Addiction is one of the most difficult things to live through, but the good news is that taking the time to look at ways of changing behavioral patterns is a sign that things could be taking a turn for the better, and the worst is in the past. There are many different ways of dealing with an addiction, ways of coping and ways of living with it, but in the first days, most addicts are simply looking for help in getting it to stop.

In a true addiction, there’s no real way to make it stop with absolute certainty that it will never return. It’s one of the things about addiction: it’s not a phase or a momentary difficult time, but a chronic illness. Things go much more easily when it’s seen as such, because then there are ways of realistically responding to the situation.

There are many different views on what constitutes an addiction, and arguments for its cause. There are those who say it develops over time, with constant, frequent use of a chemical that alters the body in some significant way. There are plenty of substances, like coffee, or even sugar, that absolutely affect the chemistry, but they’re not treated as an addiction, or at least not as severe as cocaine, for example, because the sugar addict is usually not a threat to themselves or others, and cocaine addicts are. There are others who will argue that its genetic, that there are simply those who are born constitutionally wired for addiction.

Whatever the origin, in dealing with it, there are options. If it’s severe enough, and the addict is in danger of serious health problems that might come from withdrawal, or if there is an accidental overdose, or any other urgent situation, then the first and best option is detox, where the withdrawal will happen in a safe environment with trained professions. The next step here would be treatment, and this is also a very good option for an addict who is wanting to quit but finding that they cannot.

In either event, getting for help is the first step toward stopping, and the way to get help is to ask for it. Contacting the local substance abuse offices in the area, C.A., N.A., or A.A. hotlines, are all fine places to begin. There are some who do manage to detox and quit all on their own, but there are so few advantages to this, and a very unstable success that follows, that working with others is the way to get through the door.