Often, addiction develops as a way to cope with pain and stress. In order to recover, you will need to find healthier ways of coping.
Get involved in activities that make you feel needed and add meaning to your life. Taking up a hobby or learning something new is an excellent way to distract yourself and avoid cravings.
1. Talk to a Professional
It is important to talk to a professional about drug addiction. A physician who specializes in addiction medicine or psychiatry, a counselor or an alcohol and drug abuse specialist can help. They can also refer you to a drug abuse treatment program.
You can find an addiction treatment program by calling a drug abuse hotline or searching the Internet. Many programs are free and offer support groups. Some are residential, while others are outpatient. The sooner you seek treatment, the more likely it is that it will be successful.
Addiction is a complex illness that affects all areas of life, including relationships and work. It is often hard for people to recognize that they have a problem because they are so accustomed to their drug-using behavior. They may have lied about their drug use, neglected responsibilities at home or work and even taken dangerous risks like driving while under the influence or having unprotected sex. They might have also started to use drugs to numb pain, calm emotions or cope with stress.
2. Educate Yourself
Addiction is a complicated disease and many people may not have the full picture. There is a lot of information available on the internet, however it is important to seek out reputable resources. Educating yourself on drug addiction and the signs and symptoms will help you understand your friend or loved one better and make it easier to encourage them to seek professional treatment.
Avoid lecturing, threatening or moralizing. These approaches will only lead to feelings of guilt and resentment. Instead, talk to your loved one about their situation and offer to help them in any way that you can. Encourage them to seek therapy or attend self-help support groups.
Reading books on addiction and recovery can be helpful. It is also important to spend time on yourself and develop new interests. This will provide you with a healthy distraction and prevent you from turning to drugs again in the future. This can be accomplished by taking classes, volunteering, or pursuing a new hobby.
3. Change Your Environment
The people, places and activities that a person surrounds himself or herself with can influence their addiction. Changing your environment is important for recovery from drug abuse. It’s a big part of detox and rehab, but it can also help with long-term sobriety.
A person may start using drugs to fill a need that’s missing in his or her life. This could be anything from a need to socially connect, to self-medication for anxiety or pain. Over time, drug use can cross the line into addiction if it becomes too frequent and is used to control moods.
To break the pattern of using, it’s a good idea to remove all triggers from a recovering person’s environment. This includes reducing or eliminating time spent with friends who drink or use drugs and avoiding all triggering locations, such as bars and clubs. The home environment should be changed, too. Keeping the kitchen stocked with healthy food helps to prevent hunger from becoming a relapse trigger.
4. Get Help
During this difficult time, it is important to prioritize self-care. Exercise, eat a balanced diet and try to get enough sleep. It’s also helpful to seek support from others who are dealing with addiction. You can find a local support group, join an online forum or talk to a professional therapist.
Friends and family of addicts can help by expressing their concerns, arranging an intervention led by a professional or encouraging their loved one to attend therapy or mutual-help groups. However, they should not lecture, threaten, bribe or preach.
Treatment is vital for overcoming drug addiction. It can include detox, behavioral counseling and medications. During treatment, people learn to cope with stress and other triggers without turning to drugs for comfort. They also learn to recognize the underlying problems that may have contributed to their drug use, such as depression or anxiety. Once they complete formal treatment, they need to continue seeking support to prevent relapses.