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Drug Addiction | First Steps to Quit

Dealing with drug addiction is not easy, as thousands of substance abusers can attest. However, many make the decision to break their addictive habits and take a series of steps that help them to begin the process of recovery. The first steps are often the most critical in determining whether the addictive behavior can be overcome. Although various programs offer a specific process for escaping addiction, many encourage the following steps in one form or another due to their effectiveness.

Recognize the pattern of addiction.

Some people believe they can use substances at their discretion without developing an addiction. They fail to recognize the signs of abuse, such as missed work, troubled relationships, financial woes, and health issues. While these things are common to non-addicted persons, they are often linked to addicts’ lifestyle problems as a result of the substance abuse. Accepting these tell-tale signs and acknowledging the need for help is the first step toward recovery.

Admit it to someone who can help.

The next step is to discuss the problem with someone who can take a supportive role. This initially may be a spouse or a significant other, who can discuss treatment options and provide domestic support during rehab. A close friend, mentor, or relative who is a good listener that provides logical advice might also be a helpful person to confide in.

Consult addiction professionals.

In understanding the scope of the addiction and its effects, as well as the need for treatment, it is important to contact an addiction specialist. This may be a primary care physician who can refer you to an addiction therapist. Direct contact with an addiction recovery expert or a drug rehab center is an alternative option. Discussing an addiction with someone who is professionally prepared to offer assistance is essential.

Select a rehab program.

Depending on the extent of the addiction and related issues the person is dealing with, a choice of rehab programs may be offered for consideration. Determining factors sometimes include gender, age, general health, family responsibilities, and other considerations in deciding between in-patient or outpatient treatment, along with the potential need for detox beforehand. Location and cost as well as the program structure and approach should also be evaluated in choosing a treatment program.

Commit to recovery.

When a plan for recovery has been arranged, the addicted person will need to decide if he or she is ready to commit to recovery. This decision is unique to each individual. No one can force another person to undergo drug rehab treatment or attempt recovery unless the addict is ready to start the process. It must be done for the individual’s needs rather than to satisfy a loved one or an employer, although these concerns may play a role in the recovery commitment.

Utilize available resources.

In addition to entering a detox program if needed, as well as being willing to enroll in a rehab treatment program, the addicted person should be made aware of additional resources through the doctor’s office or as community resources. For example, therapy for related issues, such as mental illness like anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder, may be warranted and can be harnessed with rehab to address contributing or overlapping issues simultaneously. Books, videos, and online resources recommended by a therapist or an addiction specialist may also be helpful in educating a person who is struggling with addiction.

Participate in an after-care program.

After completing a complete recovery program, it is important to consider follow-up care for ongoing support. Typically this includes support groups sponsored by hospitals and recovery organizations, usually at no cost to participants. Being part of a group that is struggling to maintain sobriety or a non-addicted status

Avoid triggers.

As soon as an addict makes the decision to break drug habits and enter rehab, it will be necessary to circumvent triggers related to drug use. These differ among addicts, but they commonly include jobs, relationships, and lifestyle complexities that generate stress, anxiety, or depression. Certain friendships or recreational activities may need to be avoided to help prevent relapse of the person who is trying to stop using drugs.

A complete change of lifestyle may be necessary for drug addicts who are struggling to get their life back on track. This can be accomplished with the help of doctors, therapists, and supportive relatives and friends. Following these starting steps may lead to success in breaking drug addictions permanently.

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