If you are struggling with drug addiction, your life is probably already a living hell. Getting straight often seems like an impossible task.
But regardless of how long or how intensely you are addicted to drug, recovery is always possible with the proper treatment and the support of trained professionals. But you have to want it.
The road to recovery is long and bumpy for most addicts. There are bound to be pitfalls and setbacks. But if you are committed to making positive improvement in your life and breaking your addiction cycle, you can succeed in getting clean and sober.
Here are six steps you can take to find your way to a new, cleaner and more productive life.
1. Admit that You Have a Problem
You are never going to get better if you remain in a state of denial about your drug addiction. For many addicts, the most difficult step is the first one: Admitting that you are a drug addict and committing to do something about it.
You already know that drug addiction is a slippery slope downwards. Pulling yourself back up to the life you had before your addiction can seem next to impossible, but it’s not. You can do it if you really want to. And the first step is admitting to yourself – and to others, including your friends and family – that you have a problem and that you need help.
2. Consider Your Treatment Options
Once you’ve acknowledged your addiction and committed to seeking treatment, the next step is to explore your treatment options.
Search online for qualified treatment centers in your area or ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a program that best suits your specific needs. In some instances, you may require in-patient residential care that could last weeks or months. Or you may only need outpatient care and counseling that you can receive while continuing to live on our own.
Regardless of the treatment you select, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s nothing magical about treating drug addiction. It’s a process and a struggle and while there are other people who can help you, the outcome depends on you.
In addition, the treatment you receive should address more than simply your drug addiction. Usually, treatment programs are designed to identify the underlying causes of why you are taking drugs in the first place. When you understand your triggers, you can address them so that you are less likely to relapse later.
3. Ask for Help
Drug addiction is not something most people can overcome alone. You are going to need the help of other people and it’s going to be up to you to reach out for support.
If you can still lean on your friends and family, having their support can be critical to your success. If that’s not an option for you right now, consider getting help from other people through counseling or participating in Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
These actions can help you build the sober social network that is going to be critical to your ongoing recovery. If your social life currently revolves around drugs and hanging out with people who use drugs, you are going to need to turn your back on your old life and embrace your new path toward recovery.
4. Find Your Stress Relievers
For many people, drugs offer a relief from the stress and anxiety in their lives. Overcoming your drug addiction is itself a stressful process. So you are going to have to find the best ways for you to relieve your stress without the use of drugs.
There are many healthy ways to deal with stress. These include physical exercise, meditation, using sensory stress-relief strategies, and even simple breathing exercises.
5. Avoid Your Addiction Triggers
Detoxifying your body from drugs is an important first step, but it’s not going to do any good if you simply go back to taking drugs again. Physical addiction is only half the battle. The other half is your psychological addiction to drugs.
To get past this, you need to identify the things that trigger you to want to take drugs, then avoid these triggers altogether. Don’t hang out with your friends who take drugs and avoid the bars, clubs and other places where you normally did drugs in the past.
It’s also a good idea to avoid taking all drugs for a while, even those that are supposed to help you, such as prescription drugs, especially pain killers. Many people who are addicted to drugs will simply transfer one addiction for another.
6. Work on Creating a Drug-Free Life
Beating drug addiction isn’t a single action, it’s a lifelong process. Once you get past your physical and psychological addiction, you will need to continue to fill your life with positive things so that you never revert back to your former life. Overcoming drug addiction is not simple, but it is worthwhile. In fact, your life depends on it.