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How To Kick Drug Addiction

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Kicking Drug Addiction
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Treating A Cocaine Addiction

Many people try to stop using cocaine without outside help. They may do this for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Embarrassment over their cocaine use.
  • Believing they cannot afford the cost of treatment.
  • Believing that their cocaine use is not severe enough to qualify for help.

Unfortunately, most recovering addicts discover that there are pitfalls that occur when one tries to fight an addiction alone. Most often, individuals who have cocaine abuse or addiction issues have trouble when they attempt to quit on their own because:

  • They lack structure in their approach.
  • They dont have an experienced support mechanism, such as a support group or a therapist, to rely on.
  • They tend to retain their old habits or associate with the same people they associated with when using cocaine.
  • They arent prepared to deal with the symptoms of withdrawal and/or strong cravings that result when quitting cocaine.

Can You Cure Yourself Of Drug Addiction

Actor Charlie Sheen, known for his heavy cocaine use, has been stating in interviews that he freed himself of his drug habit. How likely is that?

  • Print

When asked recently on The Today Show how he cured himself of his addiction, Two and a Half Men sitcom star Charlie Sheen replied, “I closed my eyes and made it so with the power of my mind.”

*Correction : This sentence was edited after posting. LSD and methadone were removed, whereas methamphetamine and MDMA were added to the list of neurotoxic drugs.

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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.

Natural Recoverers Kick Addiction Without Help

Faith offers a path for recovery from drug addiction

ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

A few years ago, a friend of mine decided to quit smoking. She didnt follow any pre-set plan, like Nicotine Anonymous, or do any research. Instead, she just quit. She also took up running, and around the same time started dating someone newsomeone who didnt smoke. Shes been cigarette-free ever since.

We tend to think that stopping an addictive behavior means joining a group, seeing a therapist, going to a treatment center, or taking a medication that helps with cravings. It may come as a surprise to youit certainly surprised methat some people break addictions without any help.

It turns out that my friend instinctively did what these natural recoverers often do to break addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling, and other problems. Many natural recoverers take these two steps:

Both of these steps are important on their own, but they also lead to a vital outcome: the person becomes reinvested in himself or herself and in a new community, most likely of people who arent involved in the object of addiction.

Have you recovered from an addiction? Tell us what worked for you.

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Things To Think About Before You Start

If youre thinking of taking steps to stop taking drugs or cut down, dont be afraid to reach out for help. Its much easier to make positive changes when youve got help and support from other people.

You could:

  • Speak to your doctor about your worries. Theyll be able to give you advice and useful information.
  • If you can, talk to family and friends about your drug use. Asking for help can make a big difference, especially in the first few weeks.
  • Find your nearest drug service. You can search for your nearest service and look at treatment options further down the page.
  • Join a peer support group like Narcotics Anonymous or Cocaine Anonymous.

If you have a dependency, please speak to a professional before stopping using suddenly, so you can carefully manage any withdrawal symptoms.

How To Help Someone Quit Drugs

How can I help a drug addict quit?

This is such a common question, yet its also a complex, difficult one. Ultimately you cant control whether or not a drug addict stops using, but there are some things you can do both for them and to help yourself cope.

When you have a loved one whos struggling with drugs it can take an immense emotional toll on you. Drug addiction doesnt just impact the addict, it impacts everyone around that person, and as youre wondering how to help someone quit drugs, you may find that youre neglecting your own needs.

Some of the common feelings loved ones of addicts experience include anger, resentment, worry, fear, anxiety, helplessness, and depression. You want to be able to help your loved one, but its very easy for that to become enabling them. Theres also the sense that if you set boundaries and exhibit tough love, youre somehow not empathetic or sympathetic to the addict.

Loved ones of addicts are often the victims of the manipulation thats bred by addiction. Addicts have one focus in their lives, and thats using drugs. They may have once been a sensitive, loving person, but as addiction takes hold this comes to an end and theyre self-absorbed and entirely driven by their desire to continue using. The disease of addiction is a difficult and complicated one, and it ultimately changes the brain of the addict, which is why they act out in certain ways and become so focused on their addiction.

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Dependence On Prescription Painkillers Is One Of The Most Common Addictions In America

There is no question about it: Americans are becoming increasingly addicted to prescription drugs. Prescription painkillers are included in this list of the top 10 worst drug addictions for several different reasons:

  • There is growing social acceptability for using prescription painkillers.
  • The vast majority of prescription opioids can be used to get high.
  • Drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin can both create a sense of wellbeing and cause withdrawal symptoms two hallmarks of drug abuse.
  • Opioid painkiller has risen by 300%.

The increase of opioid prescriptions written is believed to play a major factor when it comes to addiction to opioids. Prescription pain relievers became the gateway drug to heroin which has caused a 45% increase in heroin deaths. The likes of Vicodin, Percocet, and codeine have the same effect as heroin. When a prescription is cut off from a person, they may turn to the streets to get heroin which is cheaper and easier to obtain.

The same effects that heroin has on the brain and body exist with prescription opioid painkillers. There is an intense high which varies depending on how the drug is taken. Prescription painkillers can be injected and snorted as people may abuse them. Opiates affect the opioid receptors in the brain. This gives them a variety of side effects.

Learning More About Treatment Options

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The more you know about addiction and the treatment options that exist for the disease, the more help you can be to your friend or loved one that is struggling. It is fine to contact treatment professionals or centers in your area or to reach out to the Health and Human Services national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP to learn more. The more you know, the better equipped you are to support your friend or loved one.

