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Common belief held by those addicted to drugs Information

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Common belief held by those addicted to drugs

Research has found that a common characteristic of drug users tend to be a belief that their actions are controlled by external forces (Quan, Liu, & Li, 2001).  This belief that outside forces, whether from spiritual beliefs, forced exerted by other people or simply by the situation, can be very damaging to an individuals chances of recovery.

Where we believe our motivation for our actions comes from is called our locus of control, and it is very important when trying to understand why an individual chooses a certain path, and is also important when we are in a position to help them, such as an individual in a rehab centre.

Typically people who are suffering from addiction are of the belief that outside forces have been the major influence in causing their situation, and this belief is often a complex barrier to recovery, as people are unwilling to take responsibility for their actions and determined to blame other for their situation.

One of the most common treatment programs used in rehabs in UK is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and this can be a very useful tool in helping people to overcome their beliefs about what controls them.  The purpose of CBT is to try and help people change their thoughts in order to become more in control of their behaviour and become more aware of themselves overall.  One of the skills that many people learn in rehab UK wide is how to change these thoughts about what controls their actions and use CBT techniques to take responsibility and control of their own lives. This change in though can be extremely liberating, as people begin to realise they are capable of change, and they do have the power to say no in negative scenarios. 

Often people will leave rehab feeling more empowered than before, and this feeling of personal strength is exceptionally important for people to resist temptation.   However, the world outside of the rehab centre will be extremely different from the safe environment inside, and often people will still need additional support post treatment to ensure they retain their feeling of empowerment when they are living independently.  This is why a suitable aftercare package can be key to long term recovery, as people may need additional support when they encounter unexpected or difficult situations.


Quan, D., Liu, Z., & Li, G.  (2001).  The locus of control of heroin abusers.  Chinese Journal of Drug Dependence, 3.

Article published on 05/04/2020 by PCUG Addiction Treatment