Overcoming drug addiction can seem like an impossible task for many who struggle with drug use. Others who have never experienced an addiction find it difficult to fully grasp what those with the addiction go through. The truth is, most addicts know the harmful effects of those drugs but still can’t seem to stop the craving. It’s a constant battle for them.
If you or a loved one is among the many people who have developed a drug addiction problem, recovery is possible no matter how hopeless you feel or how many times you have tried or failed. Overcoming drug addiction is possible and there is a countless number of people who have been able to escape the viscid circle of drug addiction.
Understanding Drug Addiction
Before we dive into overcoming the problem, we need to fully understand the problem and its underlying causes. So, what is drug addiction?
Simply put, drug addiction is a disorder that affects a person’s brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication. Substances such as alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine also are considered drugs.
In drug addiction, the sufferer can’t control the cravings for these drugs despite knowing the harmful effects.
Drug addiction can start by experimental drug use in recreational activities or social situations or exposure to prescribed and over-the-counter medications.
How fast you become addicted to a drug differs. Some drugs, such as opioid painkillers, have a higher risk and cause addiction more quickly than others. As your drug use increases, you may find that it’s increasingly difficult to go without the drug. Trying to stop drug use may cause intense cravings and make you feel physically ill.
However, you may need help from your doctor, family, friends, support groups or an organized treatment program to overcome your drug addiction and stay drug-free.
What Causes Drug Addiction?
People take drugs for different reasons. Some drug use is even justifiable. Prescription drugs have been saving lives every day. Some of the reasons may include;
- Peer pressure: Teenagers and adults are usually introduced to drugs via their friends. Many try it to impress their friends and show that they belong.
- Curiosity: Young adults, in a bid to explore and try out new things, find themselves taking drugs to know what it feels like. Most of them do not have the intention of doing drugs. Sadly, some drugs can get you hooked by just a single-use.
- For stress and anxiety: People may resort to drugs to relieve stress and anxiety. For those who can’t deal with the pressure of everyday life, taking drugs may seem like the best way to cope. Some drugs have a give a feeling of self-confidence while others provide a calming effect. People who feel powerless might use cocaine to feel stronger. Others who feel anxiety may use opioids to relax and feel happy.
- For sports and academics: Athletes may use drugs to boost their performance. Students may use drugs to improve their focus in school.
- To get high: Some drugs can give the most intense pleasures. When taken initially, they can make you feel incredibly good and on cloud 9. However, the feeling doesn’t last and need to be sustained by taking more of the drug.
Effects of Drug Addiction
Drug abuse is leading to more deaths in Nevada. According to a study, Nevada is the fourth highest state for drug overdose deaths. On average there are 21.6 deaths for every 100,000 people as a result of drug abuse.Drug addiction, along with alcoholism, is a major life-threatening problem in Las Vegas and the United States as a whole. According to a Las Vegas Sun article by Anna Ley, “Besides gambling, no pastime better defines Las Vegas culture than drinking.” That is a fact.
Drug addiction affects the individual physically, mentally, financially and socially. Some of the effects of drug use include;
- Bone marrow damage
- Memory loss
- Impaired motor coordination
- Isolation from family and friends
Moreover, different drugs have different effects on the individual. The above are just some highlighted effects.
How to Overcome Drug Addiction
If you or a loved one is struggling with drug addiction, there is hope for recovery. Despite the effects or damaged caused by the drugs, living a drug-free life is possible and you don’t have to go through the recovery process alone. So don’t give up. Below are the steps to the journey to recovery.
Decide to change
This is a tough step but a very important one to take. You need to make a conscious decision to change your life. It’s normal to feel uncertain about whether you can cope with the recovery process or even quit the drug. It’s normal to be bothered about the other alternatives to those medications. Recovery takes time, commitment and support.
However, you need to understand that by committing to change so you can regain control of your life and have a fulfilling life.
Deciding to change involves making up your mind to deal with the drug addiction, setting a goal and taking deliberate steps to change.