As a friend or loved one, you can play an important role in helping someone get the support they need to overcome their substance use disorder. You should never think that you can solve the problem alone, and you should always seek out the support and guidance of a professional. Recovery from addiction is a process, not a destination. today to speak to a representative about our treatment programs.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

Also Check: How To Help Someone With Heroin Addiction

Avoid Triggering And Tempting Situations

A great way to arm yourself against relapsing is to avoid the scenarios in which you used to take drugs and where you suspect drug use will be happening. Steering clear of these scenarios will not only help keep you away from temptation, but it will support a clean and sober lifestyle adjustment going forward, conditioning you to find new ways to have fun and spend free time that doesnt involve using drugs.

Keep A Positive Mindset

Its essential to try to seek the positives in the situation and celebrate the progress made. Changing addictive behavior is hard, just like making any significant change of habit. Yet its even harder than that because there are chemicals involved that interfere with their decision-making ability.

Even if they slip up, try to remain positive. Use supportive communication to explore what led to the slip-up, and then figure out how to avoid it in the future. You dont want your loved one to slide back, so encourage them to see how far theyve come already.

Also Check: How To Stop Tobacco Addiction

Heroin May Be The Most Addictive Drug In The World

According to a professional panel, heroin is at least among the top five most addictive drugs in the world. It may not be the worst addiction to kick, but it is up there.

Heroin hits the addiction trifecta: It causes the brains dopamine levels to increase by up to 200 percent, it causes brutal withdrawal symptoms and has a cheap street value.

~ Samuel Osborne, writing for The Independent

As an opioid, heroin blocks pain and gives a feeling of euphoria. This is because the drug binds to opioid receptor cells. When heroin is used, the body converts it into morphine which gives a person a rush of pleasure and extreme relaxation. This is what causes people to use heroin over and over again. Once a person is chronically abusing heroin, the brain begins to adjust. This is known as tolerance where the brain gets accustomed to a higher level of opioids.

The user will then need more heroin to get the same high as before. The signs of dependence avoiding a sick feeling, restlessness, and shakiness. Stopping too quickly could include pain in the bones and muscles. The person may also experience:

  • Cold sweats
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation

Not only is heroin one of the most addictive drugs in the world but it is also one of the most dangerous drugs in the world. Taking just five times a normal dose can become lethal, and heroin has a wide range of devastating physical and psychological side effects for users. Heroine will continue to be listed among the hardest addictions to kick.

Empowering You To Break The Cycle Of Addiction

How To Kick Heroin

Here at Meta Addiction Treatment, our mission is to empower and equip you to take charge of your recovery. Recovery may take time, but our programs can help you overcome addiction and maintain sobriety. Contact us and let us help you get there. Were ready and willing to help you recover no matter how long it takes.

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Dont Wait To Take Supportive Actions

Denial can happen for the addict and for the family and friends involved too. It can be a lot easier to put off actions and conversations, but that means missed opportunities for early healing and greater risks of physical, psychological, emotional, and life damage. The diverse effects of drug addiction can be devastating.

Work through any barriers rather than against them:

Even if the person you care about is resistant and, so far, blocking your attempts to connect them with real help, you can always call a treatment center for advice.

Amphetamine Use Is Turning Into One Of The Worst Addictions

Amphetamines are a stimulant class of drugs that includes dextroamphetamine, amphetamines, and methamphetamines. When taken, they boost energy, mood, and confidence. They also help to suppress ones appetite. They are used sparingly as a weight-loss tool but the likes of Adderall are being prescribed to those with ADHD liberally.

This has turned into a relatively new form of drug abuse and addiction in the US. While many people seem to think that there are few consequences for abusing amphetamines like Adderall, this could not be further from the case.

With so many people being diagnosed with ADHD, drugs like Adderall are making it onto the streets. The medications that include amphetamines for those with ADHD work differently in the brain than they do of the general population. They are more addictive when abused by someone who doesnt have the disorder. Due to the ease of being able to obtain these drugs is one of the explanations on why its one of the most common addictions in the U.S. today.

Amphetamines are synthetic drugs that are designed to stimulate the central nervous system. This is why people will have increased energy and some of the functions within the body go on supercharge. Their effects are similar to cocaine with a rewarding high. This is what makes them both physiologically and psychologically addictive.

Also Check: How Many People Struggle With Addiction

Stop Enabling Your Loved One

Enabling a loved one means you are directly or indirectly contributing to their addiction problem. It is very difficult to determine what can be constituted as enabling. While you want your loved one to stop their drug addiction, you also do not want to abandon them. So, what are examples of actions that may enable your addict loved one? These are things that you provide to a person that they can earn alone if only they were sober. Here are some examples:

  • Letting them live in your house without contributing in the expenses or in housework
  • Giving them money even if you know they will use it for drugs
  • Providing them food and drink for free with no expectation of payment
  • Providing gas money or driving them when you know they are to meet addict friends

You can still show your support and love by providing things that cannot be bought by money or they cannot do alone such as:

  • Listening to them when they need someone to talk to
  • Spending time with them doing fun and productive activities like exercise and community service
  • Including them in family activities and outings
  • Giving them positive affirmation when they do something good like finding a job or attending meetings

Helping Someone Quit Drugs

Suboxone Helps Opioid Addicts Kick Their Habit

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.

Read Also: How To Quit Sugar Addiction

Why Is Quitting So Hard

Addiction affects the frontal cortex of your brain and alters your impulse control and judgment. The brain’s reward system is also altered so that the memory of previous rewards can trigger craving or increased “hunger” for drugs or rewarding experiences, in spite of negative consequences.

These changes in your brain can make quitting difficult, but it is important to remember that addictions are treatable. With the right plan and resources, recovery is possible.

The good news is that you can quit, although it’s a complicated process. There are many factorsphysical, mental, emotional, and biologicalthat make quitting difficult. This complexity is why so many people find treatment helps guide them through the process of quitting. Even still, many people are successful in quitting on their own.

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