Ways to Beat Addiction to Drugs and Alcohol
There is no one-size-fits all solution for overcoming addiction to drugs and alcohol. Addiction is a complex disease and the way out of it is different for everyone. Almost always, some sort of professional treatment is needed to guide an addict away from their habits and give them support while they begin to heal. In the crucial time of early recovery, an addict needs all the support they can get.
An Addict Needs To Want To Get Sober
As difficult as it may be for families and loved ones to hear, the desire to become sober must come from the addict themselves. Because addiction is so full of secrets and lies, there is just no way anyone can completely prevent an addict from going and getting high or drunk. An addict also needs to realize that no one is going to provide a magic bullet to make their addiction go away. It requires work and dedication.
If you realize you have a problem with addiction, here’s how to start getting help:
- Speak up. Let people close to you know that you want help.
- Be open minded about treatment options. Going to rehab can save your life.
- Remove yourself from toxic situations. Get away from people who use.
- If you need urgent help and think serious detox symptoms are happening, get yourself to a doctor or hospital as soon as possible.
If you think a loved one has a problem, here are some ways to help:
- Speak to them when they are sober. Stay calm and collected.
- Approach them with love and support. Overly emotional conversations and anger will not help this situation.
- Don’t enable your loved one. As hard as it may be, tough love is a necessity.
- Keep your head on straight by taking care of yourself.
Treatment for Drugs and Alcohol Is Essential for Long-Term Sobriety
Most people who arrive at treatment have tried at least once to get rid of their addiction on their own. If it were that easy, there would be no addiction. To have the best chance at getting sober, a person needs professional help to identify their triggers. Therapists can also identify other mental issues that may be contributing to addiction, such as anxiety and depression. This is called a dual diagnosis.
There are a number of different levels of therapy an addict can go through. The most intense would be an inpatient residential treatment, which is by far, the best thing a person can do. From there, options get less intense, all the way down to getting treatment for just a few hours a week. Ideally, a patient would start with inpatient treatment and taper down over the course of months as they get more sober time behind them.
An intense level of therapy for addiction to drugs and alcohol is helpful for a number of reasons. It allows the patient to be completely out of their environment, with no interruptions from the outside world. While at treatment, a patient will undergo intense therapy to identify issues going on with and around their addiction, and how to overcome them in the future. Also, a medical detox is provided to ensure safe and comfortable detoxification from the patient’s substance of choice.
How to Stay Sober After Rehab
Rehab is a wonderful start to a successful sober life, but it is also just the beginning. Relapse is an unfortunate reality in the recovery world, but there are things you can do to have a better chance at staying sober.
Look into long term therapy after rehab. This can be any level of outpatient care, depending on your personal life and needs. Care could be full time, like a 9-5 job, or it can be just a few hours a week if you have other obligations. Having this kind of support as you adjust back into your lifestyle is extremely helpful.
Consider Living in a Sober Home. Halfway houses are a wonderful option for people fresh out of rehab. They have rules, such as curfew and a zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol, which keep you accountable. Often, people in early recovery need this extra reminder. Sober homes also allow you to be surrounded with like-minded people and you can form a wonderful sober network.
Change Old Habits. To live a new sober life, you’ll have to do away with much of your old life. People, places, and things all need to change. This could be as simple as changing your route home so you don’t pass the bar you always used to go to and drink. It can also be as complex as moving to a different state if your personal situation allows it. The more you change, the more you can start fresh, and the better chance you have.
Build a Sober Network. The company you keep will play a big role in how successful you are in staying sober. Make new, sober friends. Go to AA or NA meetings. Pick up healthy hobbies like sports and hang out with the people you meet there. The more people you have on your side that want to see you succeed in recovery, the better.
Beating Addiction is Possible
No matter how far down you think you or your loved one are, help is available. With the right tools and the right attitude, sobriety is an option. The road will be bumpy and it won’t always be easy, but the end result is worth all the hard work. Always remember to take things day by day, putting one foot in front of the other, and focusing on staying sober in the present moment.