Tuesday, September 27, 2022

How To Battle Drug Addiction

What To Do For Relapse Prevention

Examining efforts to fight drug addiction in Michigan

Relapse can be a challenge, especially if you have been sober for years. It might feel like youre right back to the beginning and you will have to start from scratch, but your progress is not all lost. You can avoid relapse by following these steps:

  • Understand Relapse Relapse doesnt always happen overnight, it can come on slowly and without warning. Stay connected with your treatment team and supports so you can watch out for signs of relapse and avoid it.
  • Get Busy getting busy and doing things you loved once can help you focus on your new life rather than thinking about drugs. This can look like: picking up new hobbies, joining a club, or helping others who have been in similar positions as you.
  • Attend Support Groups attending a support group will help you have something to do. Also, people from your group could be inspirations for you. Listening to other peoples stories and relating to them will help you appreciate your journey. Youll see through their eyes how far you have come, and relapsing will only set you back.
  • Self-care one of the most important relapse prevention is self-care. Whatever kind of self-care looks like to you, try that. It could be reading a book, taking a quick break and getting outside, or cooking your favorite meal.
  • Get Help if you feel like you are relapsing, get help immediately. Its hard to undergo all those years of treatment just to relapse and do everything all over again. Reach out, people are there to help you.

Helping Someone Quit Drugs

Watching someone you care about use drugs is stressful. Their behaviour can be erratic and talking to them about their problem is challenging.

Here are some tips on how you can help:

  • Learn about the effects of drugs this will help you understand why quitting can be hard.
  • Show that you care without judging being calm and respectful may encourage them to be open and honest with you.
  • Be positive and encouraging rather than negative and nagging remember relapses may happen, but they dont mean the person cant try again, and succeed.
  • Offer practical support sometimes just being there is enough, but you can offer to go with them to parties or join them for a walk or run.

Find more tips on helping someone quit drugs on the Alcohol and Drug Foundation site.

Making The Decision To Change

But sooner or later, most people who have an addiction decide a change needs to happen. Once the decision is made, most people have a specific goal in mind. It might be to quit entirely, to quit some addictive behaviors or substances , to reduce the amount of time or money spent on addictive behaviors, or to reduce the harm of an addictive behavior.

For example, many drug users decide to quit heroin or meth but continue to drink alcohol, or smoke cigarettes or marijuana. Many heavy drinkers have the goal of just one drink a day, or only drinking socially.

Getting clear on your goal before putting it into practice is helpful for success in changing an addictive behavior.

Although quitting entirely is the best path to wellness, reducing or eliminating the most harmful substance use is a huge improvement and will greatly reduce the harm caused.

The same is true of behavioral addictions: Anyone who decides to quit eating entirely is putting themselves at serious risk for an eating disorder. But stopping overeating and embracing a healthy diet is a healthy decision to change.

Complete abstinence from sex can be another form of sex addiction, known as sexual anorexia, yet developing healthy intimacy after a sex addiction can be greatly fulfilling. And reducing obsessive exercise to healthy levels is likely to improve health and wellness more than quitting exercise entirely.

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Ways To Help Someone With Drug Addiction

Substance use disorders exist on a continuum, with the least severe being a substance misuse problem and the most severe most commonly known as a substance use disorder. Substance use impacts more than 23 million people in the United States directly, and if you include the indirect impact that number can skyrocket to over 60 million. What this means is that you more than likely know someone who is currently struggling with an addiction, and at some point will need help to get the medical care that they needknowing what you can do then is an important part of the process.

The Process Of Providing Alternatives Is Slow

Seeking help to fight drug addiction

According to information provided by The Marshall Project , there is a long way to go in getting this new way of thinking to take hold:

Studies are unequivocal that treatment with medications like methadone or Suboxone reduces drug use, overdose, death, crime, and risky behavior like sharing needles. Yet of the 3,200 jails around the country, just 23 provide methadone or Suboxone maintenance therapy to inmates, according to data compiled for the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance. Of the 50 state prison systems, four do so.

The most effective models integrate criminal justice and drug treatment systems and services. Treatment and criminal justice personnel work together on treatment planning in addition to the use of various sanctions and enticements.

The course of treatment for incarcerated drug abusers may include continuing care, monitoring, and supervision after incarceration and during parole. It is also worth researching various methods for probation officers to have to help facilitate better outcomes for the drug user.

For more information, refer to NIDAs Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations: A Research-Based Guide

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A Willingness To Change

People often say, the first step to getting help is admitting you have a problem. But at Turnbridge, we believe the initial step to recovery, more than anything, is a combination of recognition and readiness: not only do you need to be aware of your drug habit, you must also be ready to address it.

