Why 21 Days Isnt Enough
The assumption that it takes 21 days to break a habit comes from a book called Psycho-Cybernetics. In the book, author and plastic surgeon Dr. Maxwell Maltz noticed that his patients need about 21 days to get used to their new faces. But addiction is more powerful than an ordinary habit, and recent studies show that for most people, 21 days isnt enough time to see any substantial change.
Research shows that it takes about 66 days to change repetitive behavior patterns. One landmark study conducted by researchers at the University College London discovered that the time individuals needed to change their behavior patterns varied from 18 to 254 days. The study also concluded that most people take at least 2 months to develop new behavior patterns.
Why Do People Smoke Weed Is It Habit
Alcohol or cocaine addiction is more common, but a person can get hooked on marijuana. This means that the person cannot stop using it .
People use weed for various reasons. These include:
For some, using weed is a rational option to improve the quality of their lives. Others use the drug recreationally. For teenagers and young adults, its a way to fit in with the crowd. People of this age are easily known to give in to peer pressure.
Adults typically use weed for stress relief. The results of a study backed this up. It says that stress relief can be achieved as long as cannabis is used in low and monitored doses.
There are medical benefits associated with the use of weed. For example, it has been linked to the management of mental and physical problems and in preserving health.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of marijuana for two rare and severe forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Research is ongoing on marijuanas possible benefits in treating the following conditions:
- Alzheimers disease
How To Accomplish Your Goals
After youve set your goals to either stop or cut back your drinking, write down some ideas on how you can help yourself accomplish these goals. For example:
Get rid of temptations. Remove all alcohol, barware, and other alcohol-related paraphernalia from your home and office.
Announce your goal. Let friends, family members, and co-workers know that youre trying to stop or cut back on drinking. If they drink, ask them to support your recovery by not doing so in front of you.
Be upfront about your new limits. Make it clear that drinking will not be allowed in your home and that you may not be able to attend events where alcohol is being served.
Avoid bad influences. Distance yourself from people who dont support your efforts to stop drinking or respect the limits youve set. This may mean giving up certain friends and social connections.
Learn from the past. Reflect on previous attempts to stop or reduce your drinking. What worked? What didnt? What can you do differently this time to avoid pitfalls?
Pay Attention To Yourself
You may tune out yourself when you feel a bit down while ending a relationship with someone you loved and cared about for a long time. It might be hard to imagine a life without them, but you will get through this. Its easier to believe when you understand why they cant be in your life anymore.
Instead of burrowing yourself in grief, pity and hopelessness, focus on yourself. Take time to eat and exercise regularly, get quality sleep, and treat yourself gently.
Moreover, doing a few self-care activities each week can also help you feel more like yourself and contribute to your newfound freedom. In addition, relax in a soothing bubble bath, get your haircut and style, or visit the spa for a massage. Dont stop caring for yourself because youre feeling bad over someone who wasnt good for you.
Coping With Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms can be a difficult aspect of overcoming addiction, both for substance and behavioral addictions. With substance addictions, the physiological aspects of withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable, feeling like a bad flu, or can even be life-threatening. For this reason, it is a good idea to talk to a doctor about the best way and the best place to quit a substance.
Fortunately, most of the acute symptoms of withdrawal pass within a week or two of quitting. However, some people who quit an addiction find that certain withdrawal symptoms seem to go on and on. This is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome, and it can go on for weeks, months, or even years in some cases.
The risk of dying from an overdose is extremely high if you have been through withdrawal, as your tolerance of the drug will be much lower than it was before you quit. Make sure you have someone with you if you decide to use again.
In addition, addictions can sometimes mask underlying mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and even psychosis. If you are feeling blue or agitated, or you are concerned that the world or other people seem strange or upsetting since you quit, talk with your doctor. There are effective treatments for these problems that are much more effective than addictive substances and behaviors.
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Generate A New Behavior
Having gone through the self-evaluation process, you are now ready to create a new empowering behavior that replaces your addiction. And this is of course of paramount importance.
Your addiction is nothing more but a habit you have developed over time. Habits are of course deeply ingrained into our psyche, which makes them very difficult to change.
To eliminate a habit, you need to replace it with something else that satisfies the same needs you were craving while indulging in your addiction.
With this in mind, think back to the previous step where you questioned the benefits you derived from your addiction. These benefits are in essence the needs you seek to satisfy while indulging in your addiction. Your new behavior must fundamentally address these same needs. In other words, it must fulfill the same desires of your addiction, but in healthy and beneficial ways.
If for instance, you have a cigarette addiction, then going cold-turkey will rarely work in the long-run. Your brain needs a new empowering habit that replaces the old pattern of behavior .
