It is usually not an easy task to quit substance abuse. People with drug abuse disorders realize this truth when they try to stop as easily as they started. Addiction isn’t a fable and takes deliberate efforts and deeds to overcome. So, what must be done to reduce or quit drugs?
Firstly, you need to acknowledge that you have a drug addiction problem. Afterwards, you need to take intentional steps towards drug use reduction and total recovery. It may not be easy, but it’ll be worth it.
This article will highlight and explain crucial steps you can take to overcome drug addiction. In addition, we’ll provide you with tips to help you stay on your recovery lane and subsequently stay clear of drugs.
Simply sit tight and allow us to take you one step at a time. But, first, let’s briefly understand why overcoming drug addiction is usually challenging.
Why Quitting Drugs May Prove Difficult
Reports from the Canadian Medical Association show that addiction is a severe medical disease. It further highlights addiction as an illness that tampers with brain circuits, genetics, and surroundings. As a result, it greatly influences a person’s reality negatively.
The continuous indulgence in drug abuse despite lethal consequences is because the addiction alters your psychological reward system. This alteration, in turn, increases your craving for the substances or ‘ecstatic’ experiences.
These brain changes further affect sound decisions and lead to uncontrollable impulses. Resultantly, it feels harder each time you try just to quit.
However, drug addiction is a treatable disease despite the seeming difficulty of quitting. The transtheoretical behavioural model posits that every change begins with pre-contemplation. Afterward, it becomes actual contemplation.
Thus, you’re on course to stop using drugs when you no longer doubt or deny your addiction problem. This stance means you can succeed in your quest to reduce or quit drugs. All you need to do is indulge in helpful resources and engage in correct treatment.
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Steps to Reduce or Quit Drugs
The road to recovery from drug addiction has several pointers you must carefully give attention to. They are like guides through your recovery and eventual abstinence process.
The steps to drug intake reduction or quitting include the following:
Honest Decision to Change
Deciding to turn a new leaf is a major step to overcoming drug addiction. This action is a manifestation that you acknowledge there’s a problem needing a solution. But, in addition, you’re also willing to get the solution.
Yielding to change and how the change will happen is a gradual process. It was mentioned earlier that this stage is the contemplation stage. Also, you should set realistic recovery goals in your decision to reduce or quit drugs.
The desire to change may come with a surge of optimism, leading to setting ambitious goals. But you need to understand that it’s better to set a feasible goal than an ultra-fast drug-withdrawal goal with high relapse tendencies. Such relapse can be deadlier than not even choosing to change in the first place.
You should consult a doctor or addiction therapist at this stage. Their medical knowledge will accustom you to how best to reduce or quit drugs.
Preparation to Change
You’ll need to prepare to change after setting your change goals deliberately. Such preparations will mean ridding your residence and immediate surroundings of addictive drugs. You’ll also need to do away with things you know prompt using those drugs.
This purge means you may have to change your routine. For example, you may need to avoid certain places, people, or things, at specific times. In addition, you have to do everything possible to lessen your contact with your drug usage triggers.
Preparation also includes determining your strategy to reduce or quit drugs. Understanding how you’ll overcome drug addiction will help you get the exact resources you need.
For instance, a person trying to quit alcohol can decide to gradually or immediately stop drinking. Afterwards, they’ll know what alcohol replacement therapy to buy. Or better still, speak to an addiction for prescriptions to aid substance intake reduction.
In preparing to change, there are vital things you need to do, and they include:
Seeking Social Support
Social relationships hold the most stake in the decision to stop using drugs. This assertion is because the majority of relationships of drug users revolve around addictive actions. As a result, there’s a need to set limits in such relationships and align with self-aid groups.
The alliance with self-help groups helps you overcome the challenge of loneliness in the drug quitting process. Drug abuse may have made you a distant figure to your family and close ones.
Now, the need to reduce and quit drugs also requires you to avoid friends with whom you abuse substances. As such, the possibility of loneliness is very high. But the self-help groups will provide you with vital company.
In addition, you can still reach out to loved ones who may be willing to support your addiction recovery goals. Also, you can inform friends with whom you abuse drugs about your plans to change.
Some of your addict friends may find it ridiculous. Meanwhile, you can be a trigger for recovery to some of them. Regardless of their dispositions, your position will be clear.
Additionally, you can contact healthcare providers to create social support for yourself. For drug addictions, speak to a doctor to know your medical needs to quit.
Medical experts will make prescriptions to temper the withdrawal symptoms during your medical detox program. They’ll also let you know if you need active medical supervision during the detoxification process.
Importantly, you need to be careful if you have mental issues like depression or anxiety. These health problems can escalate during your withdrawal phase. This reason is why you need the supportive gestures of healthcare providers during recovery procedures.
Getting Treatment to Overcome Drug Addiction
This step is another significant one in the guide to reduce drug abuse. You’ll need psychological and medical treatments, whether it’s to reduce or quit drugs. These variations in needs are because there’s no monopoly of treatment for addiction. Although, some treatments may be more popular than others.
Psychological treatments are as follows:
Psychotherapy typically involves behavioural therapies that help develop the best way to reduce drug intake. Behavioural therapies bolster your resistance skills and help you form new behavioural traits. In addition, the foundational thoughts that influence your addiction are not given breathing spaces.
