We live in a world where the pharmaceutical industry has made incredible advances in curing even the world’s most terrible illnesses, as current as of the ongoing pandemic worldwide. But what does one do when the same drugs that save your life start threatening it? Welcome to the world of drug addiction.
When people think of drug addiction, they immediately jump to substances like cocaine or heroin. However, to be a drug addict, a person can even get addicted to simple pain medication, so it’s important to understand that drugs have different effects depending on the drug itself, the person taking it, and their surroundings.
Now, if you’ve recognized that you have a problem and that your addiction to drugs is affecting other crucial aspects of your life, you might want to get drug addiction help. But how do you go about it? Many people with addictions wonder if they will ever be able to quit because the way to recovery is not a smooth sailing boat.
There are many factors, physical, mental, and emotional, that make quitting difficult, so when a person seeks treatment for his/her addiction, they can see that everyone overcoming an addiction goes through the same process to some extent.
Not everyone who uses drugs can become a regular user and eventually an addict. There are many factors involved in a person becoming a full-fledged addict from a mere user. Using a drug regularly leads to tolerance, where the body starts needing larger doses of the drug to achieve the same effect.
This tolerance and regular use than lead to dependence, where a person starts craving the drug to feel good and function normally in everyday life. Dependence on a substance can be either physical, psychological, or both.
Quitting an addiction can have a lot of positive impacts in your life, like:
- Improve relationships with friends and family
- Enhance your physical and mental wellbeing
- Help you sleep better
- Reduce the risk of permanent damage to any vital body organs
- Increase energy
- Save your money
Recovered addicts claim that they have felt better after quitting drugs, although the process can be time-consuming. However, knowing why you want to end your addictive instincts can help you stay motivated through the entire process.
When a person starts to reduce or completely quits any kind of substance abuse, their body goes through a detoxification process, popularly known as withdrawal. The symptoms of withdrawal, however, may vary from person to person depending on the substance abused and the level of abuse, etc.
Withdrawal can last from a few days to a few weeks, and range from mild to serious, however temporary. People undergoing withdrawal may at times feel their cravings grow weak, while at other times the urge to use again might get extremely strong. But learning how to successfully manage these cravings is the most crucial part of recovering and staying drug-free.
Once you have committed yourself to the wonders of recovery, the next step is to carefully evaluate all your treatment options. While treatment for addiction varies depending upon the drug intake, a successful treatment program usually includes the following elements:
- Detox: The first step usually involves purging your body of all the harmful drugs and substances and managing all the withdrawal symptoms.
- Behavioral counseling: Individual, family or group therapy are some of the ways in which an individual can identify the root causes of their drug abuse, repair strained relationships, and learn healthier ways to cope.
- Medication: The road to recovery also leads to medication, which is often used to manage the symptoms of withdrawal, prevent relapse, and/or treat any mental health condition like anxiety or depression.
- Follow-Ups: Attending long-term follow-ups can help recovering addicts prevent relapse and continue to maintain their sobriety for a happy life. This includes attending regular support groups or online gatherings to make sure that the recovery is on track.
Therapy is often the best way to overcome drug addiction because it helps individuals cope with all the uncomfortable feelings that they have been pushing away and help unravel the irrational thoughts that keep them addicted. Although getting drug addiction help isn’t the easiest thing to do, but a good treatment program goes a long way toward achieving that goal.
Here are some steps on how to help someone with drug addiction quit their habits:
Seek the help and assistance of a professional therapist or a doctor about your decision to reduce or quit drugs altogether. They will be able to guide you on the proper channels to aid your rehabilitation process. If you feel that you’re dependent on drugs, it might be dangerous to quit on your own. Therefore, it is better to consult your alcohol and other drugs (AOD) specialist to help you manage withdrawal symptoms.
Know Your Triggers
Once you have identified that you need drug addiction help, you can easily identify with time and precaution all the possible habits, emotions, and social situations that trigger the desire to take drugs. To take care of possible triggers, a person undergoing treatment for drug addiction can:
- Avoid going to places where drugs and alcohol are freely available
- Surround himself with friends who do not use drugs
- Know how to resist unwarranted temptation
- Learning to cope with stress without drug dependency
- Easy distractions like music, painting, gardening, etc.
Make A Plan
Making a definitive plan and sticking to it can considerably help you quit your drug addiction. Setting small goals for your recovery helps you stay committed and motivated, making the whole process a lot less stressful.
However, make sure you set realistic goals for yourself – both long and short term ones. Reward yourself for every time you taste success and take it easy on yourself even if you mess up. Remember, it is okay to fail, but not to give up trying.
Avoid Bars and Clubs
Even if you think you can finally keep your alcohol intake in check or completely resist the urge to drink or smoke even, try to stay away from bars and clubs. You might not have a drinking problem, but alcohol lowers inhibitions, which can cause you to make poor judgment calls.
It can even lead you to a relapse, as drugs are often readily available and the temptation to use can be quite overpowering. Therefore, it is better to avoid all environments and situations that can be associated with drug abuse.
Learn Healthy Coping Mechanisms
After addressing your problems with addiction and beginning the journey towards recovery with proper treatment, you will need to face the problems that led to you indulging in drug abuse. Once you get sober, the negative feelings will once again resurface, but for the sake of your treatment, you’ll need to resolve all your underlying issues instead of running away from them.
Find out more healthy ways of coping with stress, follow a healthy diet, like taking care of a pet, taking up a new hobby, etc, and keep your stress level in check. If you believe in yourself, you can learn to manage your problems without falling back on your addiction.
No matter what goes down in your life yesterday or the day before that, but tomorrow always brings a new day, and with it, the rest of our lives. This is true for addicts too, who live day-by-day, picking up the pieces of their life after addiction as they move forward. Although the rebuilding process can be complicated, they needn’t do it all alone.
Remember, drug addiction doesn’t affect just a single individual; it affects the person’s friends, family, and professional relationships as well. Therefore, during their recovery, it is extremely crucial that they feel supported in their actions and motivated enough to keep the rehabilitation process going strong.