Six tried and tested ways of overcoming acute drug addiction

Drug addiction is a vicious cycle that can even trap the most strong-willed people and lead them to self-destruction. 

A single beer can spiral out of control, and it’s common for one drink to lead to another. If you are stuck in this troublesome trap and are looking for a way out, there is nothing to be ashamed of. 

In fact, the ability to recognize the problem itself is a tremendous feat. Not everyone can get past the denial that comes with drug abuse. 

Therefore, if you overcome this hurdle, you are prepared to deal with the rest if you have the dedication to persevere. Research shows that 21 million Americans suffer from at least one addiction, and only 10% get treatment. 

Don’t give up if you have made up your mind to come clean. Sobriety, albeit difficult, is not impossible, and the future, once you cross this hurdle, is bright. 

With that in mind, let’s discuss some helpful tips and ways you can use to overcome your acute drug addiction.

1.  Look at the available treatment options

No matter how dedicated you are in your pursuit of sobriety, don’t deny the fact that a little professional assistance is necessary. 

There are many treatment options for addicts, ranging from residential and day treatment programs to outpatient interventions. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when it comes to these treatments. 

But, depending on your specific circumstances and condition, certain treatment options will work better, and you can consult a therapist to identify this. 

Centers for substance abuse facilities like Serenity at Summit can outline unique treatment plans focused on the patient’s individual needs.

Some helpful interventions in treatment plans include detoxification, cognitive behavioral therapy, rational emotive behavioral therapy, and contingency management. 

Ideally, this combination is used for the best and longest-lasting results.

2.  Hold yourself accountable to someone

Without someone to report to, it is easy to convince yourself that ‘one last time won’t hurt or ‘just this once is acceptable. When addicted to a substance, it is easy to overlook responsible decisions and give in to the temptation. 

Being accountable to someone is a great way to overcome this problem; you can do this by finding an accountability partner to whom you consult whenever you feel the urge to relapse. Today, there are also online recovery tools where you can share your progress with a community of recovering addicts. 

Research has proven that such convenient technology has led to better treatment outcomes for addicts. 

3.  Establish a strong support system

Struggling with addiction without someone to rely on is much more challenging. Despite any feelings of shame or guilt, reach out to those you trust and make sure you get the encouragement and guidance you need. 

An ideal support system will include your family, close friends, sober individuals, and others who have overcome addiction or are struggling against it. 

Recovery social support groups will provide inspiration and hope, where you can connect with others facing the same difficulties. 

With social support, you will feel belonging and security, counter isolation, find meaning and purpose and get emotional support.

4.  Include an activity you enjoy in your daily schedule

An idle and bored mind is vulnerable to thoughts of relapse and the urge to indulge ‘one last time. When you give up the addiction, which may have been a significant part of your schedule, you feel the need to fill in those free spaces with something equally satisfying. 

If you occupy yourself with a hobby you enjoy in this free time; it can open new opportunities and make your life more productive. 

Some things you can consider including in your schedule are exercise, cycling, sports, and any other activity of your choice. Exercise and physical activity are also known to minimize stress – a significant trigger for relapse – improve overall mood, and enhance cardiovascular health. 

In fact, research shows that those who exercise regularly are less likely than others to develop drug abuse problems. 

Research also shows that exercise releases endorphins in the body that uplift your mood. It induces a sense of euphoria, often termed the ‘runner’s high’ you get after an intense workout. 

This effect is known to be similar to the impact of morphine. This feeling can replace the ‘high’ you used to get from drugs and use this as a mood elevator instead of drugs.

5.  Practice mindfulness and meditation

Another effective technique is sitting in a quiet place and reflecting on your body’s physiological processes or thoughts in meditation. Increasing your self-and worldly awareness through mindfulness is another effective technique. 

You can empower your mind to control your behavior and exercise greater control over your impulses through mindfulness and meditation. 

Secondly, mindfulness slows down the pace of things, so you aren’t rushing through the day, thereby bringing the tranquillity you get from drug use. 

Thirdly, mindfulness and meditation make you more aware of yourself, the things that trigger the urge to relapse, and the various sensory experiences in the world around you. 

Mindfulness targeted at relapse prevention includes a focus on triggers and cravings. Mindfulness also minimizes stress, a particular trigger for relapse.

6.  Celebrate every success, no matter how small

Once you have started on the road to recovery, reward yourself even for the minor achievements. For instance, after a month of sobriety, reward yourself with a meal in a good restaurant with your family. 

Also, share this success with others to get the much-needed acknowledgment for your efforts. If you are a part of a social support group, sharing your success can motivate others and encourage you to remain steadfast and drug-free. 

Celebration with others also serves another purpose; it strengthens your accountability and makes it more likely to keep up with the effort and not give in to the urge to relapse.

Final words

If you have succeeded in acknowledging your addiction as a problem and maladaptive behavior that you should change, it is significant. 

Hereafter, remain steadfast in your resolve to come clean and remind yourself that your chosen path is much better than the one you have left. 

Seek professional help, establish a support system, keep yourself busy, exercise, practice mindfulness, and celebrate your success. 

Yes, the journey will be difficult but do not give up. Remain steadfast and persevere; what awaits the struggle is worth it. 

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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