Three Crucial Tips For Beating Drug Addiction
By Mikkie Mills
The journey rising out of a drug addiction has never been an easy one. For many people, addiction has cost them not just years of their lifespan, but also friends, family members, careers, and houses. The climb out of the deep, dark hole of addiction is a long and grueling one, but the end result is worth every step of the way. The way people deal with drug addiction largely varies from person to person, but there are many pieces of sound advice out there that have proven to be beneficial to everyone. If you’re ready to take your life back and beat your demons away for good, here are three tips to help you get started:
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
The first step to getting better is seeking out a network of individuals who are trained to support you in the best way possible. Although loved ones can be – and often are – indispensable to the healing process, it’s also important to make sure you aren’t keeping toxic people in your life whose actions may be holding you down, even if they don’t mean to be. Surround yourself with other people who are living clean and healthy lifestyles, and don’t be embarrassed to seek outpatient drug rehab. There is nothing wrong with looking for help. You will encounter experts who want to see you succeed, and will provide you with the tools necessary to take back control of your life. You will also get the chance to meet other people who are going through the same struggles as you, and can build new friendships based off of healthy lifestyle changes; whether it be going on hikes together, taking martial arts classes, or getting into clean eating, there is a wide array of fun, healthy hobbies to find common ground on with someone else who also wants to improve their life.
- Understand the Science Behind Drug Addiction
The most important part of your recovery is knowing what you’re dealing with. With the age of the Internet upon us, it is now easier than ever to access all the information you need to understand exactly what your body and brain are going through. Make sure to rely on good sources only, and don’t ever self-diagnose a medical condition. If you don’t trust your current doctor, then find another one – but whatever you do, do not self-diagnose. No amount of time on Google will be equivalent to four years of medical training and an additional few years of residency at a hospital. Drug addiction is a very commonly misunderstood mental illness; most people view it as a simple matter of willpower and motivation, and unfortunately, this is both untrue and highly damaging to those who suffer from it. The scientific consensus on drug addiction is that it is a relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive behavior responsible for making a person vulnerable to drug abuse, and although the initial intake of drugs is voluntary on the part of the individual, the key part to remember is that drug use quickly changes the chemistry in that person’s brain, making it increasingly difficult for them to stop using as the drug use increases over time. This doesn’t mean you have no responsibility whatsoever for your actions, of course, but it is crucial to understand that what you are facing is more than just a matter of willpower.
- Don’t Let the Past Dictate the Future
The way you think about yourself has an enormous impact on your quality of life. Whether it be a victim mentality or a crushing guilt over past mistakes, it’s time to make your past demons stay in the past. Past events should be used as learning tools for the future, not as stakes to nail you down. It is true that drug and alcohol addiction have been directly linked to child abuse, and if this is a factor that applies to you, it makes it that much more important to seek professional help and rehab, where they can connect you with who you need. There is absolutely no shame in seeking help about past trauma, especially if the past is still hurting you. The life you will experience after you liberate yourself from the emotional prison of trauma will be the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself, and the first great leap forward to beating addiction.
Most importantly of all these things, remind yourself daily of why you’re stepping onto the path towards recovery. Whether it be for health, family, or finances, there is always an easy way to create a list of reasons to get better. Grab a pen and paper, and write that list down as it applies to your life. Set realistic goals, and look at that list of goals every day, every ten minutes if you have to. It’s not going to be easy, but your health and happiness are worth the trouble. Surround yourself with the right people, make the right choices, and one day you will never look back.
About Mikkie Mills: "I'm a Chicago native who loves to share her expertise about personal development and growth. When I'm not writing, I'm chasing the little ones around or rock climbing at the local climbing gym."