Substance abuse often leads to drug addiction, which is a difficult situation to overcome. If you find yourself turning to drugs as a form of self-medication to escape your feelings, you need to consider reaching out to family, friends, and professionals for help sooner than later.
In this article, you will learn how to overcome drug addiction.
How to Overcome Drug Addiction
Changing habits is hard.
When the habits are tied to drug addiction, the difficulty level is increased. Not only are you having to reprogram your mind and emotions to accept a new perspective, but you will also be battling against the physical power of the substance to demand that you give in and feed the addiction.
The good news is that there are many who struggle against the monster of addiction and win. The following are some components of crafting a winning strategy in your own quest to be free from drug addiction.
Here’s how to overcome drug addiction …
In order to be empowered to make a change, we must first realize that a change is needed. Chances are good that someone, somewhere, has pointed out to you that your substance use is a problem. Chances are also good that, somewhere inside of yourself, you know this assertion to be true. What keeps many people in a state of denial about the devastation of addiction is that the desire to change it simply doesn’t exist.
Not yet having the desire to change your behaviors is perfectly fine, and is actually a part of the process of recovery. Challenge yourself to do something that is much easier than quitting the drugs. Simply start keeping a list of things that are associated with your drug use.
Keep a record of how often you use the drug. Write down any instances when something goes wrong while you are under the influence. Make a note of how many times you have a good trip, and how many times you have a bad one. Keep a record of which friends or family members you lose, and markdown how many new people come into your life. Keep a daily journal of your thoughts and feelings, complete with calendar dates and times. At this point, you are learning to become an observer of your own life.
Consider the Future
Once you have compiled a list of data that depicts how your life looks while in an addiction, you are ready to move to phase two of the process. Take a good, sober, look at the information. Consider that, without making changes, your life will consist of more of the same. Things may even become worse.
Ask yourself if you are on board with continuing this pattern, indefinitely. If the answer is no, you are ready to start making some changes. Don’t throw this gathered information away, either. It can be referenced, later, as a reminder for why you decided that your life needed a change in the form of getting sober.
Change Your Perspective on Stress
While some people can decide to quit the drugs cold-turkey, others find that it is a series of small steps. One of those vital steps is to learn to recognize and respond to stress in a healthy manner. Drug addictions both create and respond, to stress. An addicted person may use substances in an attempt to alleviate stress, and then feel more stress as a result of using.
Stress doesn’t have to be viewed as something to escape. It is a natural and adaptive feature of being a human. When we are stressed, our bodily system is telling us that something is wrong. It is a warning sign that some type of adjustment needs to be made. Silencing your warning signals by numbing them with a drug is like turning off the fire alarm while the building is still burning.
Stress is not our enemy. Instead of running away from your stress, learn to stop and listen to it. Where is it coming from? What is it warning you about? What things can be done to fix the source of the emergency? Learning to work with your stress, instead of trying to ignore it, is a trick in the bag of every mentally healthy person. Stress will come. Being equipped to navigate it is key.
Clean Up Your Social Life
The social environment of someone addicted to substances is rarely a good one. There are likely to be grating family members, friends who are also in addiction, and questionable acquaintances who come around. You have enough of your own stress to monitor and mitigate, at this point, and you don’t need to be around people who increase that workload.
To the extent possible, you will want to separate yourself from the influence of people who are not helping you to be your best self. There will be time for being proactive about fixing relationships, but the initial stages of becoming sober aren’t usually that time. Use the data you’ve gathered about people in your life, and create a list of those whose presence tempts you toward using drugs. Let those people know – verbally, or through your actions – that you are starting a new chapter in your life, and need some time apart.
Join A Good Treatment Program
The key to getting rid of bad habits is to replace them with good ones. The same can be said of social support. A good treatment program will provide you with education and skills for designing a drug-free life, and will simultaneously provide you with new, healthy, socialization to replace the interactions that you have decided to take a break from. Instead of sitting around, trying to resist the urge to return to your old habits, be proactive about participation in a recovery-based program.
Be Kind To Yourself
This tip sounds easy, but many people find it surprisingly difficult to be as kind to themselves as they are to others.
The negative emotions that come from beating ourselves up – whether it be from guilt, feelings of failure, or fear of the future – is counterproductive to our making progress. It may seem like kicking ourselves in the pants or punching ourselves in the gut will make us get moving, but the reality is that it makes forward progress harder.
When you find that you don’t meet your own expectations, simply acknowledge it, brush yourself off, and then keep moving onward toward your goals.