Weighing up the advantages and disadvantages

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You have probably taken a moment to reflect on the pros and cons of your addiction. When you first started using, it probably had many advantages. At some point, the benefits faded into the background and you probably started to feel an increasing number of drawbacks in relation to your addiction. Although weighing up the advantages and disadvantages may seem obvious, it remains an important task within your treatment. We will also ask you to write down the pros and cons of a life without addiction. This will allow you, together with your professional, to prepare for the potentially difficult moments that you may be afraid of in your recovery process.

The pros and cons of addiction

 

Disadvantages of using:

Consider the downsides of your addiction. Consider both the short- and long-term downsides. What negative effects does it have on your physical and mental health? How does your addiction affect your social contacts? How does it affect your work or study? Has it had an effect on how you take care of yourself, your daily structure or your sleep rhythm? Be honest with yourself, that will help you progress the most.

Advantages of using:

Reflect on the benefits of your addiction. What makes you keep using? How do you feel when or after you have used? Are there any long-term benefits of your addiction? Some benefits may overlap. Be honest with yourself and take your time while doing this to write them all down. By using this information, you can explore how you could experience these same benefits in a different and healthier way.

 

The pros and cons of recovery

 

Disadvantages of stopping to use:

What are the short- and long-term disadvantages of living without your addiction? What makes it so difficult to not relapse back into your addictive behaviour? Are there certain emotions that you find difficult to feel or cope with? Does physical or mental discomfort increase when you stop using? What are you afraid of when you envision a life without your addictive substance or behaviour?

Advantages of stopping to use:

What are the benefits of a life in recovery, or a life without use? What’s in it for you? Consider the benefits on a physical, mental and social level. Are there any hobbies you can pick up again? Take your time when doing this. These are the reasons why you have decided to quit your addiction.

 

Better insight

Once you have weighed up the pros and cons, you will have a better understanding of the ‘usefulness’ of your addiction. You are also honest with yourself about the difficulties you may face in the near future. With your coach, you can begin to see what you need to achieve and maintain your recovery.

 

An example

Disadvantages of the addiction:

Short-term:

  • Guilt
  • Costs a lot of money
  • Loss of control
  • Tolerance grows quickly, you need more to achieve the same effect
  • Eating unhealthily
  • I take care of myself badly
  • The next day, I have a hangover

Long-term:

  • My sleep is deteriorating
  • Sometimes I struggle financially at the end of the month
  • I feel more and more low/depressed
  • My self-esteem becomes lower and lower
  • I often feel tired
  • I no longer exercise
  • I’m becoming more and more selfish. I am only concerned with when I can start drinking again.

Advantages of stopping to use and recovering:

Short-term:

  • I save money
  • I am more active and can actually do things
  • I eat healthily
  • No hangovers

Long-term:

  • My health is improving
  • I sleep well
  • I am in touch with my friends
  • I have more money to spare
  • I feel my emotions instead of numbing them

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