Explore New Tools To Cope
Once you identify some of the main reasons why you drink, you can begin finding new methods of addressing those triggers.
The most helpful coping mechanism often depends on the circumstances:
- When you feel sad but need alone time, you might consider a favorite album or comforting book.
- When you want to drink to avoid relationship conflict or stress, you might vent to a loved one or practice better communication skills to reconnect with your partner.
- If loneliness triggers the desire to drink, you might look into ways to connect with distant friends or explore ways to build new friendships.
At the end of the day, one of the most important tools you have at your disposal is self-compassion. Instead of criticizing yourself for having a hard time or slipping up and having a drink, remember that no ones perfect. What matters most is your ability to maintain an open, curious outlook as you learn what does and doesnt work for you.
Stay Away From Temptations That Help Feed Your Addiction Or Bad Habits
Staying away from temptations is a lot easier than you think. You contribute to your addiction or bad habits when you put yourself in familiar places where your triggers are present. The world is full of fun activities you dont have to be limited to a bar or a pill to have a good time. If your friends try forcing you to come out and drink or do drugs with them while you are attempting to get sober, then be honest and upfront with them. Good friends will help you achieve your goal, not set you backwards.
How bad do you want to be successful at breaking a bad habit and forming a positive one? Use that strength to remove temptations from your life. Certain people also trigger giving into our habits. Avoiding these people and their influence is the best solution to getting away from any triggers they may cause. Out of sight, out of mind.
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Take our free, 5-minute Do I Have a Substance Misuse Disorder? self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with a substance use disorder . The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of an SUD. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.
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Keep Track Of Triggers For Substance Abuse
We cant put bubble wrap around our lives, which is why we have to learn better ways to cope with stressful events, but knowing your triggers can help you avoid stressors and temptations altogether. Triggers are the places, people, and events that make you feel like you want to engage in addictive behaviors. For instance, vacations can be triggers people once addicted to alcohol as these environments, once associated with drinking, surface the desire. Boredom is also a heavy trigger for most addictions as well. Having a variety of hobbies and keeping a busy schedule can help you stay focused and on track. Keep track of the people, places, and actions that would tempt you, and try to avoid them when you can. When you cant, preparation is essential so let someone know and stay vigilant.
Is It Possible To Stop An 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
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Why Overcoming Addiction Is So Difficult
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is a “treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individuals life experiences.”
People continue to engage in harmful behaviors despite negative consequences because addiction changes the brain’s reward system, which increases the desire for the substances or experiences. These changes in the brain also affect impulse control and judgment, which makes quitting that much more challenging.
Though addiction recovery is challenging, addiction is treatable. With supportive resources and the right treatment approach, you can overcome the physical and mental challenges you face in order to recover.
Reaching Out For Support
Talk to your doctor, health professional, counsellor or drug and alcohol service about your decision to quit. Be honest about your situation. Support from a friend or family member can also help.
You can talk to someone in confidence at Counselling Online see their website for more information and for the phone number for your region.
Addiction is also associated with depression and anxiety. Contact Beyond Blue 24 hours a day on 1300 224 636.
Your doctor can refer you to a treatment service. You can also contact some services directly. Call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation on 1300 85 85 84 to find out about these services.
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Take Small Steps To Setting Patterns
Patterns dont take hold instantly. It takes time for a pattern to become a pattern or for an action to become a habit. Pretend you drink everyday , and you have a goal of completely becoming sober from drinking alcohol. Instead of quitting cold turkey and suddenly stop drinking, meanwhile putting yourself at risk for withdrawal, it is easier and more efficient to limit yourself to smaller drinking patterns. Setting small goals such as only allowing yourself one drink today with dinner rather than a drink with every meal makes it easier to follow and easier to track how well you are progressing in your goals, therefore motivating you to continue your journey.
Drug Withdrawal Can Be Uncomfortable
Withdrawal from drugs or alcohol can cause many symptoms that are very difficult to handle. The person quitting the substance could experience sweating, shaking and irritability. They could have headaches, nausea and other difficult physical symptoms along with tough mental symptoms such as depression or anxiety, hallucinations, and even seizures. The type of uncomfortable symptom will vary by the type of substance used.
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Overcoming Gambling Addiction On Your Own What Are The Odds
August 31, 2019Rhonda Kelloway, LCSW, SEP
Guest blog post by Myles Van Camp, MA
Are you or a family member having difficulty overcoming gambling addiction? Questioning why this happened to you and not the individual at the gaming table next to you? Do you wonder if it even is an addiction? Are you interested in overcoming gambling addiction on your own?
Overcoming addiction is indeed possible. If you want to do it on your own, consider the following as you set out to recover.
