Follow Medical Advice For Detox And Withdrawal
When you decide to quit drugs, you must remove all the chemicals from the drug that are present in your body through a process called detox. Drug treatment centers offer medical expertise that will make this process go as smoothly as possible. They will offer you the nutritious meals, medication and rest that are required to get off the drug in a healthy way. Following your doctors instructions during and after detox helps get your body off to the right start when you are quitting drugs.
In 2009, around 4.5 million emergency room visits were related to drug use.
Understanding The Pleasure Principle
Whether it is a psychoactive drug, sexual experience, or any other form of pleasure, the brain perceives them all in the same way. It stimulates dopamine release from the brains pleasure center.
The difference comes in the speed, intensity, and reliability with which the brain releases dopamine. Typically, drugs of abuse stimulate a high dopamine surge. Thats why they will always be so addictive. The high levels create an alternative route to the brains reward system, which causes dopamine to flood the brainand ultimately intensifies addiction.
What Qualifies As Drug Abuse
The first step in recovery is admitting that you have an addiction. This might seem like a simple step, but oftentimes addicts cant see that they have a destructive and harmful drug habit.
So, what exactly qualifies as drug abuse? When does one cross the line from occasional use to addiction?
Health officials agree that casual substance use becomes substance abuse when one or more of the following things occur as a result of repeated drug use:
- Health issues
- Impaired control
These are just a few of the ways addiction can change your life. There are many other ways drug and alcohol abuse can affect you and the people around you. And if you feel unable to continue through the day without using your drug of choice, you have an addiction.
Now that weve laid the foundation of what drug abuse actually is, lets jump into how to prevent substance abuse moving forward.
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How To Urge Surf
Urge surfing involves a similar mindset as mindfulness meditation. The goal of meditation is to focus fully on the breath. You observe your thoughts and feelings when your mind wanders. The point is to notice thoughts without judgement or frustration. This makes the thoughts less powerful and reduces your stress.â
Breathe. Start by sitting in a comfortable position. Pay attention to your breathing without controlling it. Think of it as following your breath.â
Notice how the air feels entering your nose and lungs. Focus on one aspect of your breathing. This could be your belly or chest rising and falling, or noticing each time you breathe in or out. â
Notice your thoughts. Your thoughts will wander after a little while. This is normal. Observe the thoughts without judging them or pushing them away. Each time you notice that your mind wanders away from your breath, bring your attention back to it. â
Notice your urges. If you sit in meditation for long enough, youâll start feeling an urge for something. It could be for water, to stretch, or any other desire. â
For example, you might notice a part of your body start to itch. Avoid scratching it right away. Instead, observe the itch from an outsiderâs point of view. Describe to yourself the exact physical feelings it creates. It could feel hot or cold, ticklish, or prickly. Try to imagine the shape and borders of the itchy spot. â
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If You Are Struggling With Addiction Know That Addiction Is A Treatable Disease Not A Moral Failing
Substance use disorders create changes in the brain, leading to a compulsion to use drugs or alcohol. It is a chronic mental health condition however, sobriety is possible with the proper treatment and support.
Olympia House Rehab provides patients with individualized addiction treatment tailored to their long-term goals and mental health concerns.
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Write Your Quitting Commitment
Who Is At Risk For Drug Addiction
Various risk factors can make you more likely to become addicted to drugs, including:
- Your biology. People can react to drugs differently. Some people like the feeling the first time they try a drug and want more. Others hate how it feels and never try it again.
- Mental health problems. People who have untreated mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder are more likely to become addicted. This can happen because drug use and mental health problems affect the same parts of the brain. Also, people with these problems may use drugs to try to feel better.
- Trouble at home. If your home is an unhappy place or was when you were growing up, you might be more likely to have a drug problem.
- Trouble in school, at work, or with making friends. You might use drugs to get your mind off these problems.
- Hanging around other people who use drugs. They might encourage you to try drugs.
- Starting drug use when you’re young. When kids use drugs, it affects how their bodies and brains finish growing. This increases your chances of becoming addicted when you’re an adult.
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Analyze Any Possible Risk Factors
Having prior knowledge of any possible drug abuse risk factors makes it easy for you to overcome them. For instance, if you have a family history of substance abuse, then you can make a promise of abstinence to yourself and plan ahead to avoid following in their footsteps.
