Addiction Recovery: Overcoming Your Alcohol or Drug Problem

Treating the root causes and providing support is essential for long-term recovery. The recovery process from drug or alcohol addiction often involves a person making a significant change(s) to improve their quality of life, including overall health and wellness. It can also help teach people to feel empowered in their lives and reach their full potential.

  • Bear in mind the person recovering from an addiction will need real-time to go through these big steps (not just a few days or a month).
  • It’s important to remember that addiction varies between individuals and can be influenced by factors such as genetics, environment, and personal vulnerabilities.
  • That is because the brain is plastic and changes in response to experience—the capacity that underlies all learning.
  • Strategically avoiding an event, a person, or a situation with a polite excuse can yield lifesaving dividends, especially early in recovery.

By practicing stress management techniques, relying on his support network, and engaging in healthy activities like painting and journaling, Mark overcame his cravings and rebuilt his life. Developing coping strategies gave him the tools to maintain sobriety and live a fulfilling, drug-free life. Taking action is a very important step in the substance abuse recovery process, and it is one in which it’s important to have support as you make changes. It can feel stressful to change, which is why the support a person receives in drug and alcohol treatment can be so important in continuing the process of addiction recovery.

action steps for quitting an addiction

If you buy drugs, you should consider telling your dealer that you are quitting; ask your dealer not to call you and not to sell you drugs anymore. Also, you might want to consider talking to your health care provider about the method of quitting that is best for you. There may be medications that can ease the process for you and increase your chances of success.

Treatment and Recovery

Due to the complex nature of any substance use disorder, other options for treatment should also include evaluation and treatment for co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety (known as dual diagnosis). If you or a loved one is suffering from drug addiction then the very first step on the road to recovery is to understand and accept that you have a serious problem and need help. If you really want to overcome your drug addiction than you need to understand that alcohol or drug addiction is not a weakness or moral failing but a disease that eats a person physically as well as mentally.

  • Bear in mind that recovery is a lifelong process (but it does get easier!).
  • It is similar to being in a hospital, and fully trained staff work around the clock to ensure that patients get the help needed to overcome their addictions.
  • Continued drug use can cause changes in the brain that impair an individual’s ability to control their drug use.
  • Coping with withdrawal may require hospitalization or inpatient care to ensure adequate supervision and medical intervention as necessary.
  • Another widely applied benchmark of recovery is the cessation of negative effects on oneself or any aspect of life.

Eddie said their research suggests more needs to be done to keep people alive while the healing process works. Meanwhile those with more financial resources or milder forms of addiction often heal faster. Similarly, the roughly 95,000 deaths each year in the U.S. attributed to alcohol represent a fraction of high-risk drinkers. While tragic, the 100,000 fatal drug overdoses last year actually claimed the lives of a tiny percentage of the 31.9 million Americans who use illegal drugs. Researchers say this data — and this lived experience — contradicts a widespread misperception that substance-use disorder is a permanent affliction and often fatal.

Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction

Even simple things like talking to a friend, watching a television show, reading a book, or going for a walk can provide a sufficient distraction while you wait for a craving to pass. Others find it painful, difficult, and frustrating, sometimes needing many attempts before achieving their goal. Still, others discover new sides to themselves during the quitting process (a greater capacity for compassion, for example). Relapse is common, but it can also be dangerous and even fatal in the case of some substances.