Page Nav





Hover Effects


Gradient Skin



Easy to follow tips for saying Bye-bye to drug addiction forever

Image source Drug abuse can rip your life apart at the seams. The vicious cycle of drug addiction never stops unless you take the first mo...

Image source

Drug abuse can rip your life apart at the seams. The vicious cycle of drug addiction never stops unless you take the first motivated step to overcome it.

Indeed, it can be challenging because drugs alter brain chemicals and cause dependence; but it isn't impossible.

Firstly, recognize that developing an addiction is not your fault, but recovery is in your hands. Acknowledging the problem and taking the initiative to do something about it is the first step in a long process towards living a drug-free life.

Then, you'll have to make a series of commitments and stick to them, no matter how strong the craving is to return to drugs.

The tips we'll discuss in this piece will help make the recovery process easier.

1.      Reflect on your life and recognize the problem

Are drugs really the only way to uplift your mood? Take time to ponder over your life and acknowledge the issues caused by drug addiction.

Look back to the first day you used drugs and identify the cause. For the majority, the start is a sad or anxious point in life.

Realize that although drugs provide temporary relief, they destroy your social life, damage your relationships, and hinder occupational success.

After reflection, make a firm decision to quit. You may choose to begin by leaving one drug like marijuana while continuing with alcohol or cigarettes, or you may decide to stop every substance altogether.

2.      Look for professional treatment options

Acknowledge that you would need professional help. Enrolling in a rehab center will help structure your road to recovery and ensure better results.

Treatment options include residential programs, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient treatment.

You may undergo behavioral counseling, cognitive-behavioral interventions, detox medication, etc.

Over time, you'll learn more about medical detoxification and other treatment interventions from the professionals outlining your treatment plan.

In addition to these, you can use prescription medication to manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce the likelihood of relapse.

Once treatment begins, remember to follow through until the end and attend the follow-up sessions. If you experience simultaneous mental health problems like depression or anxiety, seek professional help for those, too.

3.      Join self-help groups for social support

Most addicts feel misjudged and resented; it is difficult for anyone other than the addict to understand why quitting is so difficult.

Forming healthy social relationships is one of the most challenging tasks, especially when you've cut yourself off from your drug partners or suppliers.

You should consider joining a self-help group to connect to other people suffering from the same problem.

Talking to other people on the road to recovery or former addicts will give you hope for a better future.

Nowadays, with the COVID-19 pandemic looming, you may not find in-person support groups. Instead, many have shifted to virtual groups where contact is maintained through calls, emails, virtual meetings, etc.

4.      Keep yourself busy

When you quit drugs, cravings to relapse are bound to occur. The more you keep yourself distracted, the better.

Outline the things you enjoy, whether walking, cycling, watching Tv, cooking, or hanging out with friends.

You can also join a sports club or gym. Research shows that exercise produces endorphins that reduce the perception of pain and uplift your mood.

The 'runner's high' phenomenon refers to the euphoria produced by an intense workout. Its effects are known to be similar to morphine.

Secondly, physical activity releases serotonin and dopamine in the brain, both neurotransmitters responsible for improved mood.

Since most people turn to drugs for elevating their mood, exercise serves as a great alternative.

5.      Have an accountability partner

When you have no one to report to but yourself, it is easy to tell yourself, 'I won't do it again, or 'just one more time.'

Look for an accountability partner with whom you share your progress and talk to whenever you have cravings.

It should be someone you respect and is upfront about the truth. Doing so will instill a feeling of accountability in you.

6.      Maintain a record

As the famous saying goes, don't make the same mistake twice. Keep a record of the events that trigger your impulse to engage in the addictive behavior.

These triggers include being with a drug partner or something as simple as driving a car or going for a morning walk. Also, note down the thoughts or emotions that precede indulgence or its urge.

Once you identify those emotions, distract yourself with some activity whenever you feel down or dishearted.

For instance, if you note boredom is the precursor to drinking, go for a walk or read a book the next time you're bored.

Such self-monitoring is also a part of cognitive-behavioral therapy, where the therapist helps you predict cravings and develop coping strategies to manage them.

Research shows that self-monitoring for addicts helps cope with denial, encourages change, monitors progress, gets positive reinforcement, and gives better insight.  

Final words

Addiction isn't something you can escape overnight. It requires persistent effort and motivation. Once you've recognized the need to overcome it, seek professional help, establish a support system, keep yourself busy, be accountable to someone, and keep a record of everything.

Remember not to give in to cravings, even once, because one thing leads to another, and before you know it, you are back to square one.