Vital therapies that help reduce and quit drugs include:
- Family Therapy: This therapy has so much potential, especially with teenagers, adolescents, and young adults. Family therapy provides an avenue for families to realize how they can support a member’s recovery. It improves the overall synergy of the family.
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: This therapy centres on identifying and transforming behaviours and thoughts that aid addictions. Over time, CBT has proven effective in the treatment of different addictions. However, Cognitive behavioural therapy isn’t for people who have difficulties evaluating their feelings, thoughts, or attitudes.
- Mindfulness Therapy: This therapy is another shade of cognitive behavioural therapy. It, however, focuses more on people with foundational psychological problems like depression and anxiety.
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy: This form of therapy is a form of adrenaline to the willingness of a patient to change. It is best effective when in use to improve motivation and commitment to treatment objectives.
Medications don’t only help treat withdrawal symptoms. But they also help patients stay in treatment and avoid relapse. Meanwhile, a doctor usually prescribes medication depending on the addiction in treatment. As such, alcohol addiction medications can’t work for drug addiction.
In addition, some medications are to be taken short-term and others long-term. Thus, ensure you talk to your doctor, so you don’t undertake or overuse medications.
Managing Withdrawal Symptoms
Managing withdrawal symptoms can prove quite difficult. This stand relates to every addiction form. With drug addiction, the physiological effects of withdrawal are not very friendly. They can be as destabilizing as flu cases and even pose mortality threats. Thus, you should consult a doctor for the best way to reduce drug intake and eventually stop it.
Doctors will know the best location, medication, and motivation to help you through withdrawal symptoms.
Luckily, most of the severe withdrawal symptoms alleviate in a few weeks. Nevertheless, there are situations where some individuals who quit drugs continue experiencing specific symptoms. The name for such persistence in symptoms is post-acute withdrawal syndrome. Unfortunately, such symptoms can persist for as long as years.
Addictions may veil underlying mental health issues like depression, insomnia, psychosis, and anxiety. Thus, see a doctor if you feel worried, extremely sad, or feel nothing seems right since you quit drugs. There are workable treatments for such instances.
Meanwhile, let’s move on to tips for drug addiction recovery.
Tips for Overcoming a Drug Addiction
The feeling of quitting drugs is usually unique to each patient. It may be strengthening for some people. But, on the other hand, some may find it excruciating, frustrating, and draining.
For some others, it is a process of self-discovery. For example, some discover that they can receive and give certain feelings such as love. Some realize they have mental, spiritual, and physical abilities which they’ve never known.
In a nutshell, there’s no one way to feel during or after quitting drugs. However, there are specific tips for drug addiction recovery to help you avoid depression and relapse.
These tips include the following:
Expect Changes in Your Relationships
This tip is one of the proven tips to observe as you try to reduce drugs. You’ll likely experience turbulence in your relationships on your road to overcoming drug addiction. Your fellow drug-using friends may not immediately adjust to your new leaf. It may be hard to return to the family you left during your active drug involvement.
However, your resolve to stay clean will help you stand firm. You won’t shake regardless of the repulsive reactions of your drug-using friends. You’ll also find the courage to show the family that you’re indeed a new person. Also, you’ll practically feel better in your own life too.
Don’t Replace Addictive Behaviours
Usually, addictive behaviours show similar psychological and neurological patterns. In addition, these behaviours form pseudo reward systems and feelings. Thus, the need to feel that ecstasy may lead to wanting to replace addictive behaviours.
So, concentrate on discovering enriching and healthy lifestyles that will aid your eventual recovery.
Find Good Distractions
Find deeds that will positively engage your time and divert your mind from drug use. Such things include:
- Talking about your interest with a friend.
- Seeing a sporting event.
- Reading a book.
- Even taking a stroll.
These activities will help disarm the intense feeling you need to satisfy the drug craving.
Treat Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues
Another tip to overcome drug addiction is treating simultaneously occurring mental health issues. This suggestion is because drug use usually happens alongside other mental health issues.
Addictions easily mask trauma, depression, fear, anxiety, and the like. Thus, psychological therapies alongside medications will help address these other feelings. As such, addictions won’t worsen and will have no mental issues to affect.
Furthermore, you need to understand that long-term recovery isn’t a bus stop. It is a continuous journey of staying resilient and not returning to drug addiction. This process requires devotion despite situations that may prompt relapse.
Additionally, your drug addiction case may be mild and not require serious medical attention. But you may need immediate medical intervention if you discover you’re struggling to stop using a substance.
Related Article: Dangers of Drug Detox at Home
You’ll need to avoid compulsive behaviours to reduce or quit drugs. Medications, psychotherapy, support groups, and expert help can play crucial roles in your recovery.
It isn’t shameful to reach out for help for an addiction. On the contrary, it’s only human that you find yourself in that shoe. Fortunately, Medical Detox Ontario offers first-class medical detox services for residents in Toronto and the GTA.
We have professionals who know about addiction and are ready to emotionally, physically, and medically support you through it.
Contact 1 (888) 899-9458 today to start your recovery journey.