Prepare for the change
When preparing for a change, you need to constantly remind yourself of the reason you want to change. You also need to check what worked or didn’t work if this isn’t your first attempt.
Set specific, measurable and realistic goals. Remove anything at home or at work that reminds you of the addiction. You would also have to do distance yourself from friends who would remind or lure you back into the addiction.
You would have to also know what is at stake. You would have to change the way you think about yourself, how you spend your time every day and how you handle problems.
Find Support for your Recovery process
Take time to contact friends and family who will support you in your goals without being judgmental if times become hard and you relapse. Avoid friends who use drugs.
If you feel like overcoming your drug addiction is hard, remember that you are never alone. Your friends and family can help you change your habits and guide you to avoid relapsing.
Build new connections especially if your previous social life revolved around drugs. Join a recovery group. Spending time with people who understand what you are going through can be very healing.
Explore different treatment options
Everyone’s needs are different. Whether you have a problem with illegal or prescription drugs, addiction treatment should be customized to your unique situation. You must find a program that feels right.
There are different treatment options which include:
- Residential Treatment: This involves staying in a rehabilitation facility and getting away from work, school, family, and addiction triggers while undergoing intensive treatment.
- Day Treatment: This treatment type is for people who require ongoing medical monitoring but wish to still live at home and have a stable living environment. They go to the treatment center during the day and go home at night.
- Out-Patient Treatment: the outpatient treatment is usually scheduled around work or school. You’re treated during the day or evening but don’t stay overnight.
A successful treatment option usually encompasses the following;
- Detoxification: This is the very first step in any treatment option and the most painful one. This involves purging the drugs from the body and managing withdrawal symptoms.
- Medication: Used to manage withdrawal symptoms and any co-occurring mental health conditions.
- Behavioral Therapy: Involves individual or group counseling and other forms of psychological support that can help you identify the cause of your addiction and avoid relapsing.
- Long-Term Follow Up: This may include attending regular in-person support groups or online meetings to help keep your recovery on track.
Find Healthy ways to cope with stress
Overcoming drug addiction involves finding healthy ways to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. Some people take drugs, use alcohol or become addicted to other things because they think it helps in coping with stress. But addiction can be very stressful. Different quick stress relief strategies work better for some people than others. The key is to find the one that works best for you.
Here is what you can do whenever you feel stressed;
- Go out, sit and savor nature and get some fresh air.
- Take a walk and play some music
- Pamper yourself. You can make yourself a cup of tea, see a movie or give yourself a cold bath.
- Take a nap
- Relaxation- Meditation and Yoga
Build a drug-free life
Find a new hobby. Staying busy is the best way to keep your mind off your desire to use drugs. Not only that, but establishing an interesting and rewarding hobby can also help you find joy and purpose in your life, and replace your old unhealthy habits with new drug-free activities.
Volunteer. Finding a worthy cause to support while in recovery allows you to help others while helping yourself. Giving back to the community can help you discover a sense of purpose, build healthy connections and friendships, and feel good about the contributions you’re making to society.
Look after your health. Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and healthy eating habits help you keep your energy levels up and your stress levels down. The more you can stay healthy and feel good, the easier it will be to stay sober.
Avoid bars and clubs. Stay far away from your drug addiction triggers.
Try avoiding Relapse
People with addictions commonly relapse. This is part of the withdrawal process. Don’t give up trying to quit if this happens to you. It is important to learn from your mistakes and identify additional triggers.
In the event of a relapse, call your doctor or speak to your therapist. Don’t give up.
Mentor Mental Minds can help you overcome drug addiction
Overcoming drug addiction is possible. Here at MMM, we provide you with experienced health professionals, counselors who are committed to walking you through your drug addiction recovery phase and help you become better members of society while living your best life.
Sometimes making the first step is the hardest thing. We are here to help you start your journey to recovery and a healthier, happier life free of drug addiction. Contact us today let’s take you on the road to recovery.