How To Overcome An Addiction
This article was co-authored by Tiffany Douglass, MA. Tiffany Douglass is the Founder of Wellness Retreat Recovery Center, a JCAHO accredited drug and alcohol treatment program based in San Jose, California. She is also the Executive Director for Midland Tennessee at JourneyPure. She has over ten years of experience in substance abuse treatment and was appointed a Global Goodwill Ambassador in 2019 for her efforts in residential addiction treatment. Tiffany earned a BA in Psychology from Emory University in 2004 and an MA in Psychology with an emphasis on Organization Behavior and Program Evaluation from Claremont Graduate University in 2006.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 25 testimonials and 100% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,122,411 times.
Theres a myth out there that addiction is inescapable or something thats locked in for life, but thats definitely not the case. In fact, more people succeed at overcoming their addiction than fail.XResearch source Acknowledging that youre addicted to something and wanting to change are the first steps, so youre on the right track! This article will show you how to come up with a plan for overcoming your addiction and stick with it, even when things get tough.
Explore Your Addiction Treatment Options
Once youve committed to recovery, its time to explore your treatment choices. While addiction treatment can vary according to the specific drug, a successful program often includes different elements, such as:
Detoxification. Usually the first step is to purge your body of drugs and manage withdrawal symptoms.
Behavioral counseling. Individual, group, and/or family therapy can help you identify the root causes of your drug use, repair your relationships, and learn healthier coping skills.
Medication may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, or treat any co-occurring mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.
Long-term follow-up can help to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. This may include attending regular in-person support groups or online meetings to help keep your recovery on track.
Get A New Stress Reliever
Its very hard to stop drinking at first because the stress makes you want to drink heavily. However, the most important thing to do when you first start your new recovery plan is to find a new outlet.
Running is an amazing way to focus all of your emotions into one activity. Taking up exercise as a form of stress relief is a great excuse to finally join a gym.
Some other healthy ways to relieve stress are:
- Swimming. Water is soothing and you can get in shape while easing your anxiety.
- Writing. Keep a journal about your recovery or start creative writing.
- Music. Listening or playing an instrument can help calm your mind immensely.
- Cooking. Time to learn some new healthy recipes!
Note: It is normal for people with alcohol dependence to experience symptoms such as a headache, nausea and sweating when they start to detox. However, if you experience any of the following, you should seek emergency help either at the ER or a detox centre :
- Severe vomiting
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The 11 Symptoms Of Alcohol Abuse Disorder
- When you drink, you often consume more than you wanted to.
- You often try to stop drinking but cant.
- You spend a lot of time trying to get alcohol, drinking or hungover.
- You often crave beer, wine or other types of alcohol.
- Your drinking has impacted your work and/or school performance and family life.
- Continued drinking even after negative effects on your social life.
- You still drink alcohol even though you know you might have a problem.
- You have built up a tolerance and require a greater amount of alcohol to feel drunk and you feel sick without it.
Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? Most people want to avoid the word alcoholic, but you have nothing to be ashamed of. This is a word that can actually help you. Acceptance is the first step in figuring out how to stop drinking.
When you admit that you have a real disorder, it becomes much easier to seek out the right treatment. But why should you stop drinking? Lets observe some of the ways alcoholism affects the body and mind.
How To Help A Loved One Struggling With Addiction
The best ways to help a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol may seem counterintuitive, especially for people who struggle with codependent relationships. Some of these methods may seem harsh, but they come from a loving approach with the ultimate goal to help the person overcome their addiction and to help all parties heal. Basic steps are outlined below.
- Remember that addiction is not a choice or a moral failing it is a disease of the brain
- Addiction is ultimately a condition that the individual must learn to manage no one can take the fight on for the addict.
- Set boundaries and stand by them.
- Encourage the individual to seek help this may include finding treatment resources for them.
- Find a therapist who specializes in addiction counseling and get help. Loved ones of addicts need support too.
- Set an example for healthy living by giving up recreational drug and alcohol use.
- Be supportive, but do not cover for problems created by substance abuse. The person struggling needs to deal with the consequences of their addiction.
- Be optimistic. A person struggling with drug or alcohol abuse will likely eventually seek help due to ongoing encouragement to do so. If they relapse, it is not a sign of failure relapse is often part of the overall recovery process.
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Effective Treatment To Beat Addiction
Now that you have a better understanding of what being addicted actually is and what exactly you are up against, this may help you to be open to the possibility of finding an effective treatment.
Addiction has a very high relapse rate, but where professional treatment is applied, this is reduced to a rate that is similar to other chronic lifetime illnesses.
While addiction cannot be beat indefinitely, due to it being a chronic disorder and a brain disorder, it can most definitely be successfully treated and managed.
Setting aside the shame and stigma that is often attached to this life-threatening condition and understanding that you are a) very ill, and b) having the condition is not your fault, will perhaps save you a lot of heartache and pain by trying to beat addiction on your own.
Lets look at it this way. If you were suffering from another chronic illness such as diabetes or asthma, for instance, you would most likely have no hesitation in seeking the correct medical care for your condition. We feel that the same attitude should be applied when approaching the subject of treating addiction.
Regardless of the substance or behaviour that your addiction manifests in, whether it is alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex, the same evidence-based methods of treatment, when tailored to the individual, DO work.
How To Recognize The Manipulation Of A Drug Addict
Anyone who has a close friend or relative that has struggled with a substance use disorder knows all too well about the manipulative ways of a person who is controlled by their addiction. These behaviors cause extreme heartache and pain and they even have the power to break up families and end marriages.
Amid a relationship that has been damaged by addiction, its not always easy to identify manipulative behaviors, let alone how to respond in a healthy way. However, if you can take a step back and peel back the filter from your eyes, you might just see that your loved one is manipulating you into fueling his or her addiction.
