Why Willpower Alone Won’t Help You Abstain from Ambien

Willpower alone is not enough to stay in recovery, overcome abuse temptations or persevere through relapse triggers

Addiction is a powerful disease and can leave addicts struggling to abstain from their drug of choice even when they are long into recovery. Ambien addiction is no different and can cause recovering addicts to require support from recovery programs, therapy, friends and family members. Fortunately, having several avenues of continued support can help reduce the struggle of abstaining from Ambien abuse and fortify a long-term recovery. Willpower alone is not enough to stay in recovery, overcome abuse temptations or persevere through relapse triggers. It is essential that recovering addicts utilize support from others not only to just stay clean but to stay clean, happy and healthy. Willpower alone will not help a recovering addict abstain from Ambien for many reasons including the following:

  • Cues – There are many types of cues that can activate signals in the brain that promote drug seeking behavior. An area of the brain that is associated with a person’s motivation and decision making process is affected by cues such as an environment, smell, sight, memory or conversation. There are many different types of cues that can trigger seemingly uncontrollable urges to use a drug again. If a recovering addict comes into contact with a friend or place where they used to do drugs, the cue sends out a signal in the brain urging and motivating the recovering addict to seek out Ambien and use again. Willpower alone is not enough to overcome cues, support is essential to continued abstinence from Ambien in these cases.
  • Relapse triggers – Relapse triggers can arise daily, especially in the first few months of recovery, and can even be present long into recovery from Ambien addiction. Becoming complacent or bored, feeling overly confident in one’s ability to abstain from Ambien, feeling depressed, lonely or angry, becoming impatient or stressed are all things that can easily trigger a relapse. Relying on willpower to abstain during these situations will almost certainly lead to a relapse.
  • Maladaptive coping mechanisms – When a person in recovery does not utilize therapy or recovery programs they typically do not learn healthier coping mechanisms for dealing with life’s daily stressors. Addicts have maladaptive coping mechanisms, which is one of the contributors to becoming addicted in the first place. Without learning how to cope in healthier ways a recovering addict will likely revert back to drug use due to the same maladaptive coping styles such as dissociation, avoidance and escape.

Relying on continued support from recovery programs and therapy can help recovering addicts abstain from Ambien and support long-term recovery. Therapy can identify and address any obstacles to recovery while recovery programs can continue to equip recovering addicts with healthier coping mechanisms.

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