Also, if you are friends with someone who abuses drugs, it may be a good idea to help them seek professional addiction treatment services. If this is not an option, making the decision to distance yourself from or end this friendship can keep you from forming these habits, as well.
Get Busy And Find Things In Your Life You Love
Find something that you love and passionate about, and motivates you to stay healthy, and mentally and emotionally in shape. It could be a sport, artistic endeavor, traveling, or personal relationship.
Boredom or feeling bored is a dangerous emotion for people. It can lead to feelings of anger, depression, irritability and unhealthy behaviors such as drinking and smoking.
Hobbies are a good way to unwind and relax. The dangers of stress are well documented and hobbies are an effective outlet for this. Finding interesting things to do is a wonderful way to give life a purpose. If you deeply care about the things you love and gives your life a sense of purpose, you are less likely to sabotage them by experimenting with illicit drugs
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Popular Substance Abuse Recovery Programs
When a person with an addiction seeks treatment, odds are they will be directed to a 12-step recovery program such as Alcoholics Anonymous , Narcotics Anonymous or similar spiritual approach to recovery. The AA model was developed by Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson in 1935, and remains the traditional model for addiction recovery in the U.S. It works like this: You admit that you are powerless over the substance or situation, you recognize that a higher power can restore your sobriety, you examine past mistakes with the help of a sponsor and make amends, then you learn to live by a new code of behavior and agree to help others who suffer from the same addiction.
There are other popular out-patient addiction recovery approaches as well. These include motivational techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy and SMART Recovery, a support group model that employs a 4-Point program of building and maintaining motivation, coping with urges, managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and living a balanced life. Unlike AA, SMART Recovery does not accept that individuals are powerless, but rather helps participants find their strengths and use them.
When all else fails, there is jail! Of course, this usually is not a solution.
Does Relapse To Drug Use Mean Treatment Has Failed
No. The chronic nature of addiction means that for some people relapse, or a return to drug use after an attempt to stop, can be part of the process, but newer treatments are designed to help with relapse prevention. Relapse rates for drug use are similar to rates for other chronic medical illnesses. If people stop following their medical treatment plan, they are likely to relapse.
Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply rooted behaviors, and relapse doesnt mean treatment has failed. When a person recovering from an addiction relapses, it indicates that the person needs to speak with their doctor to resume treatment, modify it, or try another treatment.52
While relapse is a normal part of recovery, for some drugs, it can be very dangerouseven deadly. If a person uses as much of the drug as they did before quitting, they can easily overdose because their bodies are no longer adapted to their previous level of drug exposure. An overdose happens when the person uses enough of a drug to produce uncomfortable feelings, life-threatening symptoms, or death.
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How To Break An Addiction: A Guide To Overcoming Addiction
If you are struggling with addiction, its crucial to remember that addiction to drugs or alcohol is not a character flaw, a weakness, or a moral failing substance use disorders are chronic mental health conditions characterized by an inability to control your drug or alcohol use. While the decision to first use drugs or alcohol is often voluntary, repeated problematic use may be accompanied by brain changes that ultimately make it very difficult for some people to quit using the substance. Fighting addiction is not a matter of willpower or desire its a matter of recognizing a problem and seeking help.1
Just as every person is unique, the manner in which you go about recovering from addiction must be unique and tailored to your specific needs to be optimally effective. If you want to know how to heal from substance abuse issues, and co-occurring mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety, you should understand that it may take time and persistence to recover, but recovery is well worth the effort. Taking back control of your life and starting the path to recovery is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and wellbeing. If youve chosen to recover from substance abuse issues, weve prepared various methods and tips to assist you in your decision.
Principles Of Effective Treatment
Based on scientific research since the mid-1970s, the following key principles should form the basis of any effective treatment program:
- Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior.
- No single treatment is right for everyone.
- People need to have quick access to treatment.
- Effective treatment addresses all of the patients needs, not just his or her drug use.
- Staying in treatment long enough is critical.
- Counseling and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used forms of treatment.
- Medications are often an important part of treatment, especially when combined with behavioral therapies.
- Treatment plans must be reviewed often and modified to fit the patients changing needs.
- Treatment should address other possible mental disorders.
- Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of treatment.
- Treatment doesn’t need to be voluntary to be effective.
- Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously.
- Treatment programs should test patients for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases as well as teach them about steps they can take to reduce their risk of these illnesses.
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Surround Yourself With Positive Influences
Just as its important to keep away from bad influences that might tempt you into using again, its also necessary to surround yourself with positive influences.
