Willingness and Why is it Important in Addiction Treatment

What is Willingness

By definition, willingness is the act of being disposed, consenting, or inclined. That being said, what is the deeper meaning? Willingness is not only being openminded but having the ability to let go of the fears we harbor in order to truly see our strengths. There are many who struggle with this idea, women in particular. This is because with willingness comes some aspect of vulnerability, and society has inclined us to feel as if being vulnerable is a weakness. Contrary to popular belief, asking for help in any aspect of our lives can be very empowering and demonstrates true courage.

How Does it Relate to Recovery

Willingness in recovery is the key to maintaining long term sobriety. Many women who seek treatment for drug addiction often do it for reasons other than bettering themselves. Examples of these are:

  • To appease others such as family or friends - we may enter recovery with hopes to reduce tension at home.
  • As an attempt to prevent ultimatums such as divorce - our decision might be influenced by fear of losing someone, therefore we try to please them or obey their wishes.
  • Due to court orders or other legal issues - many are faced with the risk of arrest with failure to comply to court orders.

This can have a negative effect on a woman’s treatment and growth because they are not truly doing it for themselves. When the driving force is solely based on the pressure of others, sobriety, unfortunately, is often fleeting and short-lived. Studies show that the factors related to relapse from drugs and/or alcohol are more sporadic (occurring with or without trigger) in women as opposed to men. This tendency to relapse associated with negative affect could be due to the greater withdrawal symptoms that women experience related to some drugs such as opioids.

Obstacles To Willingness in Recovery

There are other factors that come into play when entering drug and alcohol rehabilitation which can affect someone’s willingness to change or accept help. examples include:

  • Being new to addiction treatment - Having no experience can be intimidating to some newcomers. This makes it more difficult for them to complete and successfully graduate the program because it is new to them and therefore overwhelming.
  • Lack of support system - Without creating a strong circle of individuals who are in favor of your decision to become sober, there is less accountability involved. The same goes for the lack of a sponsor, who’s main goal is to keep you on track in your recovery and build a sense of responsibility.
  • Family - a number of women have children or other family at home that are dependent on them to provide which can make the treatment process difficult.
  • Lack of determination or discipline - Some enter treatment centers with little knowledge of the programs or of their responsibilities. This can cause tension and frustration which takes a toll on their willingness to conform and work on themselves effectively.
  • High expectations - When someone comes into treatment with a certain idea or vision in mind, it can be hard to grasp when the reality does not measure up. This can take focus away from the initial reason they entered the treatment center in the first place. The individual then becomes more concerned with the materialistic aspects rather than their recovery.
  • Gender stereotypes - Women can be less inclined to seek help seeing as there is a stigma and tends to be more shame and judgement surrounding women with substance abuse issues as opposed to men.
  • Anxiety and depressive disorders - Which statistically tend to be more common in women, can keep them from seeking help with substance abuse issues if untreated.

These circumstances tend to take away from the experience and can potentially raise the probability of relapse. There are a number of benefits that come from joining the right program with the right mindset. Taking the time to research and evaluate what you are looking to get out of treatment can eliminate some of the possible anxiety or fear of the unknown. There are a number of co-ed programs, but many have reported higher success rates with separate, gender specific treatment centers. This is because they can eliminate distraction for women in recovery and prevent codependency. Excessive emotional or psychological reliance on another is a definite obstacle in treatment.

Why Willingness is Important

Willingness in the world of recovery is most important because it allows one to open the mind and become more receptive to positive change and growth. When we enter treatment, we are putting ourselves first and taking the steps necessary to rebuild our lives. Once you have found that life has become unmanageable and are ready to make a change, you will become committed and willing to making recovery your priority. This can understandably be a difficult decision to make, but with the right tools, strategies, and support, recovery is 100% possible. Many of us enter recovery with little awareness of our true needs and no understanding of being powerless. The first step starts with reaching out, and there are countless individuals who are ready and willing to help.

At The Ho Tai Way, a Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center for women in Costa Mesa CA, you can start to heal and begin to rediscover your identity as well as restore both your physical and mental health. If you, or someone you know are in need of recovery and want to reclaim your life, contact The Ho Tai Way today. With their compassionate, knowledgeable team, they will guide you through the admission process with ease and find the treatment plan that best fits your unique needs. Services offered include group as well as one on one sessions with various techniques and styles. The Ho Tai Way understands the importance of community and work hard to create a sense of belonging for each valued client.

References

  1. https://europepmc.org/articles/pmc6470905
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5120656/