Is Willpower Enough to Fight Addiction?

Last Updated: November 10, 2022

Jump to Section

“Why can’t you just stop using?”

“You need to be stronger to resist doing drugs.”

“Just use your willpower and you can stop.”

These are just some of the statements that those suffering from addiction often hear from others. There is a misconception that a person who continues to give in to their temptations to use drugs or alcohol is “weak” or has no willpower. But that is not necessarily true.

In fact, relying on willpower alone is simply not enough to fight the power of addiction.

Why Is Addiction Tough to Beat with Willpower Alone?

Many may believe that willpower is at the crux of beating addiction, but it can actually make things worse in many situations.

For starters, addiction is not a choice. People who develop a substance use disorder do not willingly do so. Somewhere along the line of using, choice disappears, and willpower no longer has an influence on whether or not a person can stop using.

Further, willpower can actually push any underlying trauma down, which can make it even more difficult to overcome addiction. Substance use disorder often stems from some sort of trauma that the person experienced in the past, and drugs or alcohol are often turned to in an effort to numb any negative feelings as a result.

Willpower can actually cause a person to suppress these traumatic feelings and memories, which can make the addiction even worse. Without dealing with trauma in a healthy way and exposing the issues that have caused addiction in the first place, recovery is much more of a challenge and people stay buried in their addiction.

Addiction to drugs or alcohol changes a person’s brain pathways. After a long period of time of heavily using drugs or alcohol, it can be nearly impossible to reverse these changes without proper medical intervention and cognitive support.

Addiction Treatment Is the Way Out

When people rely on willpower alone to beat their addiction, they will find it nearly impossible to find sobriety and maintain it. Even if they are able to stop using for a short period of time, it likely will not last without any other treatment methods. Willpower is not enough to fight addiction for the long haul because people will still remember how drugs or alcohol helped them numb their pain or induce feelings of pleasure and euphoria while forgetting how the substances ruined their lives.

Relying on willpower alone will make those suffering from addiction think they can handle the challenge on their own. By taking a solo approach to recovery, they inevitably shut out anyone who could really be of any help. They will not have the incentive to reach out for the help they really need, which comes in the form of Ohio addiction treatment resources.

Choose Help Over Willpower

When someone is fighting addiction, it is not enough to rely on willpower. What they need is an effective addiction treatment program that can help them safely and effectively detox and build the tools needed to achieve and maintain sobriety.

If you are tired of being a slave to your addiction, there is help available. You do not need to do this alone. With the right support and guidance, you can be free of living in bondage to drugs or alcohol and go on to live a drug-free, fulfilling life. Call us today to learn about admission.

Our Recovery Advocates


Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery.

Get your life back

Recovery is possible. Begin your journey today

Call Us Now Admissions Check Insurance

What To Expect

When you call our team, you will speak to a Recovery Advocate who will answer any questions and perform a pre-assessment to determine your eligibility for treatment. If eligible, we will create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. If The Recovery Village is not the right fit for you or your loved one, we will help refer you to a facility that is. All calls are 100% free and confidential.

All calls are 100% free and confidential.