Walk Away From Stress
Stress is often one of the factors that push former substance users to relapse. Some level of stress is unavoidable, but there are others that we can pluck right out of our lives. Take a stress-free stance and, whenever possible, respectfully remove yourself from situations or people that bring anxiety. Learn the power of saying no to requests that will bring negative energy to your life, and pursue healthy opportunities that make you want to say yes.
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.
Join A Solid Support Group
If you dont already have a few committed and supportive friends and family, a support group will be even more important. Being with other people who understand exactly what you are dealing with is extremely important. These groups will also help you find the right resources and tools to deal with the ups and downs of recovering from a drug addiction.
Even if you have family and friends who help you through the recovery journey, finding a support group will still be vital. Eventually, you may even be able to encourage others in their own recovery. If and when you or your friends deal with relapses, support groups will help you get back on track instead of going deeper into your addiction.
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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.
How To Find Help For Drug Addiction Near Me
If you want to help your loved one recover and they agree to go to treatment, your next question may be where to find the drug addiction help your loved one needs. You might be in search of short-term detox programs near you or more long-term inpatient treatment. You can talk to a doctor or treatment specialist or research online resources including treatment directories. American Addiction Centers can help you find the best drug and alcohol treatment facilities near you and understand your options. Contact us for free at .
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Craving Symptoms And Treatments For Specific Drugs
If you need help managing your drug cravings or overcoming an addiction, contact a treatment program specialist today at
The specific characteristics of cravings and the treatment for them can vary based on the drug. Below youll find links to pages with more information about cravings for specific drugs.
Onset of Cravings
Onset and duration of cravings can vary depending on the substance abused. For example:
- Crystal meth cravings can begin anywhere from a few hours to a few days after the last dose but can then last for years due to alterations in brain structure and function believed to be caused by persistent, heavy use. 1, 2
- The onset of prescription opioid cravings will depend on whether the drug is short- or long-acting. Short-acting opioids can cause cravings as soon as 6-12 hours after the last dose. Cravings for long-acting opioids may not begin until about 2-4 days after the most recent dose. 1 Cravings for opioid painkillers can last for weeks to months. 1
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How Can I Tell If I Need Substance Abuse Help
If youre asking yourself whether you need help, theres a chance you might be ready to admit to the presence of a problem. If youre not sure, you might consider whether you meet the criteria for a substance use disorder, or SUD, which is the American Psychiatric Associations diagnostic term for addiction. These criteria include:15,16
- Using drugs or alcohol in higher or more frequent amounts than you originally intended.
- Wanting to stop using drugs or alcohol but being unable to do so.
- Spending a lot of time trying to get, use, and recover from the effects of the substance.
- Experiencing cravings, which are strong feelings and urges to use.
- Being unable to meet your responsibilities at work, home, or school because of your substance use.
- Continuing to use drugs or alcohol even though its causing social or relationship problems.
- Giving up or stopping activities you once enjoyed so you can use drugs or alcohol.
- Using substances in situations where it is dangerous to do so .
- Continuing to drink or use drugs even though you have a psychological or physical problem that you know is probably due to your substance use.
- Experiencing tolerance, or needing to use more of the substance to achieve the desired effect.
- Developing withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability or shakiness, when you stop using the substance.
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Tips For Preventing Substance Abuse
While there is no one way or guaranteed way to prevent someone from abusing drugs and alcohol, there are things that everyone can do to prevent substance abuse.
Here are the top five ways to prevent substance abuse:
1. Understand how substance abuse develops. Substance abuse starts by:
- Using addictive drugs for recreational purposes
- Seeking out intoxication every time you use
- Abusing prescription medication
2. Avoid Temptation and Peer Pressure. Develop healthy friendships and relationships by avoiding friends or family members who pressure you to use substances. Its often said we become most like those we surround ourselves by, meaning if you surround yourself with people who abuse drugs and alcohol you are more likely to as well. Peer pressure is a major part of life for teens and adults. If you are looking to stay drug free develop a good way to just say no, prepare a good excuse or plan ahead of time to keep from giving into peer pressure.
