Kicking a Substance Abuse Habit

While the types of people who use drugs are varied from all walks of life, the core desire is the same—looking to escape something and feel better. This is understandable—dealing with our feelings can be difficult. Even people who claim their drug use is purely recreational—that desire is there, even if it just escaping ‘normal’ consciousness for a bit to enhance their good time.

If you know drug use is becoming a problem for you, and you want to stop, there is hope. Here are just a few tips to help you get on the right track.

But, before we go into steps you can take on your own, it is important to realize that you may not be able to do it all by yourself, particularly if your addiction is more severe. That is okay..there is no shame in that. Be honest with yourself about this—if you are having trouble doing it solo, start considering a treatment program. You may want to look into treatment centers that specifically offer drug rehab for men, as causes of drug addiction and optimal treatment strategies can differ between genders.

Consider Counseling
Chances are, if you are using drugs to the point that is making you uncomfortable, you have some issues that need to be worked through—you are using the drugs to cope, and this is never a good idea. Maybe you are suffering from depression and don’t realize it. Perhaps you are experiencing bouts of generalized anxiety.

Are there any specific incidences in your life that are maybe affecting you more than you realize, and are they causing you to use drugs to numb the discomfort? Consider going to therapy to talk it out—a neutral third party will see what you can’t, and will be able to suggest effective strategies for dealing with the root causes of your emotional and mental distress

Make Stress Management a Priority
High stress levels wreak all sorts of havoc on our emotional health, and many of us are not very good at keeping it in check. We get consumed by stress, and want to make it go away as quickly as possible, and these quick fixes–such as abusing drugs or binge eating–are often detrimental to our well-being. And, as you probably know, the drug use provides immediate relief, but you often feel worse when you come down, setting off a vicious cycle to reuse.

The urge to use drugs always stems from feeling badly in some way—if you can find ways to combat stress and improve your overall well-being, the desire to use drugs will likely fade.

Take Stock of Your Life and Positive Changes You Can Make
Drugs are being used to drown out depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and the general unhappiness you may feel about your life. It is easy to get so caught up in life’s battles that you forget how much control you have over shaping the course of your life.

Take a moment to really think about what is happening with you right now. What are you unhappy about? What would you like to be different? What you can do right now to change things? You might not be able to remake your whole life overnight, but you certainly start moving in the right direction. What do you feel passionate about? What would motivate you to stay healthy? The more your life is in line with how you want it to be, the less you will feel you need to escape it with drugs.

If you have reached a point where you know you want things to be different, you are already way ahead of the game for sure. Many people who abuse drugs are so deep in denial, they often don’t get help until their lives have been completely destroyed. You just need to think about what may be fueling your drug use, and how you can address those issues in other ways. Know you can turn things around, and remember what was said earlier—know when to get professional help.

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