Aug 13, 2018

Kickstarting Your Addiction Recovery Journey

by: Adam Cook


Overcoming substance abuse can be difficult. Often, fighting to overcome your addiction can seem like a constant fight. When you add in the responsibility of caring for your family and performing satisfactorily at your job, it can seem almost impossible. But, it is important to know that you are not alone and countless others have walked this path before you.


Many others struggling with substance abuse have come out on the other side sober and have gone on to live successful lives. There is not an untrodden forest in front of you, but a well-cleared path. While the trees might be dark sometimes, there is a way through. By working diligently to recover and considering some of the steps we offer here, you too can recover.

Seek Support

It is hard to make any sort of a journey without the proper support team – substance abuse is no different. According to Live Science, friends and family members are the greatest resources someone recovery from addiction can use. So, use them! They can help you with nearly every tip in this guide, help you find health care professionals and simply give you a comfortable place where you can be yourself and express your setbacks without judgment. Nearly every friend and family member you have wants to help you through this tough time, but they might feel awkward asking what they can do or might just not know that the CAN do something. Reaching out will allow them to help wherever you need them to. If you’re afraid they won’t understand your disease or might need some extra information, you can provide them with a well-researched article to read, such as this one by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Start New Habits

While substance abuse is a disease, it is also a habit. Whenever you’re stressed or encounter your triggers, it can simply become a habit to reach for a substance. In fact, using drugs out of habit is commonly considered the first step to addiction. There is a fine line between addiction and habit but getting clean often involves treating both possible aspects. Becoming clean, then, also involves breaking that habit.

Breaking a habit can be done in a number of ways, but the most strategy is to develop a new habit in its place. Building a habit is far easier than completely stopping a habit. So, next time you begin to get stressed and feel temptations, reach for a healthy snack, take a run, or grab a glass of water. And then do it again. And again. Until finally you have developed a new, healthy habit that helps you deal with your stress and triggers. Healthy habits such as diet and exercise can both replace your negative habits and increase your overall health.

Avoid Temptations

On top of developing a new habit, avoiding your temptations all together will reduce the risk that your willpower will break and that you will fall back into old habits. Many recovering addicts have triggers that make them feel the temptation to abuse a substance. According to Psychology Today, a trigger is something that reminds you of the addiction.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be unpleasant and can be something as simple as hearing a song on the radio. But it can lead to an unmistakable urge to relapse. It can be extremely useful to identify these triggers so that you can avoid them. There are around 14 major triggers that commonly cause someone to relapse or begin using drugs. This list is a great place to start when it comes to discovering your triggers.

The road to addiction recovery can seem dark, scary and full of things that go bump in the night. But, it is important to realize and accept that people have recovered before. You can, too. By working closely with a support system, establishing new habits and avoiding temptations, you can set your foot more firmly on the path of addiction recovery.


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