How You Can Finally Overcome Your Substance Abuse. Guest Post by Pat McGraw of The Prevention Coalition.

 

How You Can Finally Overcome Your Substance Abuse

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It’s been a long time coming, but you’re finally at the point where you know you have a problem. It might have started as just a way to relax or party, but it’s taken too much from your life. It’s just not fun anymore. More importantly, you are ready to do something about it.

To be honest, overcoming substance abuse is not a walk in the park. You are going to hit roadblocks, problems, and maybe even relapses. But that should not discourage you. If you are strong enough to admit it’s time for a change, then you are strong enough to make that change. You just need to understand why it’s so hard, what you need to change in your daily life, and how to get the help everyone would need to beat substance abuse.

Why This Is So Hard

First of all, recognize that this is a major change in your life. This isn’t like going on a diet. Chances are, you have been using drugs and/or alcohol for years before reaching this point. Such a change is definitely possible, but since it took years to develop, it cannot be tossed aside in a few days.

Here are some specific reasons why people have trouble sticking with quitting:

  • Unrealistic expectations: Some people expect overcoming substance abuse will either be easy, quick, or easy and quick. When they realize this might be hard for a while, it’s easy to give up and relapse.
  • Fear of changes: Sometimes, it’s the fear that this will be too hard or take too long that makes people give up early. There’s also the fear of withdrawal symptoms and loss of their old, enabling social circle.
  • Not knowing what sobriety will look like: When someone has abused drugs or alcohol long enough, they might not know what a sober life can be like. That big unknown can make people relapse as they seek something familiar.
  • Enabling structures: Even if an addiction is physical, there are things in life that make using more likely. Friends and associates are two big ones, but there’s also routines like going to the same bar all the time.

Focus On Small Changes

That’s why you need to focus on making some changes to your daily life. Sure, your goal is to quit and stay sober. But rather than think that’s the only goal that matters, you need to create smaller, easier-achieved routines to make sure you can overcome substance abuse.

Why do routines work? Because in a time of chaos and uncertainty, you need something predictable and safe. Going through a routine is comforting because you know what will happen. When you schedule little daily routines like making your bed, getting a bit of exercise, cleaning the house, and calling a friend, you fill the space in your life with things that don’t require drugs or alcohol.

Seeking Therapy

Getting past substance abuse is not something you can do on your own. You will need help, and while your friends and family love you, sometimes you need specialized help from a therapist.

There are several forms of therapy that can work for you.

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps you avoid situations that encourage you to use again.
  • Family therapy works better for younger people and helps the whole family work together.
  • Motivational therapy can use rewards to keep you on the straight edge.

There’s also holistic therapy.  This approach can use several treatments at once, including meditation, acupuncture, nutrition, and neurofeedback. The goal here is to treat substance abuse as a problem affecting your whole body.

You Can Do It

Overcoming substance abuse is never an easy decision. It’s certainly not an easy task. But by recognizing why you might struggle, making routines to support sobriety, and finding the right therapy program, you can do it.

Substance use and alcohol problems, as well as process addictions like gambling and sex, each take on unique characteristics within the individual sufferer. Whereas one client may respond really well to working with one particular type of recovery coach or sober guide or companion, someone else may in fact see little benefit using that particular type of coach…maybe they need to work with someone who focuses more so on the life coaching or success coaching element, and less on the addiction element. The beauty of The Addictions Coach is that we have the expertise and resources in place to quickly determine which type of addiction or mental health recovery coach may be best suited for the client’s specific set of needs!

Pat McGraw

thepreventioncoalition.org

ARE YOU READY? 

Are you ready to experience victory over addiction in ways you may have never imagined?  Contact The Addictions Coach 24/7 at (800) 706-0318