People who have a substance use disorder often find that overcoming it is more challenging than they expected. They may feel that addiction is a myth and they can quit any time they want or that they are an exception to the rule. This can also occur with behavioral addictions involving activities such as eating, sex, gambling, shopping, and exercise.
Learning how to overcome an addiction is important for anyone experiencing a substance use disorder (SUD), alcohol use disorder (AUD), or behavioral addiction. While challenging, recognizing that there is a problem and learning more about the process of quitting are important first steps in recovery, look online for resources by searching drug rehab near me.
This article discusses what you will need to do to overcome an addiction and offers tips that can help. It also covers the symptoms of withdrawal that you might experience and some of the effective treatment options that are available.
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
The term addictionTrusted Source does not only refer to dependence on substances such as heroin or cocaine. Some addictions also involve an inability to stop partaking in activities such as gambling, eating, or working.
Addiction is a chronic condition that can also result from taking medications. In fact, the misuse of opioids — particularly illicitly made fentanyl — caused nearly 50,000 deathsTrusted Source in the United States in 2019 alone.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as “a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.”
Many people, but not all, start using a drug or first engage in an activity voluntarily. However, addiction can take over and reduce self-control to search for substance abuse help.
There is substance addiction and non-substance addiction. Some examples of non-substance addiction include:
gambling food internet gaming cell phone sex Someone with addiction will continue to misuse the substance or activity in spite of the harmful effects it has.
Because change is so difficult, it’s useful to have a guide when attempting to kick an addiction to drugs, alcohol or behavior. Research shows that the following steps can help you move toward your recovery goals. You have the greatest chance of success if you adopt all five steps.
Set a quit date. It might be helpful to choose a meaningful date like a special event, birthday, or anniversary.
Change your environment. Remove any reminders of your addiction from your home and workplace. For example, separate from those who would encourage you to be involved with the object of your addiction (drug, alcohol, or behavior). If you are trying to quit drinking, get rid of any alcohol, bottle openers, wine glasses, and corkscrews. If you’re trying to quit gambling, remove any playing cards, scratch tickets, or poker chips to get the help for gamblers. Also, don’t let other people use or bring reminders of the addiction-related substance or behavior into your home.
Distract yourself. Instead of giving in to an urge to use, come up with alternative activities, such as going for a walk or calling a friend or family member to talk, so that you keep busy until the urge passes. Be prepared to deal with things that trigger your cravings, such as being in an environment where others are using.
Review your past attempts at quitting. Think about what worked and what did not. Consider what might have contributed to relapse and make changes accordingly.
Create a support network. Talk to your family and friends and ask for their encouragement and sup-port. Let them know you are quitting. If they use your object of addiction, ask them not to do so in front of you. If you buy drugs, you should consider telling your dealer that you are quitting; ask your dealer not to call you and not to sell you drugs anymore. Also, you might want to consider talking to your health care provider about the method of quitting that is best for you. There may be medications that can ease the process for you and increase your chances of success.
For more information on finding an effective path to recovery, check out Overcoming Addiction, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.