Admitting you may have a problem is the first step toward finding sobriety
I started using drugs to manage recurring pain, but now I can't work unless I'm high. Do I have a problem?
Most drug addicts I talk to don't start using because they want to ruin their lives. Rather, they take that first hit to manage pain, because they want to fit in with peers, or maybe satisfy a curiosity. Unfortunately, drugs can quickly become a problem.
Maybe you've found yourself wondering whether you may also have a substance abuse problem. If so, now is a great time to learn more about addiction recovery. Here are a few tips that will help you face your addiction and take steps toward recovery, sobriety, and a better life.
Recognize Your Addiction
The Mayo Clinic compiled a list of common addiction signs. Read a few listed below to help you decide if you have a problem.
- You need to use drugs regularly and have intense urges for your drug of choice. Skipping a day because you don't have the money or can't access your supplier is not an option.
- You experience physical changes that might include weight loss, weight gain, bloodshot eyes or blotchy skin.
- Your emotions and mental state are affected. You struggle with moodiness, irritability and forgetfulness as well as depression and other challenges.
- Over time, your tolerance increases. While a small hit gave you an incredible high in the beginning, you need larger amounts now to achieve the same high, and you experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop using.
- You fund your habit by doing things like begging, borrowing, manipulating, lying or stealing.
- Drugs influence every aspect of your life, including your schedule, actions and activities. Your entire life revolves around when, where and how you'll get your next fix.
- You spend less and less time managing your work, family, social and recreational responsibilities. Instead of you being in charge of your life, drugs have taken over.
- You've tried and failed to stop using. Maybe you've even given up hope that you can ever quit.
If you recognize these signs in your life, consider getting help. Facing the reality that you may have a drug addiction is painful, but by facing this reality you can embark on a journey toward recovery.
Start on a Recovery Path
Recovering from an addiction starts with the realization that you have a problem. Then, you can proceed through several important steps.
First, check yourself into a medically supervised detox. Experienced and qualified medical personnel monitor your initial withdrawal and assist you in handling physical symptoms that can include shakes, vomiting, agitation, cramps, sweating, diarrhea and other discomforts. Because drugs affect your entire body, this part of your recovery journey is a difficult but necessary first step.
Second, undergo holistic therapy that addresses physical, mental, emotional and spiritual issues you may face, such as recurring pain, work and life balance or stress. You'll work with a trained therapist in finding the healing you need for your whole person. Healing should include practicing yoga, undergoing acupuncture, participating in equine therapy, taking up a hobby like gardening or woodworking, or working through issues with your entire family.
Third, learn new habits and make new friends. I know this step challenges many recovering addicts, but it's an important part of your journey. With a new daily routine and clean friends, you break addiction's hold over you. Your new job, home or social circle will empower your successful recovery.
Finally, follow through with your treatment plan. Ongoing therapy, beneficial hobbies and relaxing meditation are just three of many treatment plan options that help you succeed in living an addiction-free life. Your therapist will assist you in creating a treatment plan that works for you, and you'll continually experiment with new methods that promote recovery.
Are you ready to face your addiction and get the help you need? The process requires courage and hard work and is not something that happens overnight, but it is possible. You can do it! Embrace addiction recovery and get the help you need today.