"It is when you have a crisis that you have to change. A crisis means you have to approach the problem with extraordinary completeness."- J. Krishnamurti
It’s very common to hear the adage, “you have to want to stay clean and sober for yourself,” in the addiction recovery circles. Many people say this because they believe that without an intrinsic desire for change no one could really be successful with getting off drugs and alcohol. Ultimately this is true in the long-run, but is it necessary that an individual, upon entering detoxification treatment programs, really want to stop using drugs and alcohol?
We are seeing that many people are entering our detoxification program in Encinitas because they must; not necessarily because they are excited about staying clean and sober from the outset! It’s often out of sheer necessity. The money has run out, physical health is ailing, the family has had an intervention, the spouse threatens divorce; ultimatums of all kinds are imposed. Of course there are also many occasions where someone has made a very wise conscious choice about their life, but usually there is some pressing external circumstance that leads someone to our doors.
Now this isn’t necessarily bad news. Whatever crisis has developed that is significant enough to get them into detox, may even motivate someone to stay sober. We have heard people in long-term recovery say that it was the “angels with flashing red and blue lights” that saved their life by catching them in the last DUI. Very often, however, these realizations develop after a successful detox, rather than before; and it is in hindsight that the recovering person realizes that getting clean and sober was the best thing they’ve ever done for themselves. Part of the very nature of addiction is that people still want to use drugs and alcohol even in the face of dire consequences to their well-being and happiness; thus to suggest from the beginning that they have to want it for themselves is partially erroneous.
We believe that it doesn’t matter what motivations people initially have for getting sober provided that they are willing to at least pause to investigate what’s happening in their life. If young woman wants to get off heroin so that she can reach her goals in life, great! If a father want to quit drinking alcohol so that he can be there for his children, great! If an employee has been late or absent from work too many times and needs to sober up in order to keep his job, great! If someone is mandated to sober up to avoid jail-time, great! Regardless of the situation there’s no wrong reasons for making a change.
All kinds of supports are available for individuals and families struggling with addictions. At Sheridan Gardens Wellness we understand that addiction and recovery are not simple processes, and that there are as many ways to recover as there are people in the world. Feel free to CONTACT US if you or a loved one is struggling with addictive substances. We would be happy to help guide you towards resources and information about our detoxification program.