Drug addiction is nothing new. Each year, many people suffer from drug use disorders worldwide. According to a report by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), roughly 36 million people has become victims of drug use disorder in 2021.
Simply put, drug addiction refers to a progressive, neurobiological disorder in which a person can’t seem to stop themselves from misusing a substance or drug even after knowing that their addictive behavior is harming physical and mental health.
Initially, most people start using drugs to find an escape from real-life problems and enjoy pleasure. However, as time goes by, the person starts becoming dependent on those drugs.
As a result, stopping becomes next to impossible. Yet, the good news is drug addiction is treatable.
So chances are, you have been misusing substances for quite a long time because you enjoyed the pleasurable feeling.
You were becoming habitual of late-night parties and everything. But, after some time, you might have realized drug abuse is negatively impacting your personal and professional life.
Thus, you plan to stop living a drug-addicted lifestyle and become sober. But how and where do you start?
Whether you are looking for the best treatment center or support group, refer to this Addiction Guide that can help you live a healthier and drug-free life.
To further make it easier, read the following tips for a holistic view of what this article is about.
- EXERCISE REGULARLY
When a person performs physical activity, the human brain releases a chemical – endorphin. This hormone triggers a feeling of euphoria.
Hence, it can be a substitute for drugs or substances for many. Moreover, regular physical exercise can improve your mood and increase your energy level.
However, don’t feel intimidated if you are new to exercise. You don’t necessarily have to join a gym. Instead, you can start with a short brisk walk.
Try to spend at least 30-minutes daily moving your body. You can adopt many other exercise methods, such as doing house chores, taking stairs instead of elevators, etc.
- KEEP AN EYE OUT ON YOUR TRIGGERS
If you wish to maintain sobriety, one crucial step is to learn what triggered you into drug addiction? For example, maybe a few of your old colleagues provoked you into using drugs, or you might be undergoing some relationship problems or job issues that forced you into addiction.
Understanding your triggers can help you develop coping mechanisms appropriately regardless of the reason.
- RESIST TEMPTATION
Once you have determined your triggers, your next step is to resist the urge. Put it this way; if you can’t resist your urge, it can turn into a terrible and vicious cycle. So find ways that can help you avoid temptations to retry drugs or substances.
Do you feel tempted because you want to enjoy that pleasurable feeling? In that case, it’s best to find a hobby or activity that diverts your mind and is enjoyable.
However, if you feel tempted to get into old life because of peer pressure, maybe it’s time to find new and supportive people that are good for your health.
- BUILD A SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY
To live a drug-free life, you need to cut down or minimize contact with negative people. Family, friends, or relatives that don’t radiate positivity or trigger you in substance abuse are not good for you.
You must also avoid those people who cause stress or anxiety in you. Instead, build and rebuild relationships that inspire and motivate you.
Then, you can utilize your support system – your family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors, to share your thoughts and feelings.
- SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP
We all know the road to addiction recovery is an ongoing process. While your close friends and family members may help you live a sober life, outside support still plays an important role.
Thus, you can join a professional peer support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous to build a supportive network that pushes you to be more productive.
In addition, you can seek professional counseling that helps you develop strategies on how to stay calm during a stressful situation and how to deal with cravings.
- DEVELOP A NEW ROUTINE
Various facets of your life might push you to get drunk or high. However, developing a day-to-day structured routine can increase your possibility to stay sober.
Recall the time you spend in rehab or with your counselor when recovering from addiction. They helped you structure your time by creating daily or weekly schedules and replacing drug-filled or harmful activities with healthy ones.
You can take inspiration from that schedule to develop a healthy routine.
- TRY TO BE MORE POSITIVE
Your behavior, attitude, thoughts, and activities are linked to your mindset. So whenever you crave drugs, switch on your positive mindset.
Remind yourself about the downsides of your addiction and think about what you will achieve by preventing yourself from going back to the addiction phase.
Practicing positivity in your life can help you significantly live a drug-free life. Moreover, you can avoid blaming and criticizing yourself for your past actions with a positive mindset and attitude.
- DO SOMETHING MEANINGFUL
It may sound cliché, but doing something meaningful can help you take attention away from the stress of life.
In this manner, you can easily stay committed to living a drug-free life. Answer this. What’s one particular thing you are passionate about?
You probably have some hidden talent that you can spend your time on and share with others. For instance, you can spend your time and energy doing volunteer work, joining a local book club, volunteering to work in a children’s hospital or animal shelter, etc.
- CONSIDER EATING HEALTHY FOODS
People who abuse drugs and alcohol don’t usually pay attention to their diet. Moreover, addicts may skip their meals or choose food that isn’t nutritious. Consequently, it affects the brain and digestive system.
However, to enjoy a drug-free life, you must focus on what you eat. Note that when you consume a healthy diet, serotonin increases; serotonin is a hormone that helps you relax your mood.
Your diet must include complex carbohydrates, dietary fat, calcium, and protein-rich foods.
Let’s face it, living a healthy lifestyle is no walk in the park. It is even more difficult if you have been a drug addict in the past.
However, you can live a healthier life by indulging in meaningful activities, building strong connections, eating healthy food, working out, etc.
The road to living a drug-free life is an ongoing journey and can’t happen overnight. However, with firm determination and patience, you can achieve your goal to live a drug-free life.
Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate your achievements. Acknowledging and celebrating your effort can give you the strength and motivation to keep going.