Any kinds of addictions, whether you are doing drugs, drinking alcohol, or smoking heavily, will certainly destroy you sooner or later. When a person becomes an addict, it is almost certain that he will become a lair, cheater, fraudster, and a difficult person. Unless, the addict is willing to listen to people, nobody can help him. The first thing to get away from addiction is the addict must admit that he has an addiction.
As a person who saw a friend die from substance abuse and who has couple of addict relatives (alcoholics, drug abusers, smokers) in the extended family, I have seen how drugs, alcohols and cigarettes destroy a person and his family.
There are significant numbers of people who are addicted to various substances (heroine, brown sugar, opium, hashish, cocaine etc.) and clinical drugs (drugs with sedative effects). However, there are also numerous people trying to give up addiction.
Identifying Addiction: What Exactly is Addiction?
Addiction is not bodily want, it is inside the mind. Addiction is associated with brain, it has nothing to do with the body. Cravings rise inside mind and it sends signals to the body. Mind creates bodily symptoms if a hard core addict does not get drugs. Thus, the first thing you need to tackle during the recovery process is how to control the mind. Once the mind is tamed, body reactions can be controlled.
Sometimes you get addicted to sedative drugs unknowingly. If you are taking medicines to cure your clinical depression, you can get addicted. The main reason for this addiction is you will have to take medicines for a long time (many years), which makes your body accustomed to the sedative effects. Interestingly, in the depressed state many people also resort to substance abuse.
There are many people who find excuses for their addiction and try to justify their addiction by saying they are coping with loss, loneliness, separation, hard life, mental disease etc. Their excuses are lame because addiction is not a solution and it never solves any problem. Addiction actually is a problem. It will only worsen your condition.
How to Overcome Addiction?
Meditation: Meditation can be a great help, however, if you are still doing drug it is hard to meditate because in meditation you need to develop concentration. You will be able to meditate only when you are able to develop deep concentration. First you have to give drugs and then begin meditation.
Reading: If you are battling with addictions of any kind, or mental issues, you will find reading very cathartic. Reading is also way to sublimate pent up emotions. Lets imagine a situation. Once you were an addict and were able to give addiction after spending 30 days in a rehab. You read a book where the author is telling the same story. You will be able to identify yourself with the character and find very soothing to read the book.
Company of People: Loneliness can cause substance abuse or mental conditions. Most of the time addiction (drug, alcohol, marijuana etc.) and mental diseases (depression, anxiety, stress) are the results of loneliness. In order to avoid loneliness, you need to be in the company of people.
If you hang out with good people good thoughts will evolve in your mind and you will start doing good. If you hang out with bad people, bad things will evolve in your mind and you will start doing bad things. This is the law of attraction, goodness attracts goodness and badness attracts badness.
Overcoming Temptation: If you want to give up addiction, you must learn how to control your temptation. The most difficult part in quitting any kind of addiction is related to temptation calling. If you cannot control temptation, you are unable to control your cravings. If you cannot stop your cravings, you will continue to use substances.
The most important question that an addict has to answer after quitting an addiction is “how to stay sober always.” In order to remain sober you need to find a purpose and a meaning in life. You will have a purpose and meaning if you continue to burnish your hope.
Withdrawal And Slipping In Substance Abuse
If you are trying to give up addiction, the hardest stage is withdrawal stage. When you are on this stage, many times you are also slipping. Withdrawal is a condition when you have stopped using substance, however, you are not sober yet. Slipping is going back to substance use after coming clean for some time. Many people cannot quit substance because they are unable to overcome the withdrawal stage and they slip back to substance use.
When an addict begins the recovery process, he first stops using the substance. His body and mind are accustomed to the substance, therefore, even after stopping, the addict is still under the risk of substance use. In order to divert his mind from the substance, he is asked to do various activities. This is the withdrawal stage. Withdrawal stage is very difficult stage, the addict has to fight with his cravings/temptations as well as physical reactions occurring because of sudden stopping of the substance. If the person is a hard core addict, withdrawal can take months. In case the addict cannot sustain withdrawal, slipping stage occurs.
Slipping is very common in the addicts who are trying to recover from substance abuse. Slipping occurs when the addict in the withdrawal stage does not get enough support and care. Slipping may happen right after the withdrawal stage, or even in the recovered addicts.
How to Stay Strong During the Withdrawal Stage and Stop From Slipping
Let’s take Mike’s example. After doing drugs for a long time, he decided to give up. He spent a month in a rehab and came out clean. For many weeks he did not do drugs. One day he accidently met his addict friends. They insisted to have a shot. At first, he refused. However, when they said “just a small dose,” he could not refuse. In fact, he could not overcome the temptation and he again fell into addiction.
Whether you are taking help from the professionals in rehab or trying yourself to give up, you are prone to slipping. Slipping is more common if you are trying to quit by yourself, without any help. If you are actually trying to give up, slipping will lessen and gradually stop. Use a mechanism to remind yourself about “no slipping.”
Every recovering addict, has to go through withdrawal stage, and slipping is very common in the addicts in the recovery process. However, these are not the problems that cannot be addressed.
In the withdrawal stage, addicts mind is very venerable, it cannot distinguish between the rights and the wrongs, illusion and reality. Addict’s mind is unstable and weak in the withdrawal stage. The addict can get away from this stage only when he is able to strengthen and control his mind, and develop will power.
One of the reasons why an addict cannot overcome withdrawal stage is because of loneliness. Loneliness also causes slipping. When you are lonely or do not have anything to do, all sorts of bad thoughts get into your mind; when you are busy or with people, your mind will be engaged with other things, which takes you away from bad thoughts. Thus, in order to overcome the temptation of addiction or battle mental issues, you must keep yourself busy. You need to find someone who can give you company all the time. You can also kill loneliness by occupying your mind. Some of the things that can divert your loneliness are reading, listening to music, watching movies etc.
The company of bad people is one of the common causes of slipping. If you reach the people who are into addiction, you might slip easily. The first step to quit any kind of addiction is by getting away from the circle of friends who are into addiction. In most case, addiction starts from the company of friends. It begins with curiosity and then moves to getting high. Therefore, try to leave addict friends behind and start your quitting journey. Also, when you are in the recovery process, never go to the place where you used to hang out with the substance users.