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How to Overcome an Addiction

It’s common for people with substance use disorders to discover that recovering from it is harder than they anticipated. They can believe that addiction is fiction and that they can overcome it at any time or that they are an outlier. This is possible with behavioural addictions to behaviours including eating, having sex, gambling, shopping, and exercising.

This article explains what you must do to beat an addiction and provides advice that can be useful. Along with some of the accessible, efficient treatment techniques, it also discusses possible withdrawal symptoms.

Why Overcoming Addiction Is So Difficult

Addiction alters the brain’s reward system and enhances the desire for the substances or experiences, people continue to engage in dangerous activities despite the negative effects. Quitting becomes even harder as a result of these brain alterations, which also impact impulse control and judgment.

Addiction is treatable, even though addiction rehabilitation is difficult. You can overcome the physical and mental difficulties you encounter to recover with the help of helpful services and the appropriate treatment strategy.

beginning the procedure

Any type of behaviour change involves a process that begins with pre-contemplation and progresses into contemplation, according to the transtheoretical model, one theory of behaviour change.

You might be oblivious to the consequences of your addiction in the early stages of the process. You may have ambivalence as you become more conscious of the issues you are confronting and as you also grow more conscious of the need to kick your addiction.

However, after you’ve decided to change, you may start getting ready to act.

Choose to Modify

One of the most crucial steps in recovering from an addiction is deciding to change. It shows that you are aware of the issue and want to solve it when you admit that a change is necessary.

Choosing to change and figuring out how to do it are processes that frequently require time. Because it entails deliberating whether and how to change, this is known as the contemplation stage.

Ambitious objectives are not always the best, though. Setting a goal you can actually meet is preferable to plan to stop “cold turkey” and then relapsing, which can be riskier than just carrying on as you were.

At this point, speaking with a physician, addiction specialist, or psychologist can be especially beneficial since they can explain the risks and suggest ways to mitigate them.

Be Ready for Change

Once your aim is clear, you might still need to get ready for change. Making preparations entails getting rid of factors in your life that can tempt you to use addictive substances once more as well as removing those substances from your home.

For many people, this entails getting rid of paraphernalia or other objects that could make them want to use drugs or engage in risky behaviour. You might also need to adjust your routine to spend less time in places or with individuals who make you crave certain foods.

Choosing your strategy for quitting your addiction and gathering the tools you need to succeed are two other preparation strategies.

For instance, someone seeking to stop smoking would first choose whether to stop smoking completely or cut back on their nicotine intake gradually. The next step would be to obtain the resources they require to successfully quit smoking, such as joining a support group, purchasing nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products, or speaking with a doctor about prescription smoking cessation drugs.

Look for Social Support

The hardest preparations to do can have to do with interpersonal interactions. Some of the relationships that addicts are in may be centered around their addictive tendencies. Setting boundaries within those relationships and joining a self-help organization like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can be beneficial in these situations because they can find a community of people who share their experiences.

Spend time getting in touch with loved ones who will help you achieve your goals. Additionally, you might want to inform your friends who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, or other substances that you intend to make changes.

They might not comprehend, or you might be happily surprised. In either case, it’s a good idea to let them know your objectives and how they can help you achieve them (even if that means taking a break from the friendship for a time).

Contact Medical Professionals

It is a good idea to discuss your need for medical assistance in quitting alcohol and drug addiction with your doctor or a nearby drug clinic. To help reduce withdrawal symptoms, there are various pharmaceutical choices. You can occasionally need medical monitoring while going through detox.

The withdrawal stage may make any underlying mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, worse. While overcoming these obstacles, healthcare professionals can be incredibly supportive and helpful.

Get Help to Beat Your Addiction

You can get support from a variety of therapies, including medical and psychological ones, to help you overcome an addiction. Although there is no one “correct” style of addiction therapy, some methods have stronger scientific backing.

Psychotherapy

People can enhance their coping mechanisms, create new behavioural patterns, and alter the underlying ideas that frequently underlie addiction with the aid of behavioural therapies and other forms of psychotherapy. Various forms of therapy that could be beneficial include:

Control the symptoms of withdrawal

For both drug and behavioural addictions, dealing with withdrawal symptoms can be challenging. The physiological effects of withdrawal from substances can be highly painful, like having the flu or even being fatal. This is why it is a good idea to see a doctor about the best location and method for quitting a substance.

Thankfully, most acute withdrawal symptoms do away within a week or two of quitting. However, some addicts who leave report that some withdrawal symptoms seem to last forever. This condition is referred to as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), and in certain instances, it can last for weeks, months, or even years.

Additionally, mental health issues like anxiety, sadness, sleep issues, and even psychosis can occasionally be hidden by addictions. Consult a doctor if you’re feeling down or irritated or worried. After you stopped smoking, the world or other people seem strange or unsettling. Effective treatments are available that may be helpful.

Prevent Relapse

Relapse is rather typical, although it can be discouraging and upsetting. Having a relapse does not indicate that therapy has been ineffective. Addiction is a chronic disease and relapsing is a common part of the quitting process.

A relapse will occur in about 40% to 60% of those battling a substance use disorder. The incidence is comparable to relapse rates for other chronic health disorders like hypertension and asthma.