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Overcoming Addiction Without Rehab
Rehabilitation which is staying off drugs and alcohol after the initial acute withdrawal period is over can definitely be done on your own, as many people have proven through their own experiences.
In fact, whether you choose to recover on your own or in a rehab program, it is always you that is rehabilitating yourself. No one can make you get sober you have to want it on a deep level.
You have to be willing to do what it takes to make the necessary changes in your life. You have to embrace the trial by fire. Without that, no treatment program or AA process will be able to help you.
What everyone does usually need is some support along the way. Recovery is hard enough doing it with the help of others eases the burden.
However and wherever you choose to recover, you may need some or all of these things:
- Support from people like you whove been through this and understand what youre going through, and can provide advice on what worked for them
- Tips and training on how to prevent relapse
- Counseling or therapy
- Medication to ease post-acute withdrawal syndrome
- Help with establishing a new life work, living arrangements, etc.
- Ongoing encouragement during this months-long process
How To Beat Any Addiction
Addiction recovery starts with abstinence. Now, if you are battling with your addition on a daily basis, abstaining may seem unattainable/completely out of reach.
The first thing to identify is if you have a physical dependence on alcohol or drugs. If you do, then the safest and most successful way to stop is through medical detox. This should only be carried out by medical professionals trained in the detox process.
Once you have safely stopped the substance you are addicted to then the real treatment and work can then begin. By undertaking a professional treatment programme for your addiction recovery, you will benefit from:
- Undergoing a full medical detox for any drug or alcohol dependency that you have
- Gaining a real insight into the nature of your addiction and how it affects you as an individual
- Receiving evidence-based treatments from doctors, counsellors, psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists
- Unearthing and healing the root causes that drive your addiction
- Learning new and healthy behaviours by tackling the thought processes behind them
- Learning essential relapse prevention techniques and how to safeguard your own addiction recovery
- Being treated as a whole person and not just from the perspective of your addiction. This means undergoing a selection of proven treatments for the mind, body and spirit
- Having access to free aftercare conducted by a professional counsellor
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Support Groups And Follow Up Programs
Support groups and follow-up programs can be quite useful in the battle for your life with addiction. There are numerous support groups out there for every type of addiction including drugs, sex, food, self-harm, video games, porn, and many others. Support groups and follow-up programs can be located online or through local outreach programs. If you have never tried a support group it is worth a shot. You will likely be surprised by how much a support group can help you.
Less Stress For Loved Ones:
Your loved ones will surely appreciate the fact that you have decided to get help and are now detoxing. This is sure to let sleep at night and no longer live in constant fear that they are going to lose you. Can you imagine how it must feel to have this concern for your child or other people you care for? It would be terrifying, wouldnt it?
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Tips For Parents: How To Help A Drug Addict Son
Loving a child with an addiction is one of the most challenging things you may have to do as a parent. Watching them struggle with the mental, physical, and emotional impact of alcohol on their life can be just as challenging for you.
You may feel helpless in this situation, but your willingness to help and support your child through this difficult time could be the difference they need to see that change is worth it, that they are worth it.
If you are struggling to figure out how to help your drug addict son, lets look at how to stage an intervention and how to find appropriate addiction treatment for their needs.
The Robert Alexander Center is a comprehensive addiction treatment center that tailors treatment plans for each individual client, by combining group, individual, and family therapy to inspire physical, mental, and emotional healing.
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Laws Vary According To State
In some cases, individuals who are renting may have guests who abuse drugs and become a perceived threat. Most renters typically have a formal written rental agreement that defines when a guest staying in the home becomes a tenet of the dwelling according to the landlord. One can check with their formal rental contract regarding this situation. These stipulations may also be specified by local and state governments.
Again, it is best to seek legal counsel when a person has a question regarding how these situations are legally defined.
If someone living in your home is involved in criminal behavior that you consider to be either dangerous or threatening to you, or the person is making physical threats, the best course of action is to contact local law enforcement authorities, explain the situation to them, and let them handle it. If the person is arrested and formally charged, you could conceivably attend the persons formal arraignment hearing and make a case to the judge as to why you think the individual should not be allowed to return your home. Again, the best approach is to consult with an attorney before taking any formal legal action.
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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.
What Is Alcohol Use Disorder
According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, an estimated 3.2 percent of the Canadian population, about 886, 000 people, ages 15 and older had a drinking problem or were dependent on alcohol in 2012. The medical term for a severe drinking problem is alcohol use disorder.National Institute of Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism can quench any thirst you may have for alcoholism stats & figures..
AUD can also be referred to as alcoholism. Many people often struggle to discern whether or not they really have a drinking problem since alcohol consumption is so common in our society. Binge drinking, for example, is almost like a rite of passage for teenagers and college students.
Alcohol abuse disorder has to be diagnosed by a professional. Psychologists and psychiatrists use a book called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders to diagnose their patients.
There are three levels of alcohol abuse disorder according to the DSM: mild, moderate and severe. In order to be diagnosed, a person must meet at least two of the 11 symptoms within a 12-month period.
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The Most Common Addictions
Millions of people around the world struggle with SUDs. Some of the most common drugs that impede peoples lives include:
Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelors and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffreys desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffreys mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
David embarked on his journey into sobriety in June of 2005, which led him to his current career path as a Certified Professional Addiction Recovery Coach in private practice in Greater Nashville. David is also a public speaker and the author of two books. David is cohost of the weekly Positive Sobriety Podcast, as well as being a frequent contributor to various articles and recovery based materials. As a member of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors , David works closely with Nashville area treatment centers, nonprofit recovery organizations, and consulting with faith-based groups trying to bridge the gap between the recovery communities and faith-based organizations who wish to understand addiction.
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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