Many people battle with substance abuse problems whether this is alcohol, prescription painkillers or an illegal drug like cocaine or heroin. These substances can be highly addictive and create changes in the brain which can develop powerful cravings and interfere with many aspects of your daily life. Additionally, these substances can be highly dangerous and lead to a wide range of physical and mental health issues which can be difficult to recover from and can even be fatal.
Although sobriety may seem impossible when you are in the throes of addiction, it is important to realize that recovery is always possible. Here are a few coping tips if you or somebody that you know is currently battling a substance abuse problem.
Understand That It Is Not A Weakness
Many people who battle with addiction feel that it is a character flaw or weakness which can lead to feelings of low self-esteem and inadequacy which can drive them even more to substance abuse. Addiction takes more than willpower to overcome because of the changes that take place in your brain which means that you become chemically dependent on the substance and treatment will be required.
A Common Problem
Addiction is incredibly common and affects people of all ages and backgrounds. These substances can be highly addictive,and it is very easy for people to become hooked. There is currently an opioid epidemic in the USA where people have become addicted to prescription painkillers which can then lead to addictions to illegal substances if they are unable to obtain more opioids.
It has been estimated that as many as 115 Americans die from a drug overdose every single day. This shows just how prevalent substance abuse is in this country, but it also shows how dangerous it can be, so it is vital that you seek help if you are misusing any kind of substance.
Following on from this, it is important that you seek treatment if you suffer from a substance dependency because it can be dangerous and deadly to attempt to do this yourself. It can be hard to find suitable treatment facilities that will meet your needs, accept insurance and provide high-quality treatment and aftercare. Addiction Treatment Services is an excellent way to find the right facility so that you can get the help that you need to get over your addiction and start to build a happier and healthier life.
Looking After Mental Health
Mental health and addiction are closely intertwined,so an individual needs to look after their mental health if they are to cope with a substance addiction. This may involve avoiding highly stressful situations and practicing meditation, positive affirmations or anything that helps you to feel relaxed and calm.
Outlet For Frustration
There are also many emotions that you must battle when overcoming an addiction. Many of these are powerful emotions like anger and frustration,and you need to have a healthy outlet for these feelings.
There are a few effective ways that you can let out your frustration, including journaling and other creative ventures. One which is particularly effective, however, is exercise which releases dopamine and has many physical and mental health benefits. Any form of exercise is good, but many people find running, boxing, martial arts and any form of competitive sport to be especially effective as an outlet.
Nobody should have to battle addiction by themselves,so it is important that you have a good support network around you. These will be people that can motivate you, provide a shoulder to cry on or an ear for listening to your difficulties. In addition to friends and family, many people find it helpful to speak to those that have similar difficulties so community support groups can be an excellent idea and a good way to meet new people (more on this to come).
Try New Activities/Hobbies
When people are addicted to a substance, it often takes up all of their time and becomes a key part of their identity. This means that there is a huge void that needs to be filled when they get clean so it can be a great idea to try a range of new activities and hobbies. As mentioned, outlets like creative pursuits and exercise can be helpful,but there are all kinds of different activities and hobbies that you can try.
Make New Friends
It is important to build a new life when you are in recovery which may mean severing ties with some of those that were part of your previous life. Meeting new people can help you to build a new life and stay active and social which is vital regarding mental health. Meeting new people can be difficult, but attending community support sessions and trying new activities should help you to meet positive new people.
Set Yourself Regular Achievable Goals
It can be easy to slip back into old habits when you do not have goals to work towards. Set yourself regular goals which are achievable yet still challenging so that you will continue to stay focused even on difficult days. These goals could be anything from getting a new job, starting a new hobby, reaching out to an old friend or a fitness related goal.
It is common for addicts to have feelings of guilt and shame when looking back to their previous life because they may have mistreated people close to them and relied heavily on others to help them through. These feelings can be difficult to carry around but giving back can be a great way to shed these feelings and to help others. This could involve volunteer work, helping others with substance abuse problems and generally getting involved in the local community.
Living with an addiction to any substance is a huge challenge, but it is important to remember that addiction is extremely prevalent and that you are not alone. It is important to seek proper treatment in the form of rehabilitation and then having various coping methods can help you to conquer your addiction for good.
by: Umer Mahmood