Addiction affects more than 20 million adult Americans each year. Do you know what it takes to recover from addiction?
Recovery is different for each person. If you or someone you love is battling a drug addiction, it can seem like you’re facing an impossible task. But the key is finding the recovery plan that works for the individual.
With the right knowledge, anyone can find their path to recovery.
While we can’t give all the answers about addiction in a single post, we can give you some tips to help guide you. Read on to learn valuable information that can help speed up the recovery process.
1. Recovery Takes Action
Wanting or intending to quit is a great start, but it won’t get you to recovery. Breaking free from addiction doesn’t happen with intent — it happens with action.
You might see lots of treatment programs that focus on affirmations or changing your thinking patterns. These things are valuable and can help you get through. But it takes more than just the right thinking.
You need to be prepared to take action, such as by changing your lifestyle, to get results.
These actions can look different for different people. They might include exercising when you feel like using, or replacing the addiction with other healthy, distracting behaviors.
The right actions often involve connecting with others to help you stay accountable. If you rely on thoughts alone, the temptation to relapse will become too great.
2. Focus on Prevention
The hard part isn’t really quitting for the first few days, weeks, or months. Sure, it might feel incredibly difficult at first. Navigating physical or mental withdrawals is no joke.
But if you don’t focus on preventing relapse, all that effort will have been in vain.
You’ll need to tap into tools that you can use when your temptation grows. Staying sober is easy when things are going well, but what will you do the next time you confront bad news or work stress? If you don’t have a prevention plan in place, you could find yourself in trouble.
Start with what works for right now. But as you move through the recovery process, start picking up new strategies that will help you prevent relapse in the long term.
3. Find Local Support
Different types of treatment programs work best for different people. But no matter how you face your treatment, make sure you have a local support system in place that you can turn to.
If you have to drive two hours each way to attend meetings, you won’t have the nearby support group that you need in a pinch. If your local friends all still use, you can’t turn to them for accountability. You might need to build new support networks in your town or neighborhood as part of your recovery process.
Having meetings, whether they’re one-on-one or in an organized group, helps you plan your day around not using. Stay active with your local support network and staying sober will become much easier.
4. Stick to a Schedule
Making a schedule, at least in the early stages of recovery, helps make sure you can stay on track.
You might need to schedule a few meetings or events a day and plan the rest of your sober day around them. Or you might need to schedule every part of your day, down to the hour, so there’s no time left over to use. No matter what, make sure to make a schedule that works for you and stick with it.
Try to stick to set times for when you wake up, eat, workout, and sleep. An organized rehab program can help you get in this habit, but it’s not necessary. Set timers on your phone, use a scheduling app, or start writing in a day planner so you can stay on track.
Set aside time for your friends and family, for meditation, for reading, or whatever else helps you stay relaxed and supported. Keeping a schedule doesn’t mean being stressed and busy all the time. It just means having healthy, positive activities to fill your day.
4. Understand the Disease of Addiction
When you don’t know much about addiction, it can feel like you’re fighting a nebulous monster. Even worse, it might feel like a personal failing that creates feelings of shame.
Addiction is a disease. You can’t be blamed for having a disease. Just imagine if someone told you it was your fault for having lupus!
Even though many people don’ understand addiction, it’s important that you stay strong and understand that you aren’t at fault for your disease.
Addiction is a chronic disease that can require lifelong changes to manage. Just like with many chronic diseases, if you make the right changes, you can have a high quality of life over the long term — discover more about those benefits here. But it’s important that you stick with treatment and maintain a lifestyle that makes the disease manageable.
In this case, that means finding strategies so you won’t use.
5. Take Control of Your Finances
When talking about recovery, few people want to tackle the tough subject of finances. But facing this problem head-on will help you recover successfully.
Addiction often comes with a side effect of financial problems. It can cause you to make poor financial choices, and even land you in pricey legal trouble. It’s hard for an addict to handle money wisely or meet work-related requirements.
Once you’re on the road to recovery, it’s important to work on your financial issues. Financial stress can often cause a relapse, so get on top of it right away.
Work on getting a job, and make a budget that you’ll stick to. Develop a plan for building up your credit, paying off loans, or handling any other money problems you now have. This will help you feel in control, so you won’t turn to using again.
Ready to Recover From Addiction?
With these tips in mind, it’s much easier to recover from addiction than you might think. Addiction recovery isn’t a one-size-fits-all process, but these tips apply to anyone who wants to get clean for good.
Recovering from addiction requires you to develop a new, challenging, caring relationship with yourself, first and foremost. If loving yourself seems like the hardest part, don’t miss this guide.