Is addiction related to self control?

DWI and Drug Possession Charges

There are many different types of treatment programs for substance use available today. Treatment and rehab programs advocate that addiction is a disease and tell their patients that there is no cure and thus no hope. Is addiction related to self control? For the individual seeking assistance for their substance use, this is an important question. Is it hopeless or is there hope?

Traditional treatment programs like rehab and 12 step programs, promote the idea that alcohol and drug use is a brain disease that you genetically inherited from your parents. They claim that substance use cannot be cured and that it requires indefinite treatment. 12 step programs promote the idea that belief in a higher power and abstinence are the only therapies available that can treat the disease of alcoholism and addiction, as there is no cure. They require their members to attend daily support group meetings where other members use tactics like labeling, judgment and manipulation to exert control over other members.

Despite millions of dollars in funding and more than six decades of research, the fact is that there is no such thing as an addiction or alcoholism gene. Individuals are not predetermined to become alcoholics or drug addicts. It is possible that substance use is learned from watching other people use drugs and alcohol. However, the decision to follow their example and use substances is a choice that the individual makes on their own. While excessive use of drugs or alcohol may cause changes to the brain, scientists now know that you have the ability  to remap your brain  through consciously changing habits, behavior and thinking. The fact is people use drugs and alcohol because they want to; and although habits may be difficult to change for some people, ultimately everyone can change their habits.

Excessive alcohol or drug use is not a disease, but i a series of choices and behaviors. Once the individual makes the decision to use alcohol and drugs, next the individual forms the habit of using drugs and alcohol and the reinforcing behavior follows suit. It stands to reason that if the decision is not made to use substances, then drug using habits cannot be formed.

The fact is you have the power to choose not to use alcohol and drugs and there is a program that can help you be successful in your decision to be free from substance use problems. St. Jude Retreats is a non-treatment program. We are not a 12 step program and we do not use other drugs to replace substance use. We offer a cognitive behavioral education program that can help you take control of your life.

Through our cognitive behavioral education program, our guests learn how to use self assessments to evaluate their habits and choices. They build self confidence as they change habits and behaviors and replace them with habits and behaviors that are more in line with their long term goals. Our guests realize that they have the self control to overcome their substance use problems and they go on to have long term success in all areas of their lives.