Today, we are witnessing increasing economic instability. Some individuals have lost their jobs, while others are struggling to find work in competitive marketplaces. All these circumstances are impacting mental health negatively. Don’t you ever wish to take a break from all worldly tensions? Usually, people pull themselves out of this phase with a healthy mindset and willpower. In contrast, individuals sometimes indulge in wrong activities. 

People start taking drugs, alcohol, and other addictive substances to escape the realities of life. It excites brain parts, making you feel good and energized, but soon, it can make you sick. They directly affect the mind and distort a person’s perception of his surroundings. Likewise, drugs also block all sensations. While they relieve the pain, substances also mangle the brain’s cognitive functioning. 

Indeed, it is challenging to face problems and life’s bitter realities, but drug use consequences are always worse. Unsurprisingly, mental pressure is not the only reason why people take drugs. At times, individuals use substances to fit into social groups and seem grown-up. After all, peer pressure is one of the leading causes why young people consume drugs. No matter what factors pushed you into the addiction trap, you can always bailout. 

Here we are unfolding five tips to overcome addiction and get your life under control for good. 

1. Seek Professional Help 

Undoubtedly, recovery from drug addiction is not an easy feat. You might stop consuming drugs, but the withdrawal symptoms can make your condition worse. Thus, it best to seek professional help to break the patterns once and for all. You can join a rehabilitation center as it is the path to recovery. In addition to eliminating physical dependence, it addresses behavioral issues. 

However, if you reside in Houston or Dallas, look for substance abuse professional services in Texas to seek professional therapists’ guidance. They offer behavioral therapy to understand the addict’s trigger points and prevent relapses. Besides this, they have structured programs to ensure the person maintains sobriety. Remember not to rush over the procedure because overcoming addictive behavior takes time and patience. 

2. Recognize Triggers 

Every addict has a trigger that increases the intensity of cravings. It could be anything – stress, anxiety, or challenging emotions. Sometimes, hanging out with people who indulge in drugs can also trigger addictive behavior. Likewise, certain places that remind you of your addiction can be quite triggering. Once you apprehend the tipping-point, you can offset the cravings readily. For instance, in happy situations such as birthdays or holidays, you might feel an urge to drink. 

Since you can’t avoid attending holidays, seek help from a friend. Find someone you trust, respect, and turn to them whenever you are at the risk of relapsing. It will help you handle temptations while reducing the chances of relapse. 

3. Distract Yourself 

Do you like playing music or drawing? These art forms are quite essential for recovering addicts to overcome the side effects of substances. Most importantly, these hobbies serve as distractions – a great way to overcome urges. You can create a list of hobbies and activities to keep your mind off your desire to consume drugs. After all, it is essential to replace old and unhealthy habits with new drug-free activities. Besides this, finding an exciting hobby can help you find joy and purpose in life. 

Moreover, you can join volunteer programs to support a worthy cause and help others in need. Believe it or not, but it feels great to give it back to the community. Alongside building healthy relationships, you will feel happy to make a difference in other’s life. 

4. Exercise & Meditate 

Once your body gets rid of the substances, you might start feeling anxious and sensitive to some things. Surprisingly physical activity can shift the tide from negative emotions to positive feelings. Exercise releases endorphins – the happy hormones in the brain, improving blood circulation in the body. Similarly, it improves sleep patterns and mood. 

In addition to exercise, meditation can be quite helpful in recovering from substance abuse. It synchronizes the mind and body to improve your overall well-being. Likewise, it increases focus and concentration to achieve peace and reduce stress. In short, it holds the power to alter brainwaves, which improve cognitive functioning. As a result, you can regain control over your impulses while eliminating addictive behavior. 

5. Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

Whether you suffer from drugs or alcohol addiction – withdrawal symptoms are a challenging aspect of overcoming addiction. Usually, the physiological aspects of withdrawal can be super uncomfortable. It means you will experience terrible flu, mild fever, and feelings of incompleteness. Instead of letting these feelings overrule you, keep yourself busy and practice mindfulness to eradicate all negative thoughts. You can also talk to a friend and share your feelings to relieve the mental pressure. 

Fortunately, all acute symptoms last for one or two weeks after quitting. Thus, if you manage to pass this time successfully, you can have a smooth recovery journey. However, if withdrawal symptoms last for weeks or months, seek professional help since they have effective treatments for such problems. 

Final Thoughts 

People don’t realize they have become addicts until they witness withdrawal symptoms. Honestly, overcoming addiction is not an easy feat, but not impossible either. It is a long process that requires patience, willingness, and a healthy mindset. You can start exercising, find new hobbies, and seek professional help. However, don’t push yourself to the limits and show commitment towards your goal. 

Cite this article as:
Burhan Ahmed, MD, "Overcoming addiction: How to get it under control for good?," in Medicalopedia, December 23, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/9476/overcoming-addiction-how-to-get-it-under-control-for-good/].