When coping with addiction, the first step is acknowledging it’s a disease and that it’s not your fault.
According to a 2021 survey by the National Institute of Health, 29.5 million people in the U.S. struggle with alcohol use disorder (AUD). Meanwhile, the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that nearly 40% of Americans battled an illicit drug use disorder at the time of the survey.
Addiction affects people of all ages, genders, and economic backgrounds. Susceptibility can also be determined by genes passed on to you — not a lack of character, intelligence, or willpower. Deciding you want to lead a life not controlled by addiction is the most important step you’ll take in your journey toward healing — and there are evidence-based treatments and resources to help you reach your goal.
1. Build Your Support System for a Holistic Addiction Treatment
Just like a broken bone, bacterial infection, or an autoimmune disorder, addiction should be treated by professionals with specialized training. Along with research, knowledge, and medicine, there are evidence-based treatments medical professionals are successfully using to treat addiction.
Indeed, no one would expect you to fight off an infection that requires antibiotics without the care of medical professionals. Thus, you shouldn’t ask yourself to fight a battle in which you don’t have the necessary weapons to win. After acknowledging you’re one of the millions struggling with addiction, finding a support system is the most crucial step in regaining control of your life.
Through compassionate and private care, therapy, and bodywork, an addiction treatment center offers teams of professionals who can guide you through holistic healing processes. These specialists will make up one of the most vital pieces of your support system and shouldn’t be underestimated.
2. Add Good Habits to Your Daily Routine
Constantly fighting against yourself can be exhausting. But a big part of addiction treatment is building a fulfilling and empowering life that requires focus and energy. Instead of fighting to eliminate perceived bad parts of your life, building new habits, like endorphin-boosting exercise or investing time to master a new hobby, can retrain your brain to seek out healthy rewards and give your body and brain the break they need to build the life you want.
One powerful tactic for replenishing your limited energy is building a support system with people who are compassionate, positive, encouraging, and able to help you build a lifestyle centered around new hobbies in new environments (à la tip one).
3. Protect Yourself from Temptation When Pursuing Addiction Treatment
Building on the aforementioned tips, your new life of new habits does require some purging. People, places, hobbies, and relationships that pull you backward rather than forward will need to be removed to make room for the new you’re bringing in. This technique is called habit replacement. Don’t make the mistake of relying on willpower to get you through environments that used to accompany behaviors you’re trying to get away from. This is your life. You don’t need to compromise your health and happiness to accommodate people who want to keep you as you are. Remember that addiction is a disease and needs to be treated with real change, not willpower. Avoiding temptation and building something entirely new is a direct path to your new life.
It’s Your Life
Ultimately, this is your life, and addiction doesn’t have to control it. With the right resources, the right support system, and the desire to build a reality of existence you love, you can more easily take control of the reins and once again live on your own terms.
Speaks from heart, always too passionate and driven by emotions. Spins the words with kindness & sharpness, intriguing your ever-inscrutable minds.