When people have hope, they are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as gambling, alcohol use, and drug experimentation. Conversely, people who have no hope feel like they have nothing to lose. When hopelessness sets in, people are more likely to participate in activities that they know are dangerous.
How can inspirational hope be used to help people struggling with addiction? For addiction treatment? Would it be helpful to help recovering addicts find hope?
Relative deprivation and hope
Every person who turns to drugs and alcohol has their underlying reasons for doing so. Family problems, perceived career failures, growing up in a house where substance abuse or excessive alcohol use was common, being a victim of abuse or trauma, problems with self-image or self-esteem, these are just some of the factors that trigger addiction can.
To better understand what causes some people to engage in self-destructive activities, a 2020 study looked at the relationship between relative feelings of hope / hopelessness and addictive behavior. The researchers came across a finding that led them to understand why some people resort to drugs and alcohol and others do not. As it turns out, feeling hopeful can be one of the best tools for getting clean as well stay clean.
The researchers began their study by examining those struggling with relative deprivation, which is a feeling that other people are better off in life than they are. (Relative deprivation is often a trigger for alcohol and drug use.)
According to Shahriar Keshavarz, one of the study authors states that “Relative deprivation can trigger negative emotions such as anger and resentment and has been linked to poor coping strategies such as risk taking, alcohol use, drug use, and gambling. But not everyone makes these bad life choices. We wanted to find out why some people get along better or even use the experience to their advantage to improve their own situation. There is ample evidence that there can be benefit in remaining hopeful in the face of adversity. So we wanted to see if hope can help people feel happier about their lot and protect themselves against risky behavior. “
The study had interesting results. According to Piers Fleming, another author and contributing researcher, “We looked at the people who achieved a high score for relative deprivation, those who considered their life situation to be worse than their surroundings. And we looked at those who also scored high on hope. We found that the volunteers who scored high for Hope were much less likely to take risks. Those who weren’t too hopeful were far more likely to take risks. “
What does hope have to do with addiction?
The thesis is simple enough. Being hopeful leads to less risk taking. Hopelessness leads to more risk taking.
If more hopeful people tend to take fewer risks, how does this observation translate into addiction and treatment?
Giving hope to people who are dissatisfied with their life situation could protect them from harmful behavior. Could it be that looking for help in addiction treatment also has the double benefit of creating hope? Is it possible that the search for help alone gives hope?
A lack of hope is very dangerous for an addict. Loss of hope could trigger an overdose that is potentially fatal. Helping an addict avoid drugs and alcohol would therefore have the opposite, positive effect of helping him find hope as well.
How one student found hope through the Kemah Palms Recovery program
Everyone experiences hope differently. For some, learning to hope again comes from healing old wounds that have never been properly treated. For others, like Kemah Palms Recovery graduate David, hope came from learning new tools to help him lead better, healthier lives.
David was able to find hope again by learning life skills that he sorely lacked. He knew the skills he learned at Kemah Palms Recovery would help him live a drug-free, successful, and fulfilling life.
“I learned very important information about how people behave and why they behave through the Kemah Palms Recovery program. I’ve found a logical way to look at my own survival … “
In David’s own words: “I learned very important information about how people behave and why they behave through the Kemah Palms Recovery program. I’ve found a logical way to look at survival. These books set out all of the different dimensions of ethics, morals, good and bad, right and wrong, and integrity. This is the most brilliant way to help broken people. Now that I’ve completed the Kemah Palms Recovery program, I know how to feel better instead of feeling hopeless and going back to drugs. This program gives some real answers to some of the really tough questions in life. “
While everyone finds hope in a unique and special way, the simple fact is find this hope appears to be an almost universal benefit of drug and alcohol withdrawal.
Addiction Treatment – Learn To Hope Again Hope
Addiction treatment can help recovering addicts learn to hope again. It is important to recognize that treatment centers do not promise or guarantee hope, but rather provide recovering addicts with the tools they need to create new hope.
When recovering addicts go through rehab, they go from hopeless to hopeful. It does this because they learn the valuable tools that will help them cope with the everyday problems and stumbling blocks that have helped establish patterns of drug use or alcohol use. They will once again become masters of their fate, and one can very much hope for it.
When you or someone close to your heart has lost hope and cannot stop using drugs or alcohol, Please contact Kemah Palms Recovery today. Find your hope again.