3. Seek help for mental illness. Mental illness and substance abuse often go hand in hand. If you are dealing with a mental illness such as anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder you should seek professional help from a licensed therapist or counselor. A professional will provide you with healthy coping skills to alleviate your symptoms without turning to drugs and alcohol.
Symptoms Of Drug Or Alcohol Addiction And Signs You Need Help
There are signs and symptoms to look for that could indicate your loved one needs help with a substance use disorder or addiction. Mental health professionals outline the criteria used to diagnose someone with a substance use disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition . If your loved one meets at least 2 of the following criteria over the last 12 months, they may meet the criteria to be diagnosed with a substance use disorder:2
- The person takes more of the substance than originally intended.
- The person uses substances in high-risk situations such as driving.
- The person neglects their responsibilities at home or work due to using substances.
- The person gives up hobbies or other interests to use substances.
- The person tries unsuccessfully to stop using or cut back on substances.
- The person spends a lot of time and resources seeking the substance out and using it.
- The person keeps taking the substance, even while knowing it causes harm to their physical or mental health.
- The person has cravings to use the substance.
- The person develops a tolerance to the substance, meaning that he or she needs more and more of the substance to keep feeling the desired effects.
- The person experiences withdrawal symptoms when stopping or significantly reducing their use of the substance.
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How To Help A Drug Addict
The first thing that you need to know is that the difficulties involved with stopping substance use are complex. Using drugs or alcohol affects areas of the brain associated with self-control. As an individual keeps using drugs or alcohol, the way these areas of the brain function are changed, making it difficult to stop or otherwise control compulsive substance use.1 It is also important to know that it is unlikely that you alone can make them quit using drugs. However, loved ones of drug addicts can help them get off drugs by supporting their motivation to change.
Encouraging your loved one that seeking some form of professional help for addiction is a positive step towards recovering from drug and alcohol abuse can put them on the path towards a sober life. Whether you are seeking help for a problem with alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, crystal methamphetamine or any other addiction, recovery is possible.
What Are Symptoms Of Substance Use Disorder
Symptoms of drug addiction include:
- Bloodshot eyes and looking tired.
- Changes in appetite, usually eating less.
- Changes in physical appearance, such as having a poor complexion or looking ungroomed.
- Craving drugs.
- Difficulty completing tasks at work, school or home.
- Engaging in risky behaviors, despite knowing negative consequences .
- Inability to reduce or control drug use.
- Issues with money.
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Which Drugs Are Hardest To Quit
Some substances are notoriously addictive and, some drugs may be harder to quit than others. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that some of the most commonly used addictive substances include marijuana, synthetic marijuana , prescription opioids, prescription stimulants , sedatives, tranquilizers, and hypnotics.6
Overcoming addiction is possible but it often requires a combination of approaches to achieve the best outcome. Treatment may include:10,11
Remember that, if you are suffering from a drug overdose, be sure to call 911 immediately or make your way to the nearest physician.
Refusing To Give In: 8 Ways To Beat Cravings
Cravings are a normal part of addiction recovery. No matter whether you havent used in months or you just stopped using this week, youre likely to experience an urge to use at some point.
Urges are relentless, finding you at your weakest point and trying to convince you that you dont really want the change youve worked so hard to accomplish. Drug cravings can quickly lead to a relapse if not handled appropriately.
Here are 8 ways to stop the urge to use.
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Practicing Somatic Exercises Might Help
Overdependence on a partner or relationship can be a maladaptive, or unproductive, strategy for coping with difficult emotions.
Somatic therapy, which helps you tune in to your own physical and emotional responses to stress, could help you reestablish a sense of self and develop emotional regulation skills, according to 2018 research.
While somatic therapy often works best with the support of a trained therapist, you can try these four exercises at home.
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How To Fight And Beat Addiction On Your Own Without Rehab
Are you ready to fight and beat addiction?
