Connect, don’t deflect.
It’s a powerful statement and it’s purpose is to bring small flame of extra hope to everyone that needs it. Connection is the other side of addiction. It’s what brings us present in the moment embracing all the positive and negative feelings that come along. It is the only real cure for addiction because by embracing our feelings we learn more about ourselves and become more self- aware. Soon the urge of escaping reality will decrease because the individual learns how to accept the negative feelings and eventually let them pass by.
Developing a drug addiction isn’t a character flaw or a sign of weakness and it takes more than willpower to overcome the problem. Here are some questions that can support the process of choosing sobriety:
* What do you think about yourself?
* Who do you allow in your life?
* How do you deal with stress?
* What do you do in your free time?
Starting a recovery and a withdrawal process is not an easy process, but it’s very rewarding and every day spent towards achieving this state is a success. The first step is for the individual to build a support system that they can lean on. This system usually includes their family, closest friends, their partner or simply people that they can trust and be supported by. Apart from this support system they also need to build a sober social network. This usually means that if the past friends were engaging in drug abuse as well, the individual will need to start building new relationships that will consist of people that are sober. Along with the sober social network, the individual needs to live in a drug free home as well, where they won’t have the access to any kind of narcotics.
Stress is considered to be one of the key factors in drug addiction. It is highly recommended for the individual to develop healthy ways of coping with stressful situations. Did you start using drugs to numb painful emotions, calm yourself after an argument, unwind after a bad day, or forget about your problems? Once you’re sober, the negative feelings that you were ignoring with drugs will resurface. For treatment to be successful, you’ll first need to resolve your underlying issues. However, even after facing this feelings and experiences that doesn’t mean that the individual will get rid of them forever. We sometimes experience loneliness, frustration, sadness, anxiety, shame, anger, hopelessness and these feelings are a normal component of everyone’s daily life. It is crucial for the individual to correctly address the cause for these emotions and to simply deal with them in a healthy way instead of reaching out for the artificial happiness or feeling of numbness and suppression.
Some of the best stress relieving techniques include exercising, enjoying some fresh air and the nature, experimenting with the senses like preparing nice and healthy food or aromatherapy etc.
Source: Overcoming Addiction: Find an effective path toward recovery – Harvard Medical School Special Health Report
Addiction: An Information Guide (PDF) – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
What to Do If You Have a Problem with Drugs: For Adults – National Institute on Drug Abuse
Tiana Ivanovska is a graduated Psychologist and Masters student on Strategic Management of HR. She is also a Gestalt therapist under supervision. She loves retro music, video grames, nature and simplicity. She is participating in a summer internship programme at Willingness.com.mt.