content top

How to Come to Terms with Your Drug Use

How to Come to Terms with Your Drug Use

Addiction is a serious medical condition, and you need professional help to address it

The admission of drug abuse is the first step toward recovery. Several more steps will follow, and an addict will soon see progress, but recovery involves several changes that enhance long-term sobriety. Some changes have addicts remove influences and reduce negativity, while others improve thought patterns, add positive activities and develop social circles. Either way, the steps listed below can help addicts come to terms with recovery.

Better Understand Addiction

In the past, many misinformed people viewed addiction as a character flaw or moral weakness, but scientific advancement and clinical testing confirm that addiction is a disease of the brain. In 2011, the American Society of Addiction Medicine published a long definition of addiction—this definition identifies key aspects, such as desensitized neural receptors, altered mesolimbic pathways, embedded craving triggers and biochemical changes in the frontal cortex, nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental. A 2004 study in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews adds that addiction impairs social and occupational function, because it changes the brain’s reward network. If you know that is addiction a serious medical condition, then you will know you need professional help to address it. If someone is already in treatment, then this information encourages her to take therapy seriously.

Build a Social Support Network

Everyone in addiction recovery needs a solid social support network, which can involve the following steps:

  • Find and participate in a local recovery support group
  • Connect with recovery partners for accountability and synergy
  • Recruit a recovery sponsor to provide guidance and emergency help
  • Educate friends and loved ones on what they can do
  • Keep contact information on therapists for times of need

Most recovering addicts need to trim negative influences from their lives, like people who derail recovery or who trigger negative emotions and memories. However, the principle idea is to expand social circles with positive people.

Pursue Positive New Activities

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy addresses negative thought patterns, beliefs and responses, an invaluable practice in addiction recovery. One of its tenants has patients daily engage a positive activity, such as the following examples:

  • Physical fitness routines, yoga, meditation and sports
  • Artistic expression like music, painting, dance and writing
  • Hobbies like horseback riding, hiking and surfing
  • Home gardening and healthier cooking

Each of these activities can reinforce recoveries; for example, aerobic exercise restores the body’s natural production of endogenous opioid peptides, like endorphins, which narcotics significantly impair. Nevertheless, avoid unnecessary risks when pursuing positive activities. For example, do not go fishing with people who bring a cooler full of beer or if you romanticize fishing while drinking. Likewise, avoid competitive sports that might provoke anger or aggression.

Addiction and Recovery Help

If you suffer from addiction, seek professional rehab to treat it. If you already underwent treatment, remember that lifestyle changes and potential adjustments are necessary to recover. Case in point, additional treatment might be necessary if negative thought patterns, crippling cravings or mental health disorder symptoms return.

Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline right now, and one of our admission coordinators will answer your questions, recommend treatment options and even check your health insurance for treatment benefits. Whatever your situation is, our staff can help, so call now.