According to 2010 statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2.4 million Americans used a prescription drug non-medically for the first time. As is common in these cases, many of these individuals, unfortunately, began a dangerous addiction to the medication. There are also a number of other drugs that can lead to addiction, including heroin, cocaine and marijuana. If you know that you’re addicted to drugs, there are several ways to overcome your dependence on these substances and reclaim your life.
One of the first and most important things you must do is decide that you want to change. This is easier said than done, since addiction is very powerful and has likely taken over every part of your life. You’ll need to be honest about the ways that the addiction has negatively affected your life. Think about the ways that your substance dependence has alienated you from family and friends, or caused you to perform poorly at your job. Tell yourself the truth about how drug abuse has caused a decline in your health and altered your appearance.
Decide You Want to Change
Tell yourself the truth about why you started doing drugs in the first place. Were you trying to fit in with friends? Did you feel that the drugs would make you more confident or outgoing? Were you depressed and looking for a way to avoid your feelings? When you determine the cause(s) of your drug addiction, you’ll be more successful at becoming drug free–and staying that way.
Now it’s time to put all your goals in writing. When do you want to be completely drug-free? What would you like to do with your life once you’re completely drug-free? Write all these things down, so you can refer to it every day. Remove all the items that remind you of your drug addiction from your home. Tell all your loved ones and friends that you plan to quit using drugs so that you can get the support you need. Your family and friends will also make you accountable for the choice you’ve made to be drug-free–this is especially important on the days when you’re very tempted to use your drug of choice again.
Is Rehab Right for You?
Once you make the decision to recover from your addiction, you’ll need to decide if spending time in a rehabilitation center is the right choice for you. The Rehab Info website asserts that in 2009, 23.5 million people in the U.S. had a drug or alcohol addiction. However, only 2.1 million individuals went to rehab for treatment. This could be due to the fact that many people want to beat the addiction on their own or can’t afford to go to a rehabilitation center. If you think that you can’t become drug-free on your own, you should seriously consider going to rehab. If you feel that your road to recovery will be more successful if you are constantly around family and friends who love and support you, then this is the best method.
Dealing with Withdrawals
With drug recovery comes withdrawal symptoms. Depending on what substance you have been addicted to and how long you’ve been using the drug, your withdrawal symptoms could range from mildly uncomfortable to extremely severe. In order to beat your addiction, you’ll need to prepare your mind and body for the withdrawal phase of recovery.
Drink plenty of water to flush out your system and prevent constipation and headaches. According to Yahoo Voices, a water flush is especially effective for overcoming addictions to anti-psychotic, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.
It’s also important to eat lots of healthy foods like raw fruits and vegetables that will replenish the body and give you the nutrients and vitamins that your body has lost during your addiction. Eating whole grains and taking a fiber supplement will also help you to get over your withdrawal symptoms.
A number of herbal teas and supplements can also help you to conquer a drug addiction. Milk thistle cleanses the liver and removes the remnants of the drug from the body, as does soy lecithin and dandelion root. Teas like chamomile and peppermint also help to relax the nervous system, which will help you to manage the jittery feelings that come from substance withdrawal.
Begin Your New Life
Now that you can feel the difference in your mind and body as a result of your commitment to end your drug addiction, it’s time to start enjoying your life again. Do something you’ve always wanted to do, like go skydiving or snorkeling. Throw a recovery party for yourself and invite all the people who have been by your side through your process of becoming free of addiction. Remodel your home, or move to a new place. Decide what will truly make you happy in your new life and go after it. When you do all you can to beat your addiction, you’ll be much more likely to stay drug-free.