The key to a successful recovery starts with the active decision to make a change a change to better your mind, your body, your relationships, your outlook, and your sense of self. A change to move away from the drug-using lifestyle youve come to know so well. A change in your friend groups and what you do in your free time. A change in your mindset and attitude towards life.

For most people battling drug addiction, this first step is often the hardest. And it doesnt always happen right away. For some, this willingness does not develop until weeks into a rehab program, and that is okay. We understand that change can be scary its unfamiliar territory. If you are here, though, you have likely already decided that something has got to give. There are reasons you want to live sober. There is something inside telling you its time to take the leap. You dont have to do it alone. A professional treatment center like Turnbridge can support you through the entire recovery process.

Keep An Eye On Your Own Behaviors And Attachments That Might Reflect Codependence

Relationships become very complicated in the context of drug addiction, and codependency is a common and confusing factor. Over time, when youre caring about an addict, your view of reality and the way forward can become distorted. Says addiction specialist Alan Massey of codependency, It becomes the dysfunctional side of caring that gets people locked into being over-responsible and losing touch with their authentic selves. Codependency is wrapped up in those difficult-to-define boundaries and enabling behaviors. But speaking with professionals who know the realities and possibilities of addiction recovery can help to refresh your perspective and the better choices you make moving forward.

Read Also: How To Stop Addictive Behavior

Treatment Approaches For Drug Addiction Drugfacts

NOTE: This fact sheet discusses research findings on effective treatment approaches for drug abuse and addiction. If youre seeking treatment, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or go to for information on hotlines, counseling services, or treatment options in your state.

What To Avoid When Talking To A Loved One About Addiction

Tony’s Battle with Drug Addiction | True Stories of Addiction | Detox to Rehab

When talking to a loved one about getting treatment for their addiction, here are some things to avoid:

  • Preaching, lecturing, threatening or moralizing your loved one
  • Emotional appeals that may increase the feelings of guilt and the compulsion to use drugs
  • Lying or making excuses for their behavior
  • Taking over their responsibilities doing this protects them from the consequences of their behavior
  • Enabling their behavior by covering up the abuse or giving them money for drugs
  • Arguing with your loved one when theyre using drugs during this time, your loved one wont be able to hold a rational conversation and likely wont be open to what you have to say
  • Feeling guilty or responsible for their behavior its not your fault

If you feel that your loved one is abusing drugs, the best thing you can do is to encourage them to seek treatment for their addiction. Be loving and supportive, but also know that theyre likely going to make excuses for their behavior. Be firm in what you want, and keep encouraging them to get help. Although this isnt easy to do, its a critical first step in helping them achieve a healthy and happy life in recovery.

Recommended Reading: How To Stop Being Addicted To Alcohol

What Are The Signs That Someone Has A Drug Problem

Signs that someone has a drug problem include

  • Changing friends a lot
  • Spending a lot of time alone
  • Losing interest in favorite things
  • Not taking care of themselves – for example, not taking showers, changing clothes, or brushing their teeth
  • Being really tired and sad
  • Eating more or eating less than usual
  • Being very energetic, talking fast, or saying things that don’t make sense
  • Being in a bad mood
  • Quickly changing between feeling bad and feeling good
  • Sleeping at strange hours
  • Having problems at work or at school
  • Having problems in personal or family relationships

Natural Ways To Overcome Drug Addiction

Drug addiction or substance abuse has no fixed explanations or reasons. You may be addicted to drugs or other substances due to reasons like social pressure, curiosity, rebelling against authority, or escaping emotional problems.

Overcoming the nature of drug addiction can be difficult and challenging, but it is definitely not impossible. Change is possible with the right kind of treatment and support along with self-help and determination. If you have tried and failed to overcome an addiction, dont think that youve been defeated. The road to recovery can be bumpy and it can take you through the wrong turns, but all you need to do is to keep trying till you succeed.

Withdrawal symptoms depend on the drug used. Some of the most common symptoms include sweating, anxiety, tension, inability to concentrate, headaches, irritability, nausea, and others.

In 2014, a survey by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that more than 20 million Americans aged 12 years or above were illicit drug users.1

There are several addictions, but all those who want to overcome them expect only one result freedom from addiction.

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Avoiding Replacement Addictive Behaviors

Some people find that when they quit or change an addictive behavior, another comes along to replace it. Heavy drinkers and smokers often find themselves overeating and putting on weight. People struggling with sex addiction might find themselves obsessed with exercise.

Addictive behaviors have similar neurological and psychological processes and create rewarding feelings and sensations. So replacement addictive behaviors are common among those trying to overcome an addiction.

