Around this time of year, many people aim to offset their excessive alcohol intake over Christmas by partaking in the ‘Dry January’ challenge. Some may even be determined to finally kick their smoking habit. Others still might have some more serious addictions that they want to kick. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, below are the three steps you should take in order to kick the habit for good.
Admit the problem
The first step is quite often the hardest and can take the longest. It may be difficult to admit that you have a problem, you tell yourself you can stop any time. But there is a difference between habit and addiction, and if your substance misuse has started leaking over into your everyday life, or you find yourself craving a fix and becoming cranky or irritable without it, you may have a bigger problem than you thought. When the use of a particular substance becomes the focal point of your life, and all other things such as family, friends, and work become secondary, it is time to admit that there is an element of addiction there, and you should ask for help.
Seek professional advice
Depending on the seriousness of the addiction and the nature of the substance, you may need to seek out professional medical advice on how to go about kicking your habit. They can also advise you on the medical benefits of certain products designed to help you quit. You could ask your doctor to recommend you a suitable strength nicotine patch or tell you what are the vivitrol shot side effects if you have become dependent on alcohol or opiates. If you have been a very heavy substance abuser for a long period of time, it can be dangerous to go ‘cold turkey,’ and so a qualified doctor will be able to explain the safest course to take to help you quit and get healthy.
Get a helping hand
The road to addiction is a lonely one that can alienate you from many of your closest family and friends, and that loneliness can help fuel your addiction. The road to sobriety is one that should not be taken alone. It is important that you have a good, strong support network to help you when the journey gets tough. Search for support groups in your local area which you can join. Having other people at different stages of their journey to talk to and gain valuable insight from can be incredibly useful. They can be there to help keep you motivated on focused when things seem like they are getting too much, and you can do the same for them when they are struggling. Letting your close family and friends know about your journey to recovery is another good way of staying focused. They see you on a daily basis and know what you were like before your addiction. They will be able to give you positive reinforcement that you are succeeding in your battle against addiction.
The road from addiction to sobriety is a long and difficult journey to make. But with the help and support from your friends, family, and a qualified Doctor or Counsellor, you will make progress each day until you can begin to enjoy life once more.
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