We all have our vices in life, but some are worse than others. If you don’t address your problems, then you could be looking at a long-term addiction, which in turn can lead to severe health problems. We have put together a five-step guide to addressing your issues and dealing with addiction to any drug, legal or otherwise.
The first step to recovering from any addiction is being able to acknowledge it. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that you rely on a substance to get you through life, and it takes honesty to confront it. Denial is all too common, unfortunately, especially when things start to get a grip on your mind.
Understand the root causes
It’s rare for addiction to occur without underlying issues involved. The trouble is that all kinds of problems can lead to a reliance on substances. Sure, it could be something terrible you have done, or that someone did to you, in your past. But, it could also be something as common as not enjoying your job. If you can be open and honest with yourself, you will find a reason drugs or alcohol – or even cigarettes – have taken such a hold on you. And, if you can solve those issues, then your fight against addiction will be a lot easier.
Speak to your family and friends that you can trust and talk to them about your problems. Go to your doctor as soon as possible, too. They will recommend you go for substance abuse assistance if they feel it necessary, and you may also be offered therapy. It’s important to get a solid support network in place, and there will be a tough love element that you need, too. It might not be pretty, and you will need a firm hand to guide you through your dark moments.
You should also avoid the people that feed your addiction. It might be your drinking buddies, or your smoking partners, or anyone else that you see when you abuse. Enablers aren’t just people, either; they are also places. Your favourite bars, clubs and hangouts all need to be avoided if you want to keep yourself out of trouble. You should also stay clear of social events that revolve around alcohol, for the early stages at least. It will take you a while to feel comfortable in such environments, and the temptation might be too great for you.
Be kind to yourself
Recovering from addiction can be tough. So, it’s important to reward yourself when you start achieving your goals – in a clean way, of course. Perhaps you could start up an old hobby that you left before your problems started? Or, maybe you could develop a new interest in going to the theater, or visiting art galleries? There is a whole world of experiences out there that don’t involve drinking or getting high. And, they can all act as a tremendous reward for your efforts.
Good luck with your addiction problems – and get professional advice as soon as possible.