How to lieave for drug and alcohol

Are drugs, alcohol or cigarettes ruling your life? Have you tried quitting only to pick back up again — even though you really, really want to stop? Stop beating yourself up. You are not a failure. You’re an addict.

A healthier, craving-free life awaits you. Here are ten ideas to get you on and keep you on the road to recovery.

If I can do it, you can do it — I promise!

Tip#1: Accept Help

It doesn’t matter if you’re a meth addict or a pill popper, a binge drinker or bottle hider, smoke 3 packs a day or 6 joints a day. The chances of kicking your habit on your own — and sticking with it — are slim at best. You cannot fight true addiction with willpower. It’s a physiological and psychological craving — way too strong at the cellular level to “just say no.”

But you’ve already figured that out. So now what?

If you have an honest, trusting relationship with your healthcare provider, mention to him/her that you’re trying to quit. Many health plans offer smoking cessation and chemical dependency programs.

You’ll also want to check out how real people (who once were struggling just like you) live drug/alcohol free. Go to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. It’s free and there’s no obligation. The members will welcome you with open arms and share everything you need to know. Peer-to-peer support is incredibly powerful and effective.

 

Tip #2 Do Whatever it Takes

Chances are you didn’t develop your habit last week. Don’t expect to break it overnight, either. It takes time and patience and work. Yes, work. You need to be committed to changing yourself.

If at first you don’t succeed, try something different. For some people, attending 12-Step (AA or NA) meetings is enough. Many sufferers require more help. You can try an outpatient program where you take classes to learn about addiction and yourself. These programs will drug/alcohol test you to make sure you’re not using between sessions. For some people, this level of accountability is sufficient.

For others, an inpatient rehabilitation (aka “rehab”) is needed. These 30, 60 or 90-day programs immerse you in recovery. One to three months in a drug/alcohol-free environment can be a great way to jump-start your clean and sober life.

If you’re trying to put down the cancer sticks, there are different schools of thought. Some people advocate going cold turkey for best results. But again, it doesn’t work for everybody. That’s why they make nicotine patches and gum! There’s even a smoker’s anonymous group

 

Tip #3 Change Your Attitude

Those irresistible cravings will go away in time. To keep them at bay and keep yourself safe from relapsing into old behaviors, you’ll need to change your mindset from “addict” to “in recovery.” As you learn about the reasons behind your drinking/using, you will discover some very interesting things about yourself. And not just you, but every alcoholic/addict (which is why accepting help from others who have walked the path before you really works).

Changing your attitude about drugs/alcohol/smoking is twofold. First, your relationship to your drug(s) of choice will shift. It will stop being the center of your universe. You’ll stop romancing and depending on it to get through your day. You’ll start viewing it as poison, lethal, disgusting.

At the same time, your attitude about yourself and your place in the world — including what the world owes you or has or hasn’t done to/for you — will evolve. The process of giving up an addiction is actually a process of “getting.” You get a positive outlook — an outlook you likely haven’t felt since you started using… if ever.

 

Tip #4 Change Your Playground

So much of recovery is about breaking routines as well as actual habits. I bet you’ve worn a groove in the route to your local liquor store or favorite bar. You know exactly where your connection lives or hangs.

If you continue to go to your old haunts, you’re putting a lot of undue pressure on yourself. Why tempt fate? Take a different route home from work so you don’t pass your usual supplier.

So what about your home? Obviously you’ll want to cleanse your environment of anything and everything that might be a “trigger” for relapse. It’s not uncommon for newly sober people to move from rehab into a transitional sober living situation to give themselves a stronger foundation before going “back there.” It’s usually not necessary to relocate, but it’s an option if your home environment is just too toxic.

A note about smoking. Once your eyes, nose and throat become sensitized, you’ll realize what others have been complaining about. It’s a good idea to ban smoking in your home and car and seek out smoke-free environments to support your quitting.