If you or someone you love has had an addiction problem, you know that the most challenging part is trying to overcome it. Whenever you start using drugs, you may believe that you may stop at any time. You may also think that addiction problems are myths and that you will be an exception to the rule. This is unlikely to be the case, and in case you do find yourself battling substances, we’ve written these ‘Steps to Overcome Addiction,’ to help.
Overcoming addiction is a journey, and you have to have the right mindset to be able to go through the journey. You need to be determined to use all the resources available to you to overcome your addiction.
Steps to Overcome Addiction
So now that you want to go through this journey, where do you start? Here are some steps you can follow to overcome addiction.
Acknowledge You Have an Addiction
The first step you need to take is being honest with yourself. Acknowledge and accept that you have an addiction. Since you’re well aware of your addiction, you need to:
- Find out what you are addicted to
- Know what causes or triggers your addiction
- Determine how the addiction is affecting your life
- Identify what actions or decisions led you to it
Having a personal evaluation will help you determine what the source of your addiction is and what causes it. Once you identify this, you will be able to overcome it.
Accept Responsibility for Your Addiction
The next step in the journey to overcoming addiction is taking responsibility for your actions. You should start by taking away the blame you often place on other people or circumstances for your addiction. You should also stop justifying actions you take to engage in your addiction.
The most important of all is to stop always making excuses for your behavior. Accepting responsibility for the actions you took and the decisions you made to get you to your addiction is vital to overcome it.
Since you are only human and as humans, we are prone to make mistakes, forgive yourself for being an addict and strive to change.
Make a Conscious Decision to Change
Accepting to take responsibility not only makes you have the right mindset for recovery, but it also helps you make conscious decisions to change. You are now able to set a precise goal for what you want. Your target could either be quitting all addictions, removing some addictive behaviors or substance, or lessen the amount of money and time taken engaging in this habit.
Once you set a precise goal in your mind, it is always advisable to share this with someone close to you. This person becomes your accountability partner. You should ensure that she or he will not judge you, but will be there to support you and remind you of your goal.
Being able to quit an addiction entirely is the best option for your wellness. Nevertheless, if you can reduce the most harmful substance use or behavior, you are setting yourself on the right path. Recovery from addiction is a process, and as so, you should strive to get to your goal gradually.
Prepping Your Path to Overcoming Addiction
Since you have set a clear goal in your mind, there are actions you need to take to ensure that you get to your goal. It means taking away any triggers for addiction from your life or home. Meaning that you:
- Take away all the things that remind you of your addiction
- Have just enough money for your bills
- Cut off ties with people who serviced or engaged you in your addiction
- Stay away from stressful situations
- Leave an abusive relationship
Getting rid or reducing contact with triggers of your addiction will help you to overcome it gradually.
Take It a Step at a Time
Gradually taking positive steps is the healthiest way to overcoming addiction. You will be working towards changing your behavior in small ways until it becomes a habit. Doing this is not easy. There will be moments where you will relapse and go back to your old habits.
In those moments, acknowledge and accept that you made a mistake and try to avoid repeating it.
Beating yourself up over a mistake can easily cause you to fall back to old patterns. Therefore, being compassionate and forgiving yourself in such moments is crucial for this journey.
Remembering that this is a process that will take time and effort will keep you from being too hard on yourself. It will also ensure that you keep pushing even in the face of difficulties and self-doubt.
To keep you motivated to get to your final goal, always remember to reward yourself when you succeed in making any small step forward.
After all the preparation, changing your mindset, setting your environment for the new you, and taking gradual steps to the goal, you get to quit the substance use. It could be the most liberating or empowering time or the most painful and frustrating time.
Getting rid of an addiction, especially one of substance use can be difficult. You may experience withdrawal symptoms which could be unbearable. In times like these, you need to seek treatment from your doctor.
How Do You Cope With Withdrawal Symptoms?
The most challenging aspect in the process of overcoming addiction is the withdrawal symptoms. Some symptoms may pass within a week or two when you quit substance use, yet others could take months or even years.
Just as people experience different symptoms, there are various ways to cope with withdrawal.
No coping mechanism will work for everyone. Some of these coping methods include:
- Engaging in physical activities
- Having close people such as friends and family around to talk to
- Getting prescription to medication that helps with withdrawal
At this stage, you may also experience an intense craving for the drug you decided to quit as your brain needs time to recover from changes you are making. You can keep away these cravings by:
- Staying away from the crowd you used to abuse substances with
- Avoiding the places you used to frequent like clubs
- Exercise caution when taking prescription drugs
- Involving in distracting activities such as watching movies, exercising, etc.
Although you have put in the effort and are doing well after quitting substance use, you may find yourself relapsing. No one ever wants to fail, but these moments are very common on this journey to overcome addiction. You may need to try several times before you finally get it right.
The most common reasons for relapses are cravings, which are common during withdrawal.
Sometimes they may manifest after a few weeks, months, or even years after you quit. Knowing that you can manage these cravings when they arise is vital during this process.
You may also believe that you have control over substance use and that having a drink or a smoke won’t make you relapse. This is another common reason that people relapse and could lead to overdose or even death.
Coping With Relapse
When you relapse, it doesn’t mean that you have failed or that you don’t need to continue on your journey to overcoming addiction. It is a common setback that most people face. The best thing to do when this setback occurs is to understand what triggered you to relapse. Also, get to know what you would have done differently.
Once you realize and recognize this, you can put measures in place to ensure that you don’t relapse again. You can learn from your mistake and be successful on your next try.
Don’t Replace Your Addiction
It may be tempting to replace your substance addiction with another. For instance, chronic drinkers and smokers, after quitting, usually start overeating and gaining weight. It is quite common for people trying to overcome addiction to replace these bad habits.
Enjoying the calmness of life without that high you get off addiction, may sometimes be more rewarding. Meditation and maintaining a gratitude journal can be ways to help you avoid replacing your addictive behavior.
Overcoming Addiction Using Treatment
Since you are committed to overcoming your addiction, you may explore what treatment options are available to you. Addiction treatments may vary with the drug you used. These treatments include:
- Outpatient treatment
- Partial hospitalization
- Behavior therapy
When you make up your mind to overcome addiction, you need to understand that addiction is more than a character flaw. Also, it’s not a sign of weakness and, therefore, requires willpower and commitment to overcome it.
Support is Essential during This Process
However you decide to take on your journey to overcome addiction, you need assistance. Your chances of recovery are better when you have people around you to share your experiences with.
You could lean on close family and friends, have a social network with other people going through recovery, or attend the 12-step program support groups.
All in all, you should ensure to be committed to your goal and remember to forgive yourself when you have a setback.
If you or your loved one wants to take on the journey to overcoming addiction, contact us today or fill out this intake form to get specialized assistance.