October 17, 2012
When you struggle with an addiction to drugs and alcohol, it can feel like the cycle of abuse will never stop. You may feel helpless and overwhelmed in how far you have fallen into the trap of substance abuse, and you may feel there is no way out. Fortunately, there are many treatment options that are available to you that will help break the cycle of addiction once and for all and get you on the road to recovery. However, overcoming addiction can be difficult–and you will be faced with many challenges in your recovery journey.
In order for you to truly bounce back from addiction and reclaim your life, it requires a total change in attitude–and a game plan.
The First Step in Overcoming Addiction: Understanding Recovery
The first thing you must keep in most is that long-term sobriety isn’t a singular event; it is a process that unfolds over a long period of time. You must realize that addiction is a disease and not a moral failing, a lack of willpower or even the inability to “just say no”. Undergoing and successfully completing drug treatment will give you the tools you need to overcome addiction, but you need to continue working a plan of recovery to continue to stay clean and sober while being able to adequately function in your day-to-day life. The following are 5 tips that will help you overcome your drug addiction.
5 Essential Tips for Overcoming Drug and Alcohol Addiction
#1 – Admit Your Powerlessness
Powerlessness is a very difficult emotion to accept because we as humans are very prideful creatures. We are intelligent, strong and capable of great resilience, creativity, and strength. Given that all the positive attributes we possess, how can we fall short in certain situations and not be in control of our lives? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of the word powerlessness, we see the following:
“having no power : unable to do something or to stop something”
“devoid of strength or resources”
“lacking the authority or capacity to act”
To think that specific situations and events can allow us to spiral helplessly out of control can be unsettling, disturbing, and even inconceivable for us to think about. This is especially true if people become powerless in the face of substance abuse, dependence, and addiction.
The Difficulty in Defining Powerlessness in Addiction
For of those addicted to drugs and alcohol, being truly able to admit they are powerless over addiction is like wrestling with the Devil. For the addict, their mindset is one of extreme denial, and while family and friends can see the debilitating effects of addiction, the addict won’t see what truly is going on until it is too late and their lives are in shambles. There is no doubt about it; admitting weakness and powerlessness is tough is any situation, especially in addiction. However, it needs to be done if the addict has any chance at recovery.
Powerlessness is the main theme in the First Step of all 12-Step traditions, and it is that way for a very good reason. As stated earlier, if the struggling addict cannot fully admit in that addiction has taken over their life, they will never truly embrace sobriety and they will continue to struggle with substance abuse until they experience serious consequences like extended stays at the hospital, get thrown in jail, end up in some sort of institution or die.
While understanding powerlessness can be the major roadblock towards a life of recovery, there is a way that addicts can understand the concept of powerlessness in addiction that will make complete sense.
#2 – Get Help
As mentioned earlier, undergoing and successfully completing drug treatment at a quality rehab facility is essential in helping you overcome your substance abuse. When looking for drug treatment, you need to find a rehab that offers a wide range of services such as the following:
- medical detoxification
- individualized treatment plans to draw from a wide variety of therapy options
- life and coping skills coaching
- learning about triggers, cravings, and methods of relapse prevention
- continued aftercare programs if needed
Treatment programming must have a proven record of being effective, and the treatment facility should have studies that prove its’ effectiveness on file. Additionally, the best treatment facilities accept most forms of medical insurance or provide alternate forms of payment in the case you are underinsured or uninsured. While many drug treatment programs last 28 days on average, you should find those treatment facilities which offer treatment programming that lasts for 90 days or longer. Attending treatment for longer periods of time increases your chances for long-term recovery.
#3 – Change Your Lifestyle
As an addict who desires sobriety, you simply cannot overcome addiction overnight. If you are truly ready to overcome your drug addiction once and for all, it means that you have to be ready for a complete change in life. Being in recovery requires a complete lifestyle change; from your daily routine to the way you handle daily stress and down to the family and friends that you rely on for support and guidance. You need to eliminate those people, places, and things that are triggered for relapse. The reason for this is simple: you need to make it as easy on you as possible to stay sober.
#4 – Sweat It Out
It is common to go through periods of depression and uncertainty in your recovery. Without the old crutches of substances to help you through times of stress and doubt, you may feel on edge and out of sorts in your quest to overcome addiction. To beat back those feelings and regain your confidence, few activities are as effective as regular exercise. Exercise improves mood by releasing endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain and stress relievers. While joining a gym is a definite option when it comes to getting regular exercise, there are other less expensive ways you can pursue. For example, you can simply go for a brisk walk 20-30 daily and receive substantial benefits. You can also take up running, yoga, Pilates or go for a bike ride with a friend.
#5 – Utilize Those Important Life and Coping Skills
Every great drug rehab will help you learn and hone the life and coping skills you need to have when you re-enter your normal daily life and routine. Overcoming addiction requires you to be able to function adequately on a daily basis and being able to structure your life so it is filled with those things that will enhance your recovery. The following are some example of these essential skills:
- Developing a daily routine filled with recovery-friendly activities and obligations
- Employment coaching and skills
- Effective money management
- Acquiring new hobbies and interests
- Learning effective ways to communicate
- Learning healthy coping mechanisms
These skills are the foundation for living a healthy life and will minimize the idle time that you may have during the day. Idle time can be dangerous in recovery because the mind to wander towards thoughts of using substances.
#6 – Volunteer
A great way to overcome drug and alcohol addiction in your life is to give time and energy towards those causes that you find worthwhile. Volunteering is a great way to build your self-esteem and sense of self-worth–and both provide strong foundations for your own recovery. Whether you volunteer your time at a local hospital, children’s center, drop-in center, helping others helps you “get outside of yourself” and gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment. As you become more comfortable in your sobriety and get more recovery time under your belt, you may even consider becoming a mentor to someone who is new in recovery.
Ocean Breeze Recovery Center Will Help You Overcome Your Addiction
Recovering from substance abuse can be difficult, but with the right help you can not only overcome addiction–you can thrive. At Ocean Breeze Recovery Center, we offer all who walk through our doors effective and proven treatment programs and a full continuum of services that will help you heal in mind, body, and spirit. Our experienced staff can create an individualized treatment especially for your specific needs and will give you the best chance at experiencing the joy of lifelong recovery.
Call us today at 855-960-5341 and begin a new chapter in your life.