With this in mind, some people develop the habit of chewing gum or chewing on a toothpick to interrupt their cigarette craving. This works quite well for a certain percentage of individuals who satisfy their cigarette cravings with this new habit. However, it doesnt work for all people because chewing gum doesnt quite meet the needs they get from smoking cigarettes.
Try A Minimalist Lifestyle
Living a minimalist lifestyle is one pathway to saving money. You can curb your spending habit and other addictions by practicing frugal living and living with fewer things. Try to give away or sell the items you dont use anymore, so youre not tempted to buy new ones.
The average person has 300,000 things in their home. Do you really need all of those things? Probably not. So, try living with less and see how it feels. You may be surprised by how much better you feel when youre not constantly surrounded by stuff.
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Other Medications For Addictions
Other Isolated Examples of Research Into Additional Pharmacotherapeutic Agents Include:
- Baclofen, a skeletal muscle relaxant used to treat muscle spasticity, has been studied for its possible function in opioid dependency maintenance care.
- There is some evidence that the anticonvulsant drug gabapentin can help people going through methadone-assisted detox handle such withdrawal symptoms.
- The anticonvulsant vigabatrin, like gabapentin, can help with alcohol withdrawal symptoms
- When used in the treatment of alcohol dependency, low-dose topiramate may help alleviate alcohol cravings, anxiety, and depression, suggesting that it may help prevent relapse.
While no official approval for medications for addictions has been issued in these cases, they serve as examples of how researchers are still searching for new prescription solutions to add to the addiction treatment toolbox. With ongoing research, we expect to supplement our validated clinical approaches and procedures to make more progress in drug abuse treatment shortly.
Involve Your Loved Ones
Family and friends can provide encouragement and support when you stop drinking.
Maybe your partner, sibling, or roommate is also thinking about making a change. Changing drinking habits together allows you to support each other while also boosting your motivation and accountability.
Turner notes the importance of bringing along a trusted support person when attending events that involve alcohol. Its often easier to turn down a drink when you dont have to do it alone.
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What Is Heavy Drinking
Heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 15 drinks or more per week for men or 8 drinks or more per week for women.12 According to the NIAAA, binge drinking entails a pattern of alcohol consumption that results in blood alcohol concentration levels of 0.08 g/dL and above.4 For adult men, thats usually around 5 drinks in a couple of hours, and for adult women, its generally about 4.4
Here are some links that can teach you more and help you get started.
Benefits Of Quitting Marijuana Use
Quitting marijuana provides significant benefits. Some of these are noticeable right away, while others might take a few weeks or months to take effect.
Some of the physical and mental benefits include:
- Increased energy
- Healthier lungs and heart
- Positive, balanced mood
When a person decides to quit smoking marijuana, improvements in work or school performance, relationships, financial situation, and overall health become apparent.
Some things may take time, such as sleep problems. However, these will eventually improve after a few weeks or months.
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Why Dont They Just Stop Addiction And The Loss Of Control
We have been discussing that “repeated involvement despite substantial harm” is a defining characteristic of addiction. This leads to some baffling questions, “Why would someone continue to engage in something that is harmful?” “Why don’t they just stop already!?”
There is considerable disagreement about how to answer these very sensible questions. There are two possibilities: 1) A person develops a complete loss of control over their behavior or 2) A person develops a decreased ability to control cravings for pleasure. It may seem like splitting hairs. However, the distinction between a complete loss of control and decreased control over cravings has big implications with respect to fixing this control problem.
Some people experience their addiction as a complete loss of control. These people believe they are incapable of managing their own behavior. Therefore, regaining this control would clearly require a power greater than themselves, such as divine intervention, or medical intervention. If this is the case, it seems pointless to ask them to control their behavior since by this definition, they cannot. From this perspective, only medicine or God can rescue them from their addiction.
Find Support For Your Addiction Recovery
Dont try to go it alonereach out for support. Whatever treatment approach you choose, having positive influences and a solid support system is essential. The more people you can turn to for encouragement, guidance, and a listening ear, the better your chances for recovery.
Lean on close friends and family. Having the support of friends and family members is an invaluable asset in recovery. If youre reluctant to turn to your loved ones because youve let them down before, consider going to relationship counseling or family therapy.
Build a sober social network. If your previous social life revolved around drugs, you may need to make some new connections. Its important to have sober friends who will support your recovery. Try taking a class, joining a church or a civic group, volunteering, or attending events in your community.
Consider moving into a sober living home. Sober living homes provide a safe, supportive place to live while youre recovering from drug addiction. They are a good option if you dont have a stable home or a drug-free living environment.
Make meetings a priority. Join a 12-step recovery support group, such as Narcotics Anonymous , and attend meetings regularly. Spending time with people who understand exactly what youre going through can be very healing. You can also benefit from the shared experiences of the group members and learn what others have done to stay sober.
