Substance abuse is a severe problem that affects millions of people in the United States. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, getting help is crucial. But what can you do to start the journey to recovery? Here are six ways you can begin.
1. Get educated about substance abuse and addiction.
The first step to overcoming anything is to understand it. Read books, talk to your doctor, and look for reputable resources online. The more you know about substance abuse and addiction, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with it.
For example, you’ll learn that addiction is a disease, not a choice. This means you can’t simply stop using drugs or alcohol alone. You need professional help to overcome an addiction.
You’ll also learn that addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease. This means that even if you’re in recovery, you’re at risk for relapse. That’s why it’s so important to stay involved in your recovery plan and to get support from family and friends.
2. Seek professional help.
Substance abuse is a complex problem that often requires professional help to overcome. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a therapist, counselor, or other professional for help. They can provide you with support and guidance as you begin your journey to recovery.
You can also look for effective addiction treatment to provide the structure and support you need to recover. This treatment option can be very effective, especially if you have a severe addiction.
If you’re unsure where to start, call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP. This free, confidential helpline can provide you with information about treatment options and resources in your area.
3. Join a support group.
Support groups provide an invaluable resource for people struggling with substance abuse. In a support group, you’ll find people who are going through the same thing as you are. This can provide some much-needed camaraderie as well as allow you to share your experiences and learn from others.
For instance, you might find a support group for families of addicts. This can be a great way to get emotional support and learn from others dealing with the same issues.
There are also 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous that provide common-sense advice and support for people struggling with addiction.
4. Make lifestyle changes.
If you’re serious about overcoming substance abuse, then you need to make some lifestyle changes. This may mean changing your friends, getting rid of any drugs or alcohol in your home, and finding new hobbies and activities that don’t involve using substances. Making these changes can be difficult, but they’re necessary if you want to recover.
You may also need to make changes to your diet and exercise routine. Eating healthy and staying active can help you deal with the symptoms of withdrawal and give you the energy you need to stay sober.
Finally, you’ll need to get rid of any triggers in your environment that might lead you to use substances. This could mean avoiding places where you used to drink or getting rid of anything in your home that reminds you of your addiction.
5. Stay positive.
Recovery from substance abuse is a long and difficult process. There will be ups and downs, but staying positive and focused on your goals is important. Remember why you’re doing this and what you want to achieve.
It can also help you connect with others going through the same thing. Talking to others who understand what you’re going through can be a great source of support and motivation.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed. There are many people and resources available to help you overcome substance abuse. You just need to reach out and ask for help.
6. Take it one day at a time.
While recovering, there will be good and bad days. It may seem like things will never get better on the bad days, but they will. Just remember to take it one day at a time; eventually, the good days will ultimately outnumber the bad ones.
For instance, you might make a commitment to yourself to stay sober for one day. Once you’ve accomplished that, you can then commit to two days, and so on. Eventually, you’ll get to the point where staying sober is second nature.
Seeking professional help and joining a support group are both great ways to start overcoming substance abuse. However, it’s also important to make some lifestyle changes and to take things one day at a time. You can overcome your addiction and live a sober, fulfilling life with patience and perseverance.
Overcoming substance abuse can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. There are many resources available to help you, including professional help, support groups, and lifestyle changes. It’s important to stay positive and focused on your goals and not be afraid to ask for help when needed. Recovery is a long process, but you can overcome your addiction and live a sober life with patience and perseverance.