Drug addiction is a mental illness.
Science has proven that addiction and the brain of people recovering from addiction have been physically altered. The symptoms of these alterations are similar to those seen in other mental illnesses.
These changes in the brain reduce the ability to control urges and impulses. They are what make recovering from addiction so hard to do.
For those seeking to help someone recovering from addiction, or looking to help themselves, we’ve compiled a list of ten top tips. These can help make a difference in the struggle to beat addiction.
Read on and find out ten ways to try to keep on the road to recovery.
1. Avoid Relapse Triggers
A big challenge for people recovering from addiction is avoiding triggers.
Triggers are situations, people or places that make you want to return to your addictive behavior. It might be a friend you used to take drugs with or a bar you used to hang out in. You know what they are.
A major step in recovery is recognizing those triggers and finding ways to avoid them. In other words, putting yourself out of harm’s way.
2. Manageable Goals in Recovery
Let’s face it, you’re not going to beat addiction overnight.
Setting yourself manageable and achievable goals is really important. It means you can see the progress you’re making as each goal is achieved. Or where you’re going wrong if they’re not.
Start small and build up when you get more confident. A simple goal for anyone recovering from addiction will be to make it through the day. Then the next. Then the next.
Don’t forget to reward yourself when you reach a target.
3. Use Effective Drug Addiction Treatment
Beating addiction is a battle against your own brain. The symptoms of this battle can be very hard to deal with.
Thankfully there are products out there that can help. Methadone treatment programs can help to reduce the intense symptoms of opiate addiction. It won’t beat your addiction overnight and it won’t beat it by itself, but it can be one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal.
There are other natural remedies for opioid addiction that can also be helpful. Try to find something that works for you.
4. Exercise Therapy for Addiction
As we already learned, addiction is a mental illness.
Exercise for mental health is widely accepted as being a simple and effective way to combat the symptoms of mental illness. It can improve your mood, helps to fight other health problems, and can increase your confidence.
It’s a way for you to fight back against the symptoms of addiction, and what’s more activities such as walking and running can be done for free.
5. Distraction Coping Mechanism
When you’re recovering from addiction it’s very easy to dwell on the cravings that your addiction is giving you.
A simple and effective way to stop these thoughts is to find a distraction. That could be meeting up with friends, doing an activity you enjoy, or just finding something that takes all your focus, such as a puzzle.
And if there’s nothing that seems to work, there’s always tip number six.
6. Try out a New Hobby
A new hobby is a great way to provide a distraction as well as helping to boost your mood.
Taking up a new sport will tick off three of our top ten list in one go. Creative activities such as music or cooking can occupy your mind to a huge extent. The social aspect of joining in with others in a new club or class can also have a positive impact on your mood.
And who knows you might even end up finding your calling.
7. Be Positive Every Day
It’s easy to say, but much harder to do.
Keeping a positive attitude is a challenge at the best of times, but especially so when recovering from addiction. A major step in succeeding is being able to notice when your thoughts are turning negative. If you can catch yourself in the act, you can then try to put a more positive spin on your situation.
And remember you don’t have to do this alone. Surround yourself with positive people and you will find it hard for that positivity not to rub off on you.
8. Treat Your Body Right
You’re already in a fight with your brain. You don’t want to be fighting your body too.
Taking care of your body doesn’t have to be hard. Eat healthily, make sure you get enough sleep and get some exercise. All of these will improve your mood as well as helping to undo some of the damage that drugs can inflict on your body.
If your body feels good, you will too.
9. Connect with People in Recovery
Sometimes it is inevitable that things will seem overwhelming. This is when talking to someone can make all the difference.
Maybe you have friends and family who want to help you through this hard time. If you don’t tell them when you’re struggling, you’re robbing them of that chance to be there for you.
Sometimes it’s useful to talk to other people who are recovering from addiction. Recovery groups are a great way to get support from people who are going through the exact same problems that you are facing.
10. Be Realistic
It’s estimated that 40-60% of people in recovery from addiction will relapse at some point. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be an addiction.
But relapse doesn’t have to mean failure. Take it on the chin, look at what went wrong for you, and learn from it. Vow not to make the same mistake again.
Treat every setback as a lesson, put it behind you and move on.
Don’t Suffer in Silence
Overcoming addiction is hard. You’re literally fighting against the desires of your own brain. It’s a tough challenge, but it’s one that many people overcome.
These ten tips will get you headed in the right direction, but there is more help to be found out there. Thankfully, if you’re reading this you’ve found somewhere that can give you that help. If you’re in need of more assistance, please contact (855) 976-2092.
 National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Comorbidity: Substance Use Disorders and Other Mental Illnesses. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/comorbidity-addiction-other-mental-disorders  Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms. (2017, September 27). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495  National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Treatment and Recovery. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery