A Six Step Process For Overcoming Addictions
Overcoming an addiction is never an easy or straightforward process. It requires conscious work, effort and time. There are however six steps you can follow that can help you overcome just about any addiction you may face.
Working through these six steps, however, doesnt replace the value you will gain from seeking professional help. Therefore, if in doubt, always seek guidance from a counselor or therapist.
Values: Building On Your Values Foundation
Values play a critical role in addictionand your values are likely to be the key to beat addiction. This is a matter of both considering what your values are and sometimes refocusing on dormant values or even developing new ones.
When you can truly experience how a habit is damaging what is most important to you, the stepping-stones away from your destructive habit often fall readily into place.
2.1. What Are Values? Do they really matter?
Your values are your beliefs that some things are right and good and others wrong and bad, that some things are more important than others, and that one way of doing things is better than another. Values are usually deeply heldthey come from your earliest learning and background. Values reflect what your parents taught you, what you learned in school and religious institutions, and what the social and cultural groups you belong to hold to be true and right.
Many people find that alcohol is tremendously relaxing, sexually exhilarating, or provides some other powerful, welcome feelingbut they do not become alcoholics. They simply refuse to go there. Have you ever heard someone say, I know that when I have more than one drink, I throw all caution to the wind? Most people who react so violently to alcohol say, Thats why I limit myself to a single drink or Thats why I dont drink. But those addicted to alcohol regularly override this realization about their reactions to alcohol and continue to drink.
2.3. Returning to my Uncle Ozzie
Facing Addiction In America: The Surgeon General’s Report On Alcohol Drugs And Health
This executive summary of the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health addresses alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescription drug misuse in the United States. Chapters of the report cover neurobiology, prevention, treatment, recovery, health systems integration, and recommendations for the future.
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Ways To Control Your Addiction
Addiction treatment is often started in a rehabilitation center. This early part of treatment often focuses on getting through the withdrawal symptoms and beginning counseling.
These treatment plans, however, only last a few weeks. This is very short period, considering everything that needs to be done to combat an addiction. There a many thing you can do to get control of your addiction.
You must commit to getting better and work at it daily.
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.
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Quitting And Handling Withdrawal
Support: Getting Help From Those Nearest You
Human beings are social animals. Our peers and intimates have an enormous impact on our perspectives and our behavior. We learn much from our parents and the groups we grow up among we act consistently with the people we associate with we respondin both positive and negative waysto those we are intimate and live with. This is true about drugs and alcohol, eating and fitness, and other addictive behaviors as much as it is in any other area of our lives.
The process of learning from others is called social learning, or social influence. Its critical importance is one of the fundamental realities that contradict the disease view of addiction. That is, accepting the social sources of control and excess means that peoples biological reactions are not the root of addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, or food. And if social influence is the most powerful determinant of reactions to drugs and other addictive sensations or experiences, then it can also be the most powerful tool for preventing or recovering from these addictions.
There are many ways in which people can help you to beat addiction and change behavior. You can enlist others to help motivate and support change. You may choose to associate with people who dont engage in the activity or who do so in a moderate way.
6.1. Using Support Groups for Sobriety
6.2. Creating Support Networks
6.3. Family as a Support Group
Those Closest to You Are Your Biggest Help, and Your Greatest Burden
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Recognizing Impulse Control Problems
Impulse control problems typically show up in the following ways:
Behavioral symptoms like lying, stealing and aggression Emotional symptoms like low self-esteem, mood shifts, guilt and wanting to isolate Mental symptoms like irritability, anger problems, focus problems and obsessive behaviors
People who have issues with impulse control feel a buildup of tension until they must act on whatever impulse they have. Once they act on their impulse, they feel some relief. The problem is that the impulse will eventually come back. This is one of the ways that addiction develops. The primary risk factors for an impulse control disorder include the following:
Being male Trauma or abuse Exposure to violence
Various mental health disorders like depression, OCD and PTSD can also raise the risk for developing impulse control disorder. These same mental health issues also raise the risk of developing an addiction.
Stayfocusd: Curb The Time You Spend Browsing Time
This extension, for users of Googles Chrome browser, works in the reverse manner to Anti-Social or Self-Control. Rather than setting a period of time for which you CANNOT use the Internet, it allows you to set a period of time to indulge in time-wasting sites. Only want to give yourself 60 minutes a day for Twitter, vanity Googling, and updating your Netflix queue? This is your app. Much like when you were a kid and only allowed to watch two hours of TV a day.