The trick to avoiding replacement addictions is to find satisfaction in the experiences of normal life. These experiences may lack the intensity and high of addictive behaviors, but getting to know and like them can introduce a new level of calm you may have never experienced before.

Many people feel they are more in touch with reality and that relationships are more authentic than when they were constantly seeking pleasure.

The other important aspect of avoiding replacement addictions is to address any underlying mental health problems. Addictions can cover up past trauma, or underlying feelings of emptiness, sadness, or fear. Psychological therapies, as well as medications, can provide long-term relief for these problems, which addictions tend to worsen over time.

Helping A Friend With Addiction

Personal Battle Against Drug Addiction

If you’re worried about a friend who has an addiction, you can use these tips to help him or her. For example, let your friend know that you are available to talk or offer your support. If you notice a friend backsliding, talk about it openly and ask what you can do to help.

If your friend is going back to drugs or drinking and won’t accept your help, don’t be afraid to talk to a nonthreatening, understanding adult, like your parent or school counselor. It may seem like you’re ratting your friend out, but it’s the best support you can offer.

Above all, offer a friend who’s battling an addiction lots of encouragement and praise. It may seem corny, but hearing that you care is just the kind of motivation your friend needs.

Recommended Reading: Why Do You Get Addicted To Nicotine

When It Comes To Treating Addiction Dont Limit Yourself

There are also times when trauma isnt involved and youve ended up physically addicted to something almost by accident . When it comes to how to beat drug addiction, you need to figure out both the Whys? and the What nows? as well in order to truly travel the road towards sobriety without tripping on the way.

How Is Substance Use Disorder Diagnosed

The first step to diagnosing a drug addiction is recognizing the problem and wanting help. This initial step may start with an intervention from friends or loved ones. Once someone decides to seek help for addiction, the next steps include:

  • Complete exam by a healthcare provider.
  • Individualized treatment, either inpatient or outpatient.

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What Is Drug Addiction Therapy

Today, there are a lot of facilities offering drug addiction treatments. These facilities offer a wide array of treatments to help battle drug and alcohol addiction. Addiction treatment centers monitor clients closely to negate the possibility of relapse, while offering healthy coping skills to replace the addiction.

Since drug addiction is seen as a chronic disorder, there will be instances that you need multiple episodes of care. Even after you have completed treatment, youll need to be regularly monitored by your team of doctors, nurses, and therapists. This ensures that you stay drug-free.

Dont worry professionals will be with you 100% of the way. Know the best addiction treatment option for you before getting treatment.

Creating An Educated Community

New support group in Helena forms to battle drug addiction

The education and effort to stop these needless deaths and addictions starts at home. As a parent or caregiver, its your responsibility to educate your children. Start by setting a positive example its the strongest action you can take. Children learn from observation, and that old adage of monkey see, monkey do holds true.

Communication is the second best way to educate. Always be honest when they ask questions and be sure they understand the proper ways to take prescribed medications. Explain the consequences accompanied with abusing drugs and alcohol. Spotlight the definition of peer pressure, and teach them that its okay to just say no.

There are many other ways to communicate and educate through group efforts by joining together as a community and making organizations available to the public.

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In The Event Of A Relapse

The current understanding of addiction as a disease means that symptoms will get worse at times. For people with diabetes or asthma, treatment will work for a period of time, and then symptoms may progress. This does not mean giving up instead, it means returning to the doctor and developing a new treatment regimen. Understanding addiction as a disease means treating relapse in exactly this way: Work to avoid it, but if it happens, return to treatment. Relapse is only a serious problem when the person who has fallen back into addiction refuses to admit the problem and refuses to get help.

When looking at treatment options, it is important to ask how the rehabilitation program handles relapse. Many programs pair new participants with sponsors who have graduated the program these people will understand the progression of recovery and serve as a source of support for the person if they are even tempted to relapse.

Friends and family should also be supportive if a loved one seems likely to relapse. Be there for the person without judgment and help them recommit to treatment.

Grasping The Reality Of Your Drug Addiction

Whether youre quitting cold turkey or following some sort of inpatient/outpatient rehab programme for drug addiction and substance abuse, you should make a list of drug addictions harmful effects on you. Although youve probably decided to quit because youve realised you dont want to be under the control of drugs anymore, in order to truly beat drug addiction, you need to truly grasp the gravity of your situation and the importance of becoming sober to prevent relapse.

Even if you already have a vague or solid idea of how drugs are ruining your life, jumpstart your change of behaviour by making that list anyway. Instead of framing the addiction in general terms like its destroying your life or how youre not unleashing your full potential, write down how your life changed when your addiction began. You can type it up on your computer and print it out or write it down with a pen or paper. This will also give you the incentive and resolve to complete the rehab.

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