How To Overcome Sexual Addiction
This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 14 testimonials and 91% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 535,901 times.
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Dangers Of Quitting On Ones Own
In some cases, addressing addiction via self-help resources is not advised. Recovery involves many aspects, including detox, therapy and aftercare. In certain situations, going about it solo can lead to failure or other dangerous consequences.
With certain drugs or even prolonged alcohol use, detoxing at home is considered dangerous. Someone who has been drinking heavily for a long period of time cant easily quit cold turkey and this is not recommended in some cases it can be life-threatening.. With drugs such as opiates or benzodiazepines, withdrawal is often lengthy and unpleasant. In these cases, they may require medical supervision or a substitute prescription.
One of the things to watch out for is developing a cross-addiction in the process of recovering from the first addiction. That means a person will trade one addiction for another. For example, somebody who tries to quit cocaine may turn to alcohol instead.
Those with a dual-diagnosis will likely find it harder to quit on their own. In professional treatment programmes, psychological problems should be treated along with the addiction. If youre going about it solo, you may not be able to address both issues at the same time.
Although relapse is quite common regardless of the treatment approach, trying to quit on ones own can result in higher failure rates. The person may use justification, such as, Ill have just one more drink or I can minimise my use and end up falling off the bandwagon instead.
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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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.
Image: D-Keine/Getty Images
When Someone You Love Is An Addict
Youre dealing with someone different now.
When an addiction takes hold, the person you love disappears, at least until the addiction loosens its grip. The person you love is still in there somewhere, but thats not who youre dealing with. The person you remember may have been warm, funny, generous, wise, strong so many wonderful things but addiction changes people. It takes a while to adjust to this reality and its very normal to respond to the addicted person as though he or she is the person you remember. This is what makes it so easy to fall for the manipulations, the lies and the betrayal over and over. Youre responding to the person you remember but this is not that person. The sooner youre able to accept this, the sooner you can start working for the person you love and remember, which will mean doing what sometimes feels cruel, and always heartbreaking, so the addiction is starved of the power to keep that person away. The person you love is in there support that person, not the addict in front of you. The sooner youre able to stop falling for the manipulations, lies, shame and guilt that feeds their addiction, the more likely it will be that the person you remember will be able to find the way back to you.
Go for progress, not perfection. There will be forward steps and plenty of backward ones too. Dont see a backward step as failure. Its not. Recovery never happens in a neat forward line and backward steps are all part of the process.
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Start Breaking A Bad Habit And Forming A New One
Shaping our everyday activities and even how we feel about ourselves, habits can either make you or break you. New Years resolutions are similar to trying to break a habit. We have a goal in mind, we prepare tools to help us succeed, and we make an effort to keep up the goal. So why do most New Years resolutions and attempts at breaking a bad habit fail?
Willpower and strength to stay away from temptations decreases. As a result, motivation generally decreases, leaving us caving into our past and forgetting all about our goals.
Dreams of reaching the finish line are also given up so easily. Say you want to start eating healthier. You start to eat fruits and vegetable every day for two days. On the third day, someone brings donuts into the office. Can you have one? You have been doing so good so one donut wont hurt, right? All it takes is being okay with that one donut for you to be okay with ice-cream later on and then pizza for a midnight snack. Considering you are eating vegetables, you are okay with having the donut because you are still eating healthy at other times.
Achieving goals and forming new habits dont work this way.
Caving in is all too easy when you are comfortable where you are. You give up trying to reach a goal because it seems unreachable or you are satisfied with something in-between where you are at the moment and the goal you are trying to reach.
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Choice Of Primary Drug
As mentioned above, withdrawal symptoms differ depending on the type of drug. Weed is not as addictive as heroin, for example. So if your pot consumption is excessive, you could realistically quit or reduce your intake without treatment.
But quitting drinking and benzos âcold turkeyâ can kill you. Rehabs offer safe detoxes where medication can reduce discomfort. A medical setting is also optimal if multiple substances are at play.
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Reflect On Your Addiction
Take time to reflect on what is important to you, how addiction has negatively affected you, and how your life will improve with sobriety.
The easiest way to reflect effectively is to keep a daily journal. With a journal, you can help yourself start a plan to stop addiction to help identify patterns, triggers, goals, and motivators.
Exposure Therapy To End Addiction
Exposure therapy is a technique used by psychologists to expose a persons fears they typically avoid. This exposure to the feared objects, activities or situations in a safe environment helps reduce fear and decrease avoidance. This exposure helps people learn that these things will not hurt them. This understanding is essential for people struggling with PTSD, OCD, and anxiety.
While this specific therapy is typically reserved for psychologists, the concepts of exposure therapy can be utilized. The only way to overcome your fears is to confront them head-on.
Everything youve ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear.
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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