Addictions are one of the most common health problems and, unfortunately, they are also distinguished by their very harmfulness both to the person who develops them and to their environment. Moreover, the pilgrimage with this cycle of addiction and substance use is not easy.
Therefore, every day many people consider the following: “I know I want to quit drugs, but … how can I get it without backing down?”. Here we will see several tips to achieve this.
Stop using drugs and overcome addiction: 6 key ideas to get there
Each case is unique, but in general, it helps to have some basic guidelines on what to do if you want to overcome an addiction. Here is a summary of what to do.
1. Start treatment with the help of a professional
If you want to get out of drug addiction while minimizing your chances of relapse, you will need to undergo treatment offered by health professionals; and if what you’ve “stuck with” is hard drugs or illegal alcohol, you should get going as soon as possible assuming that’s the only way out.
Ideally, you should have both medical coverage and psychotherapeutic care: Remember that addictions are not just chemical processes, but a large part of their existence is due to the fact that through them we internalize patterns of behavior that promote their persistence and that we reproduce without realizing it account: always go through a bar area on the way home from work, mainly talking to other dependent people, etc. Psychotherapy will allow you both to identify these problematic behaviors and mental processes and to manage them and replace these elements with other daily lifestyles that keep us away from drugs: it is like a training process.
On the other hand, keep in mind that the criteria of the professionals who supervise your file are always what prevails and what you must follow above these tips, because they will offer you tailor-made solutions knowing your file and its particularities.
2. Make a commitment to respect the deadline for giving up consumption
Some people need to take some time to stop using it for good. However, a short or medium term deadline must be set (in a few days) so that this “leave for another day” does not become an excuse.
it is recommended have a regular reminder of this deadline, To take advantage of this temporary barrier and use it as a self-motivation tool.
3. Don’t focus on repression, but redirect your interests and attention
The risk of relapse is greater if we perceive the process of exiting addiction as a form of sacrifice.. This kind of mental schema nurtures the idea that only the “virtuous” can overcome this health problem, which generates a self-fulfilling prophecy that works against us: the discomfort itself is felt as a sign of this sacrifice, and at the same time as a sign that we are not “strong” enough to fulfill this mission.
Therefore, instead of focusing on suppressing the desire to use, embrace the philosophy of overcoming addiction by finding new sources of gratification, new and stimulating experiences that can capture your attention and allow you to focus on it without losing your focus. it is harmful to your health. .
4. Take measures to prevent all forms of addiction
People who have developed an addiction are very vulnerable to the risk of developing more. For example, among those who frequently use cocaine, the risk of developing alcoholism is also higher, and vice versa. These pathologies reinforce each other.
5. Get used to recognizing the thoughts that prompt you to use
If you can learn to quickly identify those thoughts, feelings, and mental images that tempt you, you can neutralize without letting them serve as a pretext for a relapse.
6. Adapt to the pace of the addiction process
Each phase of the process of overcoming an addiction works with different “rhythms”. First of all, it is necessary to mentalize and take the step of reducing consumption, an “all or nothing” action; then you have to know how to manage the withdrawal syndrome and detoxify yourself in a period of particular physical discomfort, and finally you have to avoid relapses by learning to quickly recognize the thoughts and actions that sabotage us and expose us to the risk of consuming new, adopt new habits and new patterns of behavior from which to relate to the environment and to others.
Are you looking for psychological support in the face of addictions?
If you are having an addiction problem, I invite you to contact me. I am a psychologist specializing in the cognitive-behavioral model and I offer my services to individuals and companies either in person (in my office in Madrid) or through online sessions.
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- Kalivas, PW; Volkow, ND (2005). The neural basis of addiction: a pathology of motivation and choice. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 162 (8): pages 1403-1413.
- Sànchez Turet, Miquel (1991). Drug addiction: terminological and taxonomic aspects. Yearbook of psychology, University of Barcelona, 49: p. 5-18.
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