Nobody wants to be addicted to a harmful substance. Drug and alcohol abuse is not only detrimental to your physical health but also for your mental health. Unfortunately, so many individuals that suffer from addiction relapse after their first few attempts at quitting, because the temptations and urges are too powerful to overcome fully. Failing at your first, second, or third attempt to quit is not indicative of your strength or courage if you are willing to keep trying. Here are some tips to help you stay on the right path and eventually reach your end goal of liberation.
Educate Yourself on How Substance Abuse Occurs
Knowledge is power in all facets of life, but it is especially pertinent for an individual striving to overcome addiction. Learning about how addictions occur doesn’t just help you understand the underlying causes, but it enables you to learn more about yourself, your tendencies and your habits. The information that you would learn from one-on-one sessions with a counsellor, or a library book about addiction and dependency, may enlighten you towards thinking about addiction rationally. Here are common ways that addiction manifests itself in an individual:
- An individual uses a prescribed drug for recreational means, instead of following instructions specified by your doctor or nurse practitioner.
- An individual will look to become inebriated when using drugs or alcohol, whether it be in a personal or social setting.
- An individual uses addictive drugs (Xanax, codeine, cocaine, nicotine, barbiturates, etc.) for entertainment/socializing purposes.
Build Healthy Relationships
We tend to be byproducts of our environments and the people we hang out with, and therefore, establishing connections with people who share the same values as you are important. Regardless of your age, peer pressure can still influence you to do things and try things that you know are detrimental to your health. Understandably, alcohol and drugs are commonly found at adult parties, so it can be hard to avoid them altogether. Remember, it is okay to say no to attending certain events, and you’re allowed to think about you and your well-being over hurting someone’s feelings. Build healthy relationships with others who are going through the same thing as you. For your other friends, try to find common ground and attend places and events where you feel safe and supported.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Substance abuse and mental health often correlate; occasionally, stress, anxiety, depression, panic disorders and countless other nervous illnesses will drive individuals to turn to drugs and alcohol. Whether you’ve already been diagnosed with having a mental illness or you’re beginning to feel fatigued, overworked, or stressed, consult with a mental health professional or a registered therapist/counsellor to learn techniques that will help you avoid using drugs & alcohol to alleviate the anguish.
Focus on Activities That Boost Serotonin
When your serotonin levels are low, you tend to be more contentious, stubborn, or upset. Chronically low serotonin levels can perpetuate depressive moods, impact sleeping patterns, decrease your appetite, and affect your willingness to partake in social outings. Here are a few ways to boost your serotonin levels to sustain peace-of-mind.
- Engage in physical activity; exercise is more effective in boosting serotonin than any prescribed medication.
- The majority of serotonin in your body is generated in your gut, therefore, ensuring that you stay hydrated and eating foods that promote serotonin generation such as eggs, cheese, pineapples, carrots, blueberries and proteins such as salmon and turkey.
- Don’t forget to take your B6 and B12 vitamins.
Addictions are hard to overcome, but they are not impossible to defeat. The steps you take today will lay the foundation for your success. Begin to educate yourself on addiction, focus on building healthy companionship, focus on your mental health, and start doing things to boost your serotonin levels to provide you with the motivation to keep going.