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Beating an Addiction to Drugs

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 4 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
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Overcoming an addiction to drugs can be an extremely difficult task but one which may ultimately save a life. Along with the destruction drugs can cause to relationships, employment and emotions, there are a great many physical changes that may occur, some correctable and others irreversible.

Methods for Beating the Drug Addiction.

Before deciding on a program of drug treatment and support, the individual must be able to admit they have an addiction and actually want to overcome it. Positive thinking, willpower and determination are fundamental to the success of following a drug treatment plan.

To begin with, external influences must be removed from the addict's life. This can sometimes mean changing almost their entire social circle, where they spend their free time and what they choose to do with it.

Confiding in a trusted friend or relative who will not judge or condemn is important for discussing fears, finding out information and as part of a support network. Of course, the hard work must come from the addict and help shouldn't be expected; it will be given as a privilege and because the chosen confidant wants the addict to succeed.

Find out information about the expected symptoms of withdrawal so coping mechanisms can be explored, provisions made and alternative medications sought. This can be achieved by discussing with a professional, reading literature or talking to an ex-addict who is willing to share experiences.

Help And Support For Overcoming Drug Addiction

Always discuss your drug treatment plans with your GP as they may be able to offer medications that can help alleviate the physical symptoms of addiction withdrawal, offer advice about support networks and might also be able to refer to other agencies where necessary or possible.

Consideration should be given to whether a support group, individual counselling or a combination of both will be beneficial. These types of therapy are useful as the therapists know what addiction is about, will help you to determine the cause, will have a vast amount of advice regarding craving control, managing withdrawal and how to restructure life without the addiction.

Find out about help lines and when they can be accessed, who runs them and what can be offered using them. Keep the list in close proximity at all times during the initial period of withdrawal and use these help lines when cravings are becoming too strong or anxieties are building up.

Allow for the 'cold turkey' period. Warn family and close friends of what is happening and explain that it may cause distress to all those concerned but you are determined to achieve your goal and break your drug addiction. Book time off work, maintain a supply of provisions that may be needed such as headache tablets, bottles of water, extra blankets etc, anything that is close to hand and does not warrant a trip to the shops.

Aims And Achievements In Breaking Addiction

Write a list of the negative aspects of continuing with the existing behaviours of drug addiction; write a list of all aims and achievements you want to succeed in after the first stages of withdrawal have passed.

Exercise helps to ease symptoms of withdrawal so try and plan some sort of exercise regime; joining a gym will allow you to make new friends and adopt a new social structure.

Use music, art and writing to help express your emotions during the withdrawal process. This may be a useful log for reflection in the future and can help others if you decide to choose that route in the future.

Find new methods for relaxation such as meditation or yoga. Establishing a routine for regular de-stressing will prevent an emotional pull to returning to old habits. Once a healthy lifestyle has been found, you will not want to go back to your old ways as people will start commenting on how well you look.

Overcoming an addiction is a very individual experience. Use a wide variety of sources to help you achieve your goals and break the drug addiction. Remaining positive and by repeating to yourself that you can do it will make the process easier.

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