We are creatures of habit. We have routines that we stick to from day-to-day, often repeating the same actions at the same time and thinking nothing of it. This is why habits become so ingrained in us. Some of these actions are mundane, but some are pleasurable. We can’t go through life without some pleasure. Sometimes, some people find pleasure in substances. But when a substance is introduced into the mix, it throws everything off.
Substances, however, can soon become habits, too. This habit of substance use can soon turn into a disease, throwing off our habits, and taking over our lives. You don’t have to be ruled by your disease — your addiction — forever, though. Sober Life is here to help.
The Brain Processes Pleasure
When we do things that our brain finds pleasurable, our brain wants us to do that thing again. It enjoys the thrills and exhilaration, becoming satisfied when substances are introduced. Then, the brain wants it again. And again. It’s chemistry, says Jeffrey Kluger of TIME. “This or that neurotransmitter engaging this or that receptor, sending a crackle of happiness along neuronal circuits that never knew such joy before the first time you downed a glass of beer or won a hand of poker or took a little opioid.”
Soon, the want turns to need. The pleasure turns to disease. What happens in the brain is rather interesting. First, our neurons in the reward center of our brain release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes us feel good. Then, a signal is sent through your brain that this activity is pleasurable. Dopamine travels through the brain, making you feel good, almost too good.
The addictive substances increase the amount of dopamine, leaving you wanting more and more. Your brain is then out of balance. It cannot control rewards correctly because your brain remembers that wonderful feeling and is left wanting more.
Addiction by the Numbers
By now, you’re sure to have heard of the opioid epidemic. It’s a crisis that is unlike any other, Kluger says. In 2017 alone, over 47,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses — 130 people per day. An astounding 29% of people who are prescribed opioids due to chronic pain end up misusing them. Opioids aren’t the only addiction that many people face, either. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that in 2018, more than 20 million Americans aged 12 and up had some form of substance use disorder.
For some people, one substance leads to another, leaving “one out of every eight adults simultaneously battling both alcohol and drug misuse,” Kluger reports. For others, substance use has come as a way to cope with a mental illness — 9.2 million Americans with mental illness also have a substance use disorder, he says. These addictions, although they may have started out as pleasurable activities, turn quickly into debilitating and life-wrecking diseases.
“No one knows the exact cause of addictions, why some people are claimed by them while others can thread the needle of enjoying some indulgences but pulling up short before some become too much,” Kluger says. Unfortunately, so many people are unable to pull up before it gets to be too much. We do know that genes can play a role in someone developing an addiction. Availability also comes into play, as do experiences, environment, and timing. There are many things that contribute to addiction, each one a little different from person to person.
Treatments for addiction also vary from person to person. Some people attempt recovery multiple times before finding a treatment that works for them, while others have an easier time. The consensus for addiction treatment, Kluger reports, is that many agree it should be “multifaceted and ongoing.” For some, this could mean medications and 12-Step programs. For others, psychotherapy and a combination of other treatments. Sober Life is here to help you find the right treatment method for you. We tailor our program to your needs, giving you the best chance at recovery.
Unraveling the Intricate Connection: Superwoman Syndrome, Pleasure, and the Cycle of Substance Use
The link between the “superwoman syndrome” and the impact of substance use on daily habits and mental health is evident in the intricate dance between pleasure, habits, and addiction. The relentless pursuit of perfection, often associated with the superwoman syndrome, can lead individuals to seek pleasure or relief through substances, turning what initially brought joy into a destructive habit.
The brain’s response to pleasurable activities, such as substance use, creates a cycle where the pursuit of that pleasure transforms into a compulsive need. The lies of addiction, from the distorted belief that the substance is a source of relief to the overwhelming desire for more, mirror the deceptive narratives of the superwoman syndrome. As individuals grapple with the consequences of substance use disorders, it becomes crucial to recognize and challenge the false beliefs perpetuated by both the superwoman syndrome and addiction. Sober Life’s tailored programs offer multifaceted approaches to recovery, addressing the complexities of addiction and providing individuals with the tools needed to reclaim control over their lives.
Sober Life offers five programs that can help you in your recovery from substance use disorder. Take a look at them below.
- Outpatient Rehab and Treatment Program (OP)
Sober Life’s outpatient rehab and treatment program is a part-time, for 1–3 days a week. This program is designed to allow clients to continue working or attending school. We offer services in this program to help you continue a successful recovery. Although you only come to us a few days a week for about a month, we want you to know that recovery is a process. It doesn’t just happen when you come through our doors. If you are 18 or older, stepping down from IOP, and need supportive care to maintain a healthy lifestyle and coping skills, our outpatient rehab and treatment program is right for you!
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
Sober Life’s intensive outpatient program is 3–5 days per week, for 3 hours per day. This program helps you continue your care to help you stay on track in your recovery, holding you accountable, and giving you the tools you need to succeed. You can do this program in conjunction with your work or school responsibilities. This program usually lasts for 3 months. If you are 18 or older, stepping down from PHP, and need support while still needing to maintain outside responsibilities, our intensive outpatient program is right for you!
- Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
Sober Life’s partial hospitalization program is the highest level of care that we offer. This program helps you get sober, treating you 5 days a week for 6 hours per day. This program is ideal for clients who have gone through detox or inpatient treatment and still need continuing care to help you stay on your recovery track. This program usually lasts for at least a month. If you are 18 or older, stepping down from an inpatient program, but still need an intensive treatment schedule, our partial hospitalization program is right for you!
- Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program
Sober Life’s adolescent intensive outpatient program is 3–5 days per week, for 3 hours per day. This program helps adolescents continue sobriety care. It is designed to help them rebuild their lives and support living at home while still receiving support and building relationships. This program usually lasts for 3 months. If you are 14 to 17 years old and need a step-down from a PHP, our adolescent intensive outpatient program is right for you!
- Virtual Outpatient Program
Sober Life’s virtual outpatient program is an IOP that is 3–5 days per week, for 3 hours per day. This program focuses on outpatient treatment and is a step-down from a PHP. This program varies based on your needs. If you are 18 or older, stepping down from a PHP, and need support while needing to physically stay at home during these difficult times, our virtual outpatient program is right for you!
Sober Life is here to help you or your child maintain their sobriety during these difficult times. Call us today at 1-619-542-9542. We can’t wait to speak with you and get you started today!