rush. It was everywhere, all the time. Life as I once knew it began to unravel quickly. I came to the sudden realization that my drug use was out of control.
I was half a million in debt from student loans, a house, and various other schemes. In a very short time, I had taken out multiple payday loans, maxed out every credit card that I could get my hands on, and had pawned everything I owned. Drugs had ripped away my dreams and my joy.
One day I looked around and found myself living in an empty house with no running water, no electricity, and nearing foreclosure. I even had to sleep in my car at times because I had accumulated a large amount of debt with some very bad people and it was unsafe to be home.
I remember hearing a guy say in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, “I used to drink from the bottle, but then the bottle began to drink from me.” That was my life in a nutshell. Learn more about Matt's Struggle...
Addiction as a Brain Disorder
Our understanding of addiction is always evolving and in many ways becoming more accurate to the reality of the situation rather then the personal beliefs of those who see it as a moral issue.
The Providence Women's Recovery center, a women only drug rehab alternative located in Dalton Georgia defines addiction as:
Drug addiction is a chronic and overpowering compulsion to satisfy cravings in the brain through the repeated use and abuse of a substance, no matter how terrible the cost. More about their recovery programs here...
Their new definition of Addiction is as “a chronic brain disorder and not simply a behavior problem…and also describes addiction as a primary disease, meaning that it’s not the result of other causes, such as emotional or psychiatric problems… Brain circuitry that governs impulse control and judgment is also altered in the brains of addicts, resulting in the nonsensical pursuit of “rewards,” such as alcohol and other drugs.”
Emotions are involved in most basic brain processes from simple motor processes, to other cognitive processes such as judgement and decision making. In fact, impaired emotion processing directly prompts poor decision making via impulsivity by recruiting more motoric parts of the brain rather than cortical prefrontal areas of the brain.
Thus emotion cannot be discounted as secondary to a primary disease it is in fact a primary factor in many brain processes including cognitive processes. Read More...
Though the focus of this article circles around the behaviors related to active addiction, we would be remissed to not leave you with hope.
One of the paramount concepts involved with recovery is forgiveness, and even more specifically, self-forgiveness.
What you need most in recovery is strength and confidence, and these come through in forgiveness. It's important that you rebuild the bridges which were burnt during your addiction, but before you seek anyone else's forgiveness, you must forgive yourself.
Obsessing over past misdeeds and focusing on negativity will ultimately hinder your journey toward sobriety. Below are five easy ways to forgive yourself and move on with your life during and after recovery.
Acceptance - The past is past. As much as you'd like to change it, it can't be done. You have to live with the consequences of your actions. Dwelling on past...
Identify - Identify why you felt like you needed to use. Were you depressed? Were you self-medicating? What caused you to begin using in the first place? Think about the causes...
Examine - Take a hard look at the standards you're using to judge your past, those around you, and yourself. Are you really being fair? Are you denigrating yourself based on a rubric of moral behavior that's out of date or overly harsh? Are your values to blame...
Share - It may help to join a support group and reveal your experiences to others. Recovery is a difficult process, but difficulty is always easier to bear when it's apportioned out between individuals. Don't feel that you need to bottle up your...
Forgive - Allow yourself the chance to move on by really forgiving yourself. Each step you take toward recovery is a step further away from your past and the person you were before. Every inch of progress is an inch of freedom. If it helps, say these words...