Substance abuse changes chemical equilibrium in the brain, resulting in an urge to use drugs and alcohol. It is a chronic mental illness; however, proper practices and support make a recovery possible.
If you or your loved one is suffering from addiction, this article is for you. From identifying your addiction to achieving complete sobriety, you will find everything you need to know about addiction recovery.
What are the Signs of Drug Abuse?
You don’t have to take drugs every day for it to be a problem. Depending on them physically, mentally, or both is a red flag.
If you noticed that you couldn’t begin your day without using it first or experience some withdrawal when you’re not taking it, it is an alarming sign that you need help. All in all, drug abuse may have the following symptoms:
· Feeling lethargic
· Red eyes
· Decreased appetite and weight loss
· Difficulty in completing tasks
10 Practices to Get Sober
Getting sober is not a walk in the park. It takes a strong will and persistent effort. However, once you rule out your involvement and decide to quit, the following practices will help you recover.
· Identify What Triggers You
The most effective step in recovery is finding the triggers that urge you to take drugs. A trigger is something that causes an emotional reaction based on experience. It can be emotional or mental stress, a particular event from the past, isolation, or a social gathering. As soon as you identify these triggers, you can develop healthy coping skills to deal with them.
· Acquire Gradual Reduction
According to Delphi Health Group, a known recovery center, a gradual reduction is the most effective method of quitting. Leaving it all at once may cause a sudden urge for consumption, leading to relapse.
Carefully planning gradual reduction often works as you get enough time to get used to a new routine – one without addiction.
Make a drug-recovery diary. Keep track of when and what you take and analyze your journal for patterns. Create a plan to reduce those patterns and drug intake gradually. Try distracting yourself through meditation or other activities if you start feeling the urge to indulge.
· Get into a Routine
People who abuse drugs have unorganized lifestyles and become addicted simply because of boredom. Alternatively, some addicts have stressful lives and resort to drugs and alcohol to cope. Therefore, it is essential to establish a healthy routine that strikes the correct balance between the two for recovery.
Structure an organized routine to avoid boredom-related temptations. Also, you can add productive activities that relieve stress and promote well-being, minimizing the possibility of a relapse.
· Start Working Out
Exercise may not stop you from taking drugs; instead, it helps indirectly by reducing the chances of relapse.
Addiction alters the body’s chemical composition. For example, you may feel depressed, anxious, and irritable when substances are removed from your system. Working out daily releases endorphins in your body, burning the negative emotions associated with withdrawal. It also improves blood circulation, leading to better sleep, enhanced mood, and positive energy.
· Spend Time in Nature
Nature is known to have a calming effect on the human mind and body. Adding a daily routine of spending time in nature will help you gain your sobriety and improve your general health. For example, taking a long kayak trip or just a stroll through a park – just a few minutes in the great outdoors, will help speed your recovery.
· Get a Pet
Getting a pet can help you greatly in your addiction recovery journey. Pets give you unconditional love and support to boost your self-esteem. According to some studies, pets reduce overall stress levels. For example, it may be difficult for family members and friends to understand or accept that relapse is a part of addiction recovery. In such cases, pets can serve as sources of comfort without judgment when the tension between loved ones rises.
· Participate in Volunteer Activities
Helping others is the best way to feel good about ourselves. The early stages of sobriety can make it difficult for recovering addicts to feel like productive members of society. The process of volunteering enhances their sense of purpose and achievement, allowing them to connect with their community on a more personal level.
· Pick a Hobby
Boredom is entirely possible once you stop using drugs or alcohol. If you don’t have things to fill their time, the chances are that you will start retaking the pills. Engaging in things that keep you busy can avoid this trouble.
Pick a hobby that interests you and brings you joy. Try something challenging every day, so you feel accomplished when you finish the task. Choosing productive hobbies will distract you from toxic thoughts and give you something to work towards your sobriety.
· Join Support Groups
An essential step towards recovery is joining a support group. They have gone through the same problems as you and can relate to your suffering. By sharing your experiences in a support group, you can get support, assistance, and comfort from them and give the same in return.
Addiction is not a fatal disease. With proper steps and social help, you can get over your drug abuse. However, you must ensure that you don’t fall into relapse. Adopting the above-given practices will aid you in your addiction recovery while keeping you steadfast in your journey.