How To Reduce Or Quit Drugs
Many different services are available to help you or someone you know quit drugs.
Its never too late to quit using drugs.
Reducing or quitting drugs can improve your life in many ways. It can:
- improve your physical and mental wellbeing
- reduce your risk of permanent damage to vital organs and death
- improve your relationships with friends and family
- help you reconnect with your emotions
- increase your energy
- Improve your appearance
- save you money
Recovered addicts say that theyve never felt better after quitting drugs, although this can take time. Knowing why you want to quit drugs can help you to stay motivated during the withdrawal process.
Avoid Triggers And Keep Cravings In Check
Knowing your triggers is a vital part of recovering from any addiction. It may take some creativity, but avoiding the things that make it too hard to stay away from drugs will make all the difference.
Its important to continue avoiding your triggers even after you have been sober for a while. It can be easy to get overconfident and believe you will never go back to your old habits. However, this is a trap many people fall into. If youre in a support group, youll probably see this happen at least once.
Look Into Professional Treatment And Drug Rehab Services For Them
Your loved one likely does not even know where to begin or what options are out there for them to get help.
In fact, it is likely they may not even want to hear about them. If they are not ready for a change, any option you present is likely to be shot down. If they are ready, it may seem simply too exhausting for them to have to research their options.
This is where you can be of service by seeing what is out there for treatment first, so you can make educated suggestions when the time is right. There are many methods of treatment, and it is important to keep this in mind before choosing a drug rehab facility to explore.
One of the more popular methods is the 12-step program. At Cirque Lodge, we believe every addiction and person is unique, and we tailor treatment accordingly. So while we are founded on the 12-steps, we also integrate effective forms of clinical therapies into a mind, body and spirit approach to help a person become healthy from the inside out. Understanding treatment approaches is the key to your loved one is success in that program.
Also, there is an alternative to helping someone who is in a downward spiral whom you believe must seek help very soon, whether they want to or not. This is what is called intervention. Interventions can require planning, because there are many layers to successfully staging it.
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Admit You Have A Problem
The first step in quitting drugs is to admit that you have a problem. If youre not sure, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you taking drugs first thing in the morning or to get through the day?
- Do friends or family worry or complain about your drug use?
- Do you lie about how much youre using?
- Have you sold possessions or stolen to pay for your drug habit?
- Have you participated in dangerous or risky activities, such as driving under the influence, having unprotected sex, or using dirty needles?
- Do you feel that youve lost control of your drug taking?
- Are you having problems with relationships?
If you answered yes to any of these questions it might be time to accept that you have a problem and ask for help.
Can I Prevent Substance Use Disorder
Yes. Preventing drug addiction starts with education. Education in schools, communities and families helps prevent misusing a substance for the first time. Other ways to prevent substance use disorder:
- Dont try illegal drugs, even one time.
- Follow instructions for prescription medications. Don’t ever take more than instructed. Opioid addiction, for instance, can start after just five days.
- Dispose of unused prescriptions promptly to reduce risks of misuse by others.
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Why Are Drugs Difficult To Quit
Certain drugs are highly addictive because of the way they change certain types of brain functioning. For example, many drugs can result in changes to the way your brain relays messages through a process known as neurotransmission. The activity of one neurotransmitter in particular, known as dopamine, increases in association with several types of substance use. A drug-related surge in dopamine activity can have reinforcing effects, making compulsive use of that drug more likely.2
Fighting addiction is not a matter of willpower or desire its a matter of recognizing a problem and seeking help.1
Many of the most common drugs of abuse have an impact on dopamine activity throughout the brains reward centers. Dopamine neurotransmission is thought to underlie feelings of motivation, pleasure, and reward, and is believed to play a key role in the development of addiction.2,3
Typically, people release dopamine in response to performing pleasurable activities, such as eating or having sex. However, many drugs cause a surge in dopamine activity, which can result in a rewarding euphoria, and ultimately encourages the drug-using individual to repeat the experience. This is why many drugs are referred to as reinforcing and one of the reasons why drug addiction can be so challenging to recover from.2
Is It Possible To Cure Drug Addiction At Home
No doubt struggling with drug addiction is a frightening, frustrating, and a downright complicated journey for both the individual and their loved ones. Perhaps you have tried getting sober in the past. Maybe you have tried different options, but none of them have stuck the way you had hoped.
However, do you need formal treatment to beat the addiction? Alternatively, is it possible to stop drug use at home? Lets get the info that you need to know.
Is There Such Thing as A Drug Addiction Cure?
While it may seem promising and alluring, the word cure is often far-fetching and unrealistic. Most experts agree that recovery from addiction requires lifelong work and maintenance. One does not simply solve the addiction. Instead, you will need to prepare for managing triggers, avoiding relapse, and learning how to implement healthier ways of thinking and behaving with the world around you.