Fortunately, your being here reading this suggests that youre ready to accept a life-change, which is a critical step on the way to recovery.
Of course, you may already have tried to overcome addiction in the past but have found it difficult to keep the momentum going.
If so, then youre understandably discouraged, but dont give up! No matter how many times you have tried before, its likely that you will achieve the change that youre seeking with the right approach and support, you can develop a more healthful and balanced lifestyle. In fact, youll soon see that recovery, even without rehab, is more common than not. Really! And well prove it to you throughout this guide.
In short, the way to beat addiction is to make your urge to use or to act on your addiction a secondary factor in your life by clarifying, recognizing, honoring and living by your most authentic values that make you who you are. Admittedly, this is easier said than done but the fundamental elements of recovery are well-understood. Thats why weve made this guide available to you.
This comprehensive guide is designed to help when you are ready to begin your fight with an addiction. Use it at your leisure we hope it brings you great value.
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More About The Author
Learning how to fight addiction is something few people consider when they first start abusing drinking alcohol, using prescription medications, or experimenting with illicit drugs. But, with the help of family and a professional treatment program like a California rehab, the process is easier than you think.
Now, the difficulties people encounter when fighting addictions are well-publicized, but many people feel addiction is a myth, and that they can quit any time they choose.
If you go on to develop alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder, though, youll soon discover that quitting is more challenging than you might have imagined.
While some people will endure the negative consequences of addiction for years before committing to change and recovery, others will more rapidly tire of the chaos addiction brings into their lives.
Sooner or later, though, most people abusing substances will decide enough is enough. Having decided that you no longer wish to continue abusing substances is one thing, but youll first need to decide whether youre pursuing complete abstinence or simply looking to moderate your addictive behaviors.
If you are using any addictive substances to the point of dependence and addiction, complete abstinence is the most effective route to recovery. If this is not immediately practical, though, any reduction in substance use is better than continuing with abusive habits.
What If The Person Doesnt Want Help For Drugs Or Alcohol
Ultimately, its the persons decision whether to seek professional help. Many people who misuse drugs or alcohol find it hard to ask for help at first, but may want to reach out later on. Be careful not to nag the person, since this might discourage them from opening up in the future.
In the meantime, encourage them to use safely to minimise the risk of harming themselves for example, through needle and syringe programs or opioid replacement programs.
To find a local needle and syringe program, use the healthdirect Service Finder. Select By name and type needle into the search bar.
Clearly state any behaviours you expect, or wont tolerate, from the person. You might not accept drug use in your home, for example.
Its important to know that you cant force the person to stop using drugs or alcohol. Only they can choose to change.
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Natural Ways To Help Beat Drug Addiction
By Andrew Macia | Published 9/12/2017 5
The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. They characterize it as the inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with ones behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. In this day and age, this can be applied to far more than just drug and alcohol abuse.
This definition and characterization can also be applied to certain individuals behavior as it pertains to something as commonplace as food, or shopping, or watching TV. Therefore, even if youve never touched drugs or alcohol before, you can still be an addict.
Addiction is often born of a need to escape certain stressors or circumstances. It can also be caused by the need to feel a certain high or rush that is hard to find in anything else. More often than not, addiction is merely a symptom of a number of other underlying issues such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, and so on.
Addiction is a chronic disease, which means that it is a condition that you will have to learn to manage for quite a long time. There is no one-stop shop when it comes to sobriety as there are many layers of healing that need to be dealt with in order to reach true success. Fortunately, there are many strategies that you can comfortably combine to help you get there.
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.
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Tip #: Get Counseling
It may be helpful to get some individual counseling to assist yourself. Counseling isnt just for the addict. The more you are able to manage the better you will be able to help your loved one. There are a variety of resources to find counselors. Your company may have an Employee Assistance Program or your health insurance may have mental health benefits that you can access. Talk to someone you trust about finding the resources you need and do a search for resources in your area.