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Avoid Triggers And Keep Cravings In Check
Knowing your triggers is a vital part of recovering from any addiction. It may take some creativity, but avoiding the things that make it too hard to stay away from drugs will make all the difference.
Its important to continue avoiding your triggers even after you have been sober for a while. It can be easy to get overconfident and believe you will never go back to your old habits. However, this is a trap many people fall into. If youre in a support group, youll probably see this happen at least once.
Practicing Somatic Exercises Might Help
Overdependence on a partner or relationship can be a maladaptive, or unproductive, strategy for coping with difficult emotions.
Somatic therapy, which helps you tune in to your own physical and emotional responses to stress, could help you reestablish a sense of self and develop emotional regulation skills, according to 2018 research.
While somatic therapy often works best with the support of a trained therapist, you can try these four exercises at home.
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Whats The Difference Between Impulsive And Compulsive Shopping
Impulsive and compulsive buying are terms that often get confused for each other. On the surface, they may seem similar, but they are very different in their cause, outcome and frequency.
Impulsive shopping is defined as the sudden urge to make an unplanned purchase. Its very common and nearly everyone has made an impulse purchase at some point in their life.
For example: Youre in the grocery store to pick up a few items for dinner. You see that your favorite ice cream is on sale. Even though its not on your shopping list, you suddenly get the urge to buy it.
Buying the ice cream was unplanned. As soon as you saw it in the store, youve succumbed to an urge in the moment, then purchased the ice cream.
On the other hand, compulsive shopping is planning to shop in order to relieve an uncomfortable tension. For these individuals, shopping can also be used as a way to escape negative feelings, such as anxiety, depression, anger, self-critical thoughts or boredom.
Compulsive shoppers continue this repetition of behavior despite its adverse consequences, such as accumulating credit card debt, rocky relationships due to shopping too much, or feelings of guilt due to overspending. Many compulsive shoppers also find themselves excessively preoccupied with shopping and their poor impulse control when it comes to shopping.
Think About Why You Drink
Maybe your concerns center around your reasons for drinking rather than the amount. Plenty of people use alcohol to numb emotional pain or face stressful situations more easily. Its common to drink to lighten tension on a first date or before a difficult conversation.
But when its hard to face challenges without alcohol, its worth considering whether drinking prevents you from finding more helpful ways of managing emotions.
Knowing why you drink is essential, says Cyndi Turner, LCSW, LSATP, MAC, a Virginia therapist who specializes in addiction treatment and alcohol moderation.
She goes on to explain that knowing the reasons behind your alcohol use relationship stress, trouble at work, insomnia, or anything else can help you explore alternative ways to address those issues more productively.
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Is It Possible To Treat Addiction
Yes, addiction and substance use disorders are treatable. Like other chronic, relapsing diseases, such as asthma or heart disease, addiction isnt curable but it can be successfully managed through proper treatment. Addiction has a relapse rate similar to other chronic diseases for example, the relapse rate for asthma or high blood pressure is 50-70%, while addiction has a relapse rate of around 40-60%. Addiction relapse is considered to be a normal part of the recovery process relapse does not mean that treatment has failed, but can mean that your treatment plan or treatment methods need to be re- evaluated.10
Effective treatment plans benefit from being individualized and constantly adjusted to your changing needstaking into account all of your biological, psychological, and social considerations. Your plan may involve a continuum of care, starting from the moment you enter detox, which focuses on treating withdrawal and helping you become medically stable. Once youve completed detox, youll be ready to transition to additional rehabilitation. Though treatment lengths vary, research supports relatively longer periods of treatment for optimal treatment outcomes. As a formal treatment program comes to an end, youll then move on to aftercare, which is designed to promote lifelong sobriety.5,8,13,14
Practice These Tips To End Addiction
Have you noticed anything in common with all of these? They all have one common purpose: improving your mood. This is the fundamental aspect of escaping addiction. So many of us have become accustomed to negative habits, negative people, and negative thinking. Its no wonder why we look to drugs, gambling, sex, social media, and shopping to make us feel better. Fortunately, if you implement these little things into your daily routine little by little, you realize you dont need these things to feel happy.
If you use these methods, they can and will help you. the hardest part is staying motivated. Addiction will often get in the way, so a good way to stay focused is to keep a reminder on you. This could be a motivational quote on your phone lock screen, or a keychain on your car keys anything that can continually remind you that you are on a mission of self-betterment.
Building willpower, especially with an addiction, is near impossible. It takes the fear of not having a job and therefore money to get me and most people out of bed in the morning. Without these motivating factors, many of us would buckle to many of lifes unhealthy habits. While the desire to be free from addiction is strong, it usually doesnt last very long, sometimes not even a few hours. This is why it is smart to have someone who will hold you accountable either a sponsor, family member, or friend. This can keep you motivated throughout your time escaping the clutches of addiction.
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