While everyones recovery process looks different, there is always a sense of work involved. Even the best treatment in the world does not fix ones problem. It only provides a roadmap for how to manage life without drugs or alcohol.
The journey towards healing is not paved on the path of quick fixes. In fact, the journey can be lengthy and arduous, but the challenge is worth it.
Therefore, the word cure is often misguided. Instead, it tends to be far more preferable to consider the phrase, in recovery, or, maintaining sobriety.
Understanding the Detox Process
Quitting An Addictive Behavior
Quitting is a different experience for everyone. Some find the process liberating and empowering, and feel they can achieve anything. Others find it painful, difficult, and frustrating, sometimes needing many failed attempts before achieving their goal. Still others discover new sides to themselves during the quitting process .
There is no “right” way to feel while you are quitting. But if you are feeling depressed or find yourself constantly wanting to return to the addictive behavior, you should seek support and treatment.
Tips For Cutting Down Or Stopping Your Drug Use
If youre worried about your drug use, and want to make some positive changes, were here to help.
Addressing your drug use can help you to be happier, safer and healthier. Here are some steps you can take.
It can be hard to take that first step and take a look at your drug use, but it can have a big impact on how healthy and happy you are.
Any drug can become problematic, whether its cocaine, prescription painkillers or cannabis. You dont have to be taking drugs every day for it to be an issue, either. Dependence on a drug can be physical, psychological or both.
You might have noticed that you cant do everyday things without using first, or maybe you have experienced some kind of withdrawal when youre not using.
Other people might have seen a change in your behaviour, or you might have started taking risks that put your health or safety in danger.
Whatever the reason, change is possible with the right support.
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Be Involved In The Drug Rehab Treatment And Recovery Process
Healing from alcoholism and drug addiction is everyones responsibility.
If a drug-addicted family member is on the road to recovery, but you or the family has not taken steps to be a part of the healing process, this can actually hinder your loved ones progress. Support through this process is essential. Utilizing a family program and therapy can be a means to facilitate the healing process.
Oftentimes, addiction is deep-seated in family issues and learned behaviors that stem from within the home. If an addicted person is trying to break the cycle and change their behavior, it is very hard if the family has not also begun working through their own issues surrounding the problems in the home.
Establish Boundaries And Stick To Them
Once you have decided that you are no longer going to take part in your loved ones drug addiction that you are no longer going to enable them because you love them, yourself, and your family too much then you have to set boundaries.
Coming to that point is probably one of the hardest things to do. Enforcing those boundaries is just as hard. First, make sure your boundaries are realistic. Are you serious about them? Are you really willing to follow through on any boundaries you set?
Next, knowing why you are settings boundaries is also important. If the boundary is set in place to protect you and your family, that is a healthier motive than using the boundary to try and control or change the behavior of the addicted family member.
Whatever boundary you set, know that your loved one may react to these boundaries in different ways, and it can be very emotional to stick to your guns.
What To Avoid When Talking To A Loved One About Addiction
When talking to a loved one about getting treatment for their addiction, here are some things to avoid:
- Preaching, lecturing, threatening or moralizing your loved one
- Emotional appeals that may increase the feelings of guilt and the compulsion to use drugs
- Lying or making excuses for their behavior
- Taking over their responsibilities doing this protects them from the consequences of their behavior
- Enabling their behavior by covering up the abuse or giving them money for drugs
- Arguing with your loved one when theyre using drugs during this time, your loved one wont be able to hold a rational conversation and likely wont be open to what you have to say
- Feeling guilty or responsible for their behavior its not your fault
If you feel that your loved one is abusing drugs, the best thing you can do is to encourage them to seek treatment for their addiction. Be loving and supportive, but also know that theyre likely going to make excuses for their behavior. Be firm in what you want, and keep encouraging them to get help. Although this isnt easy to do, its a critical first step in helping them achieve a healthy and happy life in recovery.
Medical Detoxification: Understanding The Different Levels Of Care
Individuals being treated for substance use disorders may undergo detox for a few days to stabilize while the drugs or alcohol clear out of the system. In various settings, a professionally supervised detox can help you navigate the withdrawal period. The range of interventions available to you in each setting does vary though. In general, any level of supervised detox can be thought of as utilizing 2 broad approaches:4
- Medical detox programs most commonly avail a range of medical monitoring and pharmacological interventions that can help you manage the acute withdrawal period. In the case of alcohol withdrawal, this commonly entails benzodiazepine or other sedative administration to provide symptom management and seizure prophylaxis. Opioid withdrawal management often proceeds with stabilizing opioid agonist medications such as methadone or buprenorphine.
- Social detox programs provide short-term, nonmedical support during the withdrawal period. Though these programs may include patient monitoring and protocols to escalate the level of care in the event of withdrawal complications, the emphasis of a social detox program is in providing a safe, comfortable place to reside with ample interpersonal support during the withdrawal period.
