Drug addictions are crippling and destroy lives. An estimated 22.6 million Americans over the age of 12 used some form of illicit drug in 2010, according to data from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Seeking help is the first step. The next steps involve targeting your addiction and learning to cope with it. It’s not a matter of defeating your addiction and making it disappear. It’s about learning to live with it so it doesn’t resurface again. It will always stay with you.
With that in mind, here are a few tips for moving through this dark period in your life.
Make it a Priority
You’d be surprised at how many people assume they can leave recovery as a sideshow. To be successful you have to make it a priority in your life. A lack of concentration is why so many people begin to slip back into addiction again.
Our mind wanders when we aren’t doing anything. Once our mind wanders we’re in trouble because our thoughts begin to return to drug use. A lot of addicts spend all day sleeping or taking drugs. If they aren’t doing these things they’re thinking about taking drugs. Chronic addictions take over your life.
Keep busy by finding a job, playing with your kids, helping family members, or going for a walk. Even the most mundane tasks can have the biggest effect.
Talk About It
Addiction is isolation. Most people won’t talk about it and those who do are usually judged harshly for it. The memories of this behavior encourage a lot of former addicts to take the same views back into the real world again. If they’re finding things tough they won’t want to talk about it for fear of ridicule.
Establish a point of contact upon leaving rehab. This can be a professional or a friend who has gone through the same experiences. You should be able to contact someone whenever you’re feeling down.
The benefit isn’t in being able to treat or counsel you. It’s being able to speak of these issues. A comforting word can make all the difference.
This isn’t a movie where you have to confront the demons of the past head on. Avoid the past and run away. Stay away from your old drug using friends and try to stay away from areas with high amounts of drug use. You don’t want the whiff of illicit drug use to trigger your addiction again.
There’s no shame in going out of your way to leave your old life behind. Your old life will always be with you but you don’t have to relive it again. With this idea in mind, a rehab facility is usually the best way to recover and truly escape your old life. To successfully recover without past temptations, many people chose to travel to other states or more rural locations for recovery such as drug rehabs in Tennessee.
Strong Diet and Exercise Programs
Diet and exercise makes you stronger mentally and physically. You need a strong physique to cope with any lingering withdrawal symptoms and a good diet to improve your concentration. Drug takers don’t have good diets and it’s what partially keeps them enslaved.
Develop a better diet and aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day; the more vigorous the exercise the better. Aim to get the blood pumping quickly. You can get your daily dose of exercise by doing things like walking to work instead of driving and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Kiran Foster