If you’ve realized you have an addiction problem, congratulations. You’re officially on the right path towards your addiction recovery journey. Whether it’s drugs or alcohol, recognizing that you’re addicted and need help is often harder than it seems. Most people are in denial about the substances they use and their impact on their physical, social, mental, and emotional health. According to NIH News in Health, addiction is more of brain disease as it has long-lasting effects on the brain’s reward, memory, and motivation functions. That’s why it can be difficult to come to terms with the reality of your situation. Once you know you have a problem, you can speak up and start taking steps towards change. Here are the steps you can take to overcome addiction.
Make the Decision to Change
Once you’ve realized you have an addiction problem, your next step is making the decision to change with specific goals in mind. You can begin by assessing the damage addiction has caused in your life, such as straining relationships between you and your family, income loss, mental health issues, and other harmful consequences that come with addiction. You can also decide to quit addiction entirely, quit some addictive behaviors, reduce time and money spent on the substances, or reduce the harm of addictive behavior. For instance, many people often quit drugs and start or continue drinking alcohol. Be clear and realistic with your goals. Remember, addiction treatment is a life-long process.
Prepare to Change
Once you know what you want to achieve, your next step is making preparations to change. You can start by checking institutions that can help you achieve addiction recovery, such as The Process Recovery Center and other facilities, to know how they can help you. You can also check groups and organizations designed to help addiction patients to walk with you through the recovery journey. You can also open up to your family and friends and let them know you need help. Your preparation to change also means getting rid of your addiction triggers. These could be people, things, or places that remind you or make you crave substances.
Address Your Addiction
At this point, you already have a clear view of how you want your addiction recovery journey to go. Addressing your addiction means disconnecting from substance abuse. You need to be quite honest with yourself when assessing your addictive behavior. You don’t want to go too hard on yourself. Addiction treatment is a painful, slow process—it takes time, effort, and endurance. You need to be patient with yourself and follow your treatment plan.
Know-How to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms last a week or two, depending on your addiction level. The physiological aspects of withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable—sometimes life-threatening. Your physician can advise you on the best way and place to quit substance use. However, certain withdrawal symptoms may take months or years in some cases. Your doctor can provide you with ways to cope with withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse.
Cope and Prevent Relapse
Coping and preventing relapse means fully understanding your triggers and developing ways to deal with them. You don’t want to go back to the same spot you were when you started. Relapse is common in most addiction recovery patients and often happens during the first one, two, or three tries. The most common cause for relapse is cravings, which happen when you’re sad, lonely, angry, depressed, or hungry. It’s important to see the relapse as a failure. If you have relapsed before, start by understanding what happened and develop ways to reduce the chances of relapsing again.