A cessation of drug use doesn’t in itself achieve full recovery from drug addiction. Recovery is only possible by creating a new, drug-free way of living. If no suitable conditions are created, then it’s quite possible that drug use will resume again.
There is no need to change absolutely everything in your life. However, some of the things and habits that get you in trouble will continue to cause problems until you find a way of dealing with them. The more you try to hold on to your previous life, the less successful the recovery process will be.
What needs to be adopted to achieve sobriety?
How do you usually feel at the end of the day? Perhaps you are likely to be hungry due to a poor diet. Or maybe you’re angry because you’ve had a hard day at work or at home. You could feel lonely because you do not have friends or do not keep in touch with your family. Or you could be tired because of work or school.
Other risk factors are:
People who have been or are involved in your abuse (e.g. co-addicts who are still using, drug dealers, etc.);
Places where you used or bought drugs;
Things that remind you of your drug abuse.
How to avoid high-risk situations?
It’s not always possible to avoid high-risk situations. However, if you remain aware of what they are and when they may appear, you’ll be less likely to be caught off-guard. You might be able to suppress a desire to use, preventing it from turning into a terrible craving and, further into an addiction or relapse.
- Establish a proper eating schedule and stick to healthy foods — it can help you avoid being hungry until the end of the day;
- It's best to visit support groups to not feel isolated;
- Learn to relax, let go of anger and insults;
- Develop a fixed sleeping schedule of 7-8 hours per night, with no light or any other distractions in your room;
- Avoid relationships with people who like to drink, use or deal drugs.
A sense of restoration takes time to come; often times, some small changes must be made. Avoiding high-risk situations will help you in establishing a new way of living without drug addiction.
Try making a list of risky situations you could find yourself in. Drug addiction is a very tricky thing: Sometimes it's impossible to see the a risky situation until you have relapsed because of it. That's why it's very important to be able to recognize them. Always keep this list with you and discuss it with someone from a support group — that way, you can learn from the experiences of others.
There are quite a few reasons why people use drugs. A few of which include wanting to escape reality, relaxing, and boosting self-esteem; in other words, people use drugs and alcohol to relieve tension.
The first rule of restoration is that you have to change your life. You may wonder: ”What exactly do I need in order to change?” The answer would be: “Everything! You need to learn new, healthy ways to relieve stress.” However, for a drug addict, using is the only way to relieve stress. If you manage to refuse drugs for a certain period of time, but fail to learn healthy relaxation methods, then the stress will increase until there is a relapse.
Stress and an inability to relieve tension are the most common causes of breakdowns. There is only one reason why people cannot relax — they think that they are too busy to do so. It usually sounds like this: "I know that it makes sense, but I have a lot of other things to do. There’s too many things on my mind to think about relaxing."
Relaxation is not an optional part of the recovery. This is one of the vital parts! There is a huge variety of ways to relax. They range from simple methods (e.g. walking, jogging, dancing to your favorite song, cooking and so on) to structured techniques (meditating, working out, meeting with a support group, etc.). Meditation is an important technique; various types of it exist. If you experience severe stress, anxiety, exhaustion, you may need to find a suitable combination of various relaxation methods for yourself. Do it every day to relax, distract, and encourage yourself to stay away from substance abuse. A sound mind prevails in a sound body!
Drug addiction requires plenty of lies. You need to lie about buying drugs, using them, and avoiding the consequences of using them. By the time your drug addiction starts progressing, it becomes very easy for a lie to penetrate into your life. After some time, you begin to lie so well that you ultimately lie to yourself.
Another problem is that you do not like yourself when you are lying. You cannot look yourself in the mirror. The lie captures you into a dependency loop. The more you lie, the less you like yourself, and that leads to more lying.
Nothing changes if nothing changes. You have to ask yourself: “Will my lies and isolation actually make me happy?” If the answer is “No”, then you need to adopt new habits to change your life to the point where you will not need drugs anymore.
Recovery requires complete honesty. You must be 100% honest with people who support and care for you: your family, your doctor, people from the support group that you have joined, etc. If you are not honest with them, your recovery is at a huge risk of not coming up successful. Being honest with them gives you the motivation to be honest with yourself and helps you build a strong support network with the people who are understanding and trustworthy, and whom you can turn to for help or support — instead of turning to substances.
The chance to change your life
Many people are walking through life in pink glasses. They do not think who they are and who they want to be, but then one day they wake up and ask: "Why am I unhappy?"
Your addiction has given you a chance to change your life. Your desire to change your life makes the recovery process both difficult and, at the same time, much more rewarding. Do not lose your chance to recover and to be happy!