Of note, hospitals or other environments that avail 24-hour medical care, are the preferred setting for withdrawal management for individuals with opioid, alcohol, or other sedative drug dependence.
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How To Overcome Drug Addiction
If you or a loved one currently suffer from drug addiction, dont lose hope. As we have seen above, addiction is a chronic disease of the brain that causes a compulsion to seek drugs. The good news is that it is not an incurable disease, though the risk of relapsing can make it seem very hard to overcome.
Lets take a closer look at the steps to overcome your drug addiction.
To Help Them You Must Help Yourself
You might not know this, but the recovery and healing process is as much for your loved one as it is for you and your family.
Drug addiction affects family relationships and each family member of an addict/alcoholic in different ways.
Emotions and behaviors surrounding the addiction run deep within a family. The complicated nature of addiction can require education and therapy for everyone in the recovery process.
We always recommend family members take part in our family program. Once the client has completed drug addiction treatment, we recommend the family continue working with support programs through organizations like Al-Anon, Nar-anon, Alateen, Co-Dependents Anonymous, as well as forms of family therapy when needed.
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Make A Significant Lifestyle Change
You will need to get proper exercise and nutrition during natural rehabilitation. Taking care of your body will help your body heal from the effects of your addiction, as well as your mind and spirit. For example, yoga, Reiki, meditation and similar activities can offer inner calm to practitioners.
Likewise, keeping your mind occupied via group activities like a book group is a smart strategy for managing your sobriety. The more you break away from old, drug-oriented activities and people, the more likely that you will be successful in your self-guided rehabilitation.
Unfortunately, upending your entire lifestyle can be difficult. The task of shutting out long-time friends and avoiding areas known for drug use can be extremely difficult during the early days of sobriety. Taking these steps is critical to successful recovery of any kind.
Dont overlook the advantages of participating in professionally guided treatment. The process of creating distance from unhealthy lifestyle habits and developing new responses to drug cravings is far easier to manage when done with the help of addiction recovery professionals.
What Happens After Medical Detox
It is important to remember that detox is only the start of a more comprehensive treatment regimen for drug or alcohol addiction.1 For many people, ongoing treatment and aftercare are vital to long-term recovery. In addition to the beneficial treatment medications listed previously, some of the more behavioral therapeutic approaches used to help individuals maintain long-term recovery include:
Drugabuse.com is an American Addiction Centers resource and a leading provider in safe drug and alcohol detoxification. If youd like to learn more about your available treatment options, including programs that include detox, contact us today at Who Answers?. You can also use our free and confidential insurance checker below to see if your insurance covers detox at an American Addiction Centers facility.
American Addiction Centers accepts many insurance plans and can work with you on a manageable payment plan.
CHECK YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR ADDICTION TREATMENT
Find out if your insurance coverage includes addiction rehab and treatment by visiting the links below:
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Getting Treatment To Overcome An Addiction
There are many different treatments that can help you during the process of overcoming an addiction, including medical and psychological treatments. There is no one “right” type of treatment, although some approaches are better supported by research than others.
Cognitive behavior therapy helps many people, and research shows it to be very effective in helping people overcome all kinds of addictions. But CBT is not for everyone. Other approaches may be better suited for those who do not relate well to analyzing their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Mindfulness-based approaches have become very popular and can be easier to relate to for many people. As with CBT, mindfulness is helpful for people with underlying mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression.
A variety of other treatments can be helpful, including couples counseling, family therapy, and neurotherapy. Medications can sometimes be helpful in the short term or the long term. Talk to your doctor about the options that are available to and appropriate for you.
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
How Might Substance Use Disorder Affect Me
Drugs affect the brain, especially the reward center of the brain.
Humans are biologically motivated to seek rewards. Often, these rewards come from healthy behaviors. When you spend time with a loved one or eat a delicious meal, your body releases a chemical called dopamine, which makes you feel pleasure. It becomes a cycle: You seek out these experiences because they reward you with good feelings.
Drugs of abuse send massive surges of dopamine through the brain, too. But instead of feeling motivated to do the things you need to survive , such massive dopamine levels can lead to damaging changes that change thoughts, feelings and behavior. That can create an unhealthy drive to seek pleasure from the drug and less from more healthy pleasurable experiences. The cycle revolves around seeking and consuming drugs to get that pleasurable feeling.
Addiction to drugs changes the brain over time. It affects how the brain works and even the brains structure. Thats why healthcare providers consider substance use disorder a brain disease.
The first use of a drug is a choice. But addiction can develop, creating a very dangerous condition. Drugs affect your decision-making ability, including the decision to stop drug use.
You may be aware theres a problem but unable to stop. With addiction, stopping drug use can be physically uncomfortable. It can make you sick and even become life-threatening.
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