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Understanding the Concept of Powerlessness Over Addiction

Millions of people live with substance abuse and addiction. These conditions can harm every aspect of a person’s life, including their physical and mental health. Drug and alcohol addiction can keep people from living the life they want. Instead, they follow the path addiction chooses.

Many who struggle with addiction feel that they should be able to “get over it” or quit on their own. They may carry guilt and shame or feel frustrated when they can’t stop using addictive substances.

Admitting you are powerless over your addiction can be challenging. However, realizing that you are no longer in control of your substance use allows you to accept help.

This article will explore how admitting powerlessness can help you in addiction recovery. Reach out to the team at the Mandala Healing Center now to explore our holistic treatment programs. You may also schedule an intake appointment or ask questions.

What is Powerlessness?

The term “powerlessness” means a lack of control. It can be important for people struggling with addiction to admit that they are powerless against their addiction.

Well-known 12-step programs and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can help people in recovery. They encourage members to admit that they are powerless over alcohol. They accept that their life has become unmanageable. Then, they surrender control to a higher power.

For some, a higher power may include God. For others, it could mean something different. The ultimate goal is for people to surrender control over their lives and follow a working recovery process.

It can be challenging for people to admit that they are not in control. Some people feel ashamed to ask for help, even as addiction wreaks havoc on their mental and physical health.

Denying Powerlessness

Many people live in denial about the severity of their substance abuse. They may believe that they are in control and can stop anytime they want.

There are many signs that you have not accepted powerlessness over addiction. Here are some things you may think or say.

  • “I can quit on my own.”
  • “Other people need help, but I’m tougher than they are.”
  • “I just need to try harder.”
  • “I need to punish myself so that I’ll quit.”
  • “If I just get a job, find a relationship, get healthy, etc., I’ll be able to stop.”
  • “Once I get through this tough time, I’ll quit.”
  • “Skipping one meeting/therapy session/etc. isn’t a problem.”
  • “If I can’t do it perfectly, I shouldn’t even try.”
  • “I’m a lost cause.”

These thoughts and statements suggest that you are in control of your substance use. However, addiction is a powerful and complex condition. It is not a character flaw or a sign of not trying hard enough.

Admitting that you are no longer in control of your substance use is a step toward lifelong recovery. It allows you to understand addiction as a disease and get the help you need to treat it.

Why is it Important to Admit Powerlessness Over Addiction?

Addiction isn’t a moral failing or a character flaw. People do not remain addicted to drugs and alcohol because they’re weak. Drug and alcohol use changes the way your brain works. These changes make it nearly impossible to quit on your own.

In many cases, people must discover they are no longer in control of their lives before getting help. For some, there may be a clear sign that they aren’t in the driver’s seat. This could mean losing a job, the breakup of a relationship, a significant medical or legal problem, or more.

Hitting rock bottom can clearly indicate that you aren’t in control. Admitting that you feel powerless against your addiction can be the first step toward the sober life you want to live.

When you accept that you can’t control your substance use, you can finally accept help. You may come to understand that you don’t have the tools to overcome addiction alone. Then, you can find the treatment and support you need to make meaningful changes.

Signs You Need Help

You don’t need to wait to hit rock bottom before seeking addiction treatment. Recognizing the signs of addiction can help you seek treatment as quickly as possible. Getting help earlier may lead to better outcomes in recovery.

Some signs of addiction include:

  • Needing to use more of a substance to get the effects you want
  • Using drugs or alcohol in risky situations, such as driving under the influence
  • Having legal, social, or financial problems related to your substance use
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you stop using drugs or alcohol
  • Spending a lot of time and energy getting, using, and recovering from using drugs and alcohol
  • Hiding or lying about your substance use
  • Continuing to use drugs and alcohol despite facing negative consequences

If you or someone you love struggles with substance use, you are not alone. Reach out to the Mandala Healing Center specialists now to explore our holistic approach to addiction treatment.