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Action Steps For Quitting An Addiction
Because change is so difficult, it’s useful to have a guide when attempting to kick an addiction to drugs, alcohol or behavior. Research shows that the following steps can help you move toward your recovery goals. You have the greatest chance of success if you adopt all five steps.
1. Set a quit date. It might be helpful to choose a meaningful date like a special event, birthday, or anniversary.
2. Change your environment. Remove any reminders of your addiction from your home and workplace. For example, separate from those who would encourage you to be involved with the object of your addiction . If you are trying to quit drinking, get rid of any alcohol, bottle openers, wine glasses, and corkscrews. If you’re trying to quit gambling, remove any playing cards, scratch tickets, or poker chips. Also, don’t let other people use or bring reminders of the addiction-related substance or behavior into your home.
3. Distract yourself. Instead of giving in to an urge to use, come up with alternative activities, such as going for a walk or calling a friend or family member to talk, so that you keep busy until the urge passes. Be prepared to deal with things that trigger your cravings, such as being in an environment where others are using.
4. Review your past attempts at quitting. Think about what worked and what did not. Consider what might have contributed to relapse and make changes accordingly.
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.
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Address The Mental Health Issue
Since mental health issues are such a common driver of addictive behavior, addressing those should be your first priority. This is where mutual aid groups such as 12-step programs often fall short. Controlling conditions like ADHD, OCD, and bipolar disorder require psychotherapy and often medication. Without treatment, controlling your impulses will be much harder.
Surprisingly Easy Ways To Fight Your Screen Addiction
We get ityou need your phone and it’s so hard to put it down. So Common Sense Media has rounded up seven easy ways to limit your screen time.
As adults were pretty savvy when it comes to advertising and commercials. Those juicy cheeseburgers or shiny new cars look pretty appealing, sure, but we know the tricks advertisers use to tempt us, from upbeat music to attractive young models. Now, how many of us have tapped an icon on our phones to check a quick email only to look up an hour later and wonder where the time went? When it comes to our phones and other digital technology, we might not be as savvy as we think.
I know Im a screen addict and that it hurts my kidsWe might not know, for instance, that engineers and designers use the color red in notifications to trigger an emotional response that makes us want to click or swipe. Or that auto-play functions are designed to hijack our good judgment. And more and more of us are feeling addicted to technology. As a few key members in the tech industry start coming forwardincluding Tristan Harris, founder of the Center for Humane Technology and a senior fellow at Common Sensewere starting to understand why its so hard to put our phones down.
Here are some simple tiprecommended by Harristo work around the tricks phone designers use to keep us hooked:
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Tips On How To Control Your Shopping Addiction
Have you finally been forced to admit that you need to control your shopping addiction? If your closets are bursting at the seams and your credit card bills are the size of a brick, then it’s time to get a grip on your shopping habit. Most of us love shopping, but it can become a serious problem. Here are some hints on how to control your shopping addiction â¦
What Exactly Is An Addiction
An addiction is a compulsive behavior that is very difficult to control. Its something that we consistently think and obsess about that interferes with our social relations and threatens to take over our life.
It is a behavior that we become somewhat dependent upon that helps us alter our emotional state-of-mind and satisfy our inner desires and drives. Its a behavior that gives us a sense of security and control. However, this control is an illusion that actually threatens our emotional well-being.
When we indulge in our addictions, they completely overshadow other priorities, commitments, and responsibilities we have to ourselves, to our families, colleagues, and friends. These addictions take over our lives and affect our work, health, and social life.
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Counseling For Anger Management In Sobriety
Your sponsor is a great place to start when it comes to talking out your anger issues, but unless theyre trained in anger management, their ability to help you will be limited. Bear in mind that though youll certainly want to explore and seek to understand their connection for you personally, the two still need to be addressed separately.
Find a counselor in your area who has experience with anger management techniques, and its even better if theyre also well-versed in addiction issues. Be prepared to dig deep and really get to the root of your rage one of the trickiest parts of anger is that often you only think you know the cause. Your partner, siblings, children, or others may even want to join you for a few sessions for insight on when your anger seems to flare up the most when its most detrimental to your relationships, and how its affected not only your life but theirs, as well. Your therapist can also help facilitate and guide conversations with your loved ones so that you can effectively not angrily resolve issues and begin to rebuild together.
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.
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