According to the WHO, around 35 million people across the world battle drug use disorders, and 3 million deaths each year are attributed to the misuse of alcohol. If these statistics make anything clear, it’s the fact that substance abuse in all forms is a global issue that can affect people from all walks of life. Despite the fact that the problem is increasingly common and widespread, many of those who deal with addiction may feel afraid to reach out or ask for help due to stigma.
However, if you are struggling, it’s important to understand that there is no shame in admitting you need help. Being able to talk about what is happening is often the first (and perhaps most important) step towards recovery – and this within itself is a commendable act. However, letting go of an addiction is not the same as turning off some switches in our brain – as you have to change your habits and perspectives entirely. This means that it can be hard to stay on track.
With that in mind, here are some tips you can use to stay on track when recovering from addiction.
- Make use of all of the addiction recovery resources you have at your disposal. For example, you could begin attending support groups in your local area. This gives you the opportunity to talk openly and candidly about your struggles with other people who have been in the same situation and know exactly how you feel. You should also ensure you keep up to date with any counseling sessions you may have scheduled.
- If you are trying to quit without professional support, consider attending a rehab facility or connecting with an organization that can guide you through the process of addiction recovery.
- Rely on resources such as the American Addiction Centers youtube channel to find new ways to manage your behaviors or for general advice regarding addiction recovery. For example, their channel includes a range of different content, including Q&As on topics such as inpatient services and their 12 step program.
- Take care to discover the reasons that your addiction began in the first place – whether they be the result of emotional turmoil or a response to pain. This means that you will know when to remove yourself from certain situations. It can also help you find healthier ways to cope with your problems instead of relying on substances to help you through.
- Find ways to reinvent yourself after rehab by exploring new hobbies and passions. Treat this as your opportunity to challenge yourself in new and exciting ways by doing what you have always wanted to do in the past.
- Understand that sometimes you may have to leave behind old relationships when you are on the road to recovery. For example, if you have decided to become sober, being around people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol will probably be detrimental to your success.
- If you do slip up, remember that this is sometimes part of the recovery process – and that nobody will think any less of you for doing so. However, this could be a sign that you need to reach out for professional help once again.