This doesnt mean you can only hang out with other sober individuals. It means you should be around people who will support and respect your sobriety. Keep friends who understand the struggle youve gone through, and will motivate you to stay sober.
You should also have a group of sober peers for example, an NA or AA support group that you can turn to when youre feeling vulnerable.
Actively Clear Your Head
Beating addiction is about more than just stopping the intake of drugs and alcohol. Its about treating and attempting to heal the different factors that lead to substance dependency. Anxiety, stress, anger, and sadness are all negative feelings that can encourage an addict to stay stuck in the same cycle.
In order to get out of the cycle, you have to find effective ways to manage both highs and lows in life. Theres no way to completely avoid intense feelings and emotions. There are, however, ways to react to them in a healthier manner.
Meditation is a method that has helped many people, such as addicts, to manage their headspace. Setting aside some quiet time for yourself with some relaxing music or even a guide to give you a bit of direction during meditation allows you the opportunity to introspect and patiently work through feelings and emotions. This, in turn, will help you learn how to better react to triggers and negative stimuli as they happen. You can learn to master your emotions instead of them letting them take control of you.
The idea of meditation can be daunting, but there are several ways to do it that dont involve sitting with your eyes closed for half an hour while holding your hands in unfamiliar gestures. The objective when meditating is simply to focus your mind and attain a sense of peace. This can be done through activities as well.
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Coping With Drug Cravings
Sometimes craving cannot be avoided, and it is necessary to find a way to cope:
Get involved in a distracting activity. Read, see friends, go to a movie, immerse yourself in a hobby, hike, or exercise. Once youre interested in something else, youll find the urges go away.
Talk it through. Talk to friends or family members about craving when it occurs. Talking can be very helpful in pinpointing the source of the craving. Also, talking about craving often helps to discharge and relieve the feeling and will help restore honesty in your relationship. Craving is nothing to feel bad about.
Challenge and change your thoughts. When experiencing a craving, many people have a tendency to remember only the positive effects of the drug and forget the negative consequences. Therefore, you may find it helpful to remind yourself that you really wont feel better if you use and that you stand to lose a lot. Sometimes it is helpful to have these consequences listed on a small card that you keep with you.
The three basic steps of urge surfing:
How Do The Best Treatment Programs Help Patients Recover From Addiction
Stopping drug use is just one part of a long and complex recovery process. When people enter treatment, addiction has often caused serious consequences in their lives, possibly disrupting their health and how they function in their family lives, at work, and in the community.
Because addiction can affect so many aspects of a person’s life, treatment should address the needs of the whole person to be successful. Counselors may select from a menu of services that meet the specific medical, mental, social, occupational, family, and legal needs of their patients to help in their recovery.
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To Improve Concentration And Increase Performance
Some people, especially those who engage in sporting activities, take stimulants to increase their performance. Others, and especially students, take sleep-alleviating drugs to study for more hours.
While these behaviors may give you short-term gains, the long-term side effects are far worse and often can result in permanent damage. Furthermore, for many forms of drug use, no conclusive evidence has been found to confirm that these are, in fact, performance-enhancing.
When there is more than one risk factor involved, the chances of developing a substance use disorder are higher. However, many individuals can still form an addiction, even without any risk factors playing a part.
Young Brains Under Study
Using cutting-edge imaging technology, scientists from the NIDAs Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study will look at how childhood experiences, including use of any drugs, interact with each other and with a childs changing biology to affect brain development and social, behavioral, academic, health, and other outcomes. As the only study of its kind, the ABCD study will yield critical insights into the foundational aspects of adolescence that shape a persons future.
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What Is Drug Use
Drug use, or misuse, includes:
- Using illegal substances, such as
- Misusing prescription medicines, including opioids. This means taking the medicines in a different way than the health care provider prescribed. This includes
- Taking a medicine that was prescribed for someone else
- Taking a larger dose than you are supposed to
- Using the medicine in a different way than you are supposed to. For example, instead of swallowing your tablets, you might crush and then snort or inject them.
- Using the medicine for another purpose, such as getting high
- Misusing over-the-counter medicines, including using them for another purpose and using them in a different way than you are supposed to
Drug use is dangerous. It can harm your brain and body, sometimes permanently. It can hurt the people around you, including friends, families, kids, and unborn babies. Drug use can also lead to addiction.