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When you’re struggling with drug addiction, recovery can seem like an impossible goal. But don’t give up. The first step in recovery is recognizing that you have a problem and the second step is deciding to change. Drug addiction, despite being widely misunderstood as a criminal issue or a problem related to a weakness of character, is actually a form of mental illness, much like depression and needs to be treated that way.
Therefore, recovering from drug addiction is never easy nor straightforward, and it is best done with the assistance of medical professionals who can support you in the process. Addiction cannot be cured, but it can be managed, and it is always possible to rehabilitate if you are willing to do so. I am a living proof of that. Here, I have outlined the five tips that help you to recover successfully from drug addiction, they worked for me, and I hope they work for you as well.
1. Take stock of your life
Giving up your drug of choice especially when the cravings hit, you may need some strong reminders of why you have decided to quit in the first place. That is why it is necessary to take stock to remind yourself of the havoc drugs have been wreaking on your life,however, it is necessary to remind yourself again and again, especially at the beginning of the recovery process, why you want to commit to giving up from drugs or alcohol for good and what the consequences might be if you allow yourself to continue any further down the dark path of addiction.
2. Take help from Doctor
You need to take help from the doctor and it is an obvious one, but, it may not be the easiest. After admitting to yourself that you have a problem and deciding to change your life, you will need to ask for help. Getting professional help.
3. Change your environment
Your home environment needs to be safe, secure, and drug-free. Remove everything from your home that is related to your addiction, creating a safe home environment. If you have roommates who are also addicts or in your neighborhood where drugs or alcohol are easily accessible, you may also want to consider moving into a rehabilitation center which is a safe, supportive communal living environment for people in the recovery process. Also, you will need to stay away from old friends who are users, as the may prove as a barrier in the process of your recovery. Furthermore, avoid those places that might act as triggers: bars, clubs.
4. Create a new routine
When a recovering addict gives up their drug of choice, they are not just letting go of a substance, they are letting go of their former means of navigating life. Most addicts self-medicate simply to cope with living in modern society. Therefore, new coping mechanisms need to be established, and old habits need to be replaced with new healthy ones.
A consistent daily routine is a coping mechanism that can help you to know what to do with yourself at what time. In early recovery, it is a good idea to schedule (and stick to) a daily routine detailing what time you wake up, eat, exercise, work, visit family and friends, go to appointments and meetings, and sleep. You should also schedule hobbies such as painting, writing, playing music, meditating, or anything else you enjoy that can help to keep you on track. When you always know what you should be doing and what is coming next, it leaves less space for your thoughts to wander back to taking drugs or alcohol again.
5. Be kind to yourself
Almost all recovering addicts are burdened with feelings of guilt and shame. They may suffer from very low self-esteem and experience self-deprecating thoughts such as “I am a failure”. These type of thoughts are not helpful in the recovery process. Developing a sense of self-compassion is the key to a successful recovery process. It means is that forgiving yourself for past mistakes. You should celebrate your achievements, however small they may seem to you. But most importantly, have patience with yourself, treat yourself with kindness, and know that healthy, happy, and drug-free life is best.
I know that the road to recovery from drug addiction is a long and difficult path with many twists and turns. During the recovery process, you will undoubtedly feel many ups and downs but take every day and make a choice not to take drugs and keep reminding yourself as to why you quit drugs in the first place and wish to stay sober. Taking the help you need, creating a healthy and drug-free environment and social life, establishing a new routine, and remembering to be kind and compassionate with yourself.