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What is the Role of Willpower in Addiction?

What is the Role of Willpower in Addiction?

The research is quite clear around addiction and how it impacts the brain and body. It is not just a matter of willpower. This old stereotype has kept people locked inside addiction thinking they are weak, unable to control their urges. The truth is addiction is a chronic brain disease so it takes a comprehensive strategy to help heal a person from the inside out. Learn some tips and tools for how to take ownership of your life away from addiction into recovery.

Surrender and Will

Although addiction is not caused by a lack of willpower, that does not mean willpower takes a backseat in recovery. Willingness is a central concept in addiction recovery. If you forfeit willpower, you recognize your powerlessness over drugs and alcohol. By surrendering your will, you will find an easier pathway to recovery. People who have the following are more able to surrender to addiction recovery:

  • An open mind
  • Goals
  • Motivation to declare objectives

The greater likelihood of long-term abstinence increases with motivation and the ability to be goal-oriented.

When Willpower Is Lacking

Recovery requires a leap of faith to admit you have a problem. Taking responsibility for your choices is required if you are going to move forward in recovery. The decision to put your recovery first requires avoiding people and places from your old life that  trigger memories, thoughts, and ideas about drugs and substances. Self-care and eating a healthy diet can help immensely as well as staying in tune with yourself and not letting yourself go.

Willpower Alone Won’t Help

The challenge of addiction recovery means willpower alone will not help you get where you want to go. Willpower is just one piece of a larger puzzle. You may need lots of different pieces to make it all work together, including coping skills, a support system, education, and new routines to help you stay sober. There are so many ways to do recovery, but only one is right for you, right now. Being open to the shifting ways recovery can support your journey will help you navigate the ups and downs that will inevitably come your way.

Recovery from addiction and substance use is critical if you are to get ahead with your goals in life. We help you decide what the best next steps need to be to help you be successful.. Call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401