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Avoid One Last Time
Some people make the mistake of using one last time before they quit. They know they need to stop using substances, they see what it's doing to their physical health, emotionally they're a wreck and they plan to stop 'tomorrow'. You're already anxious about quitting that's normal and there may be a part of you that's not completely ready, one last time will only set you back. You also risk the chance of a drug overdose because if it's the last time, you may want to make it a good one. I can't stress enough how serious 'one last time' can be.
Lifestyle Changes are important whether you occasionally use drugs or alcohol, frequently use them or if you're a chronic user. Getting rid of ALL paraphernalia that's associated with drug or alcohol use is a must and this includes the drug or alcohol. These items can't be anywhere in sight because they will trigger cravings, feelings and emotions that will end up in relapse.
You will be unable to be around people that are associated with your substance use especially for frequent and chronic users. This is hard to do so you need to prepare yourself for this ahead of time. This is just as important as getting rid of paraphernalia because even if they don't use around you they were still associated with your use and this will trigger cravings and emotions that will affect your recovery.
Avoiding places that were associated with drug use is important too. You will find that specific areas that are associated with your using days, music, movies, foods, etc. will all trigger emotions and feelings that can affect your recovery and cause relapse. As time goes on and you become stronger, more knowledgeable, mentally and emotionally healthier and more confident you will be able to handle certain situations and triggers better.
This is part of the importance of treatment after detoxification. Whether it's Fellowship and support groups, outpatient treatment, inpatient treatment, or therapy received from an addiction counselor or therapist you will learn the skills needed to handle situations and people during recovery. In the beginning though these are areas you will need to avoid.
Surround yourself with people that care about your well-being and support you in your recovery. There are times you may want to be by yourself and times you will need people around you and having positive support will get you through. Too much idle time may not be good for some people so make sure you have positive helpful ways to occupy your mind and time.
Occasional drug or alcohol use is much easier to stop but a person still needs to educate themselves to avoid future use. Find as much helpful and useful information that you can and educate yourself about addiction and the long term risks involved with substance abuse. You may have to avoid people that you associated with during drug use. You would be surprised how many people thought they could just say 'no' and fell right back into the same destructive use and behavior they were trying to stop and avoid.
The more you learn about addiction and the serious consequences associated with substance use the easier it will be to steer clear of toxic situations and people in order to stop experimenting with drug use. You're on the right track now avoiding addiction, withdrawal symptoms, legal problems, health issues and a miserable compulsive drug seeking life. Feel good about yourself and know you can do this, you're worth it, and you can and will succeed.
NIDA for Teens is an excellent informational website that will educate a young person about substance abuse and risks associated with drug and alcohol use.
Prepare yourself for future stressful days, days your feeling down and blue, or days that you're frustrated and irritable. Sometimes these emotional times can trigger thoughts of using in order to escape. All it takes is '1 more time' remember that, you have worked too hard to get where you're at.
More frequent substance use can be harder to stop on your own. You may not be addicted yet but you have become more use to getting high and it's not as easy to stop on your own. It's important to seek support at this time and prepare yourself for possible withdrawal symptoms that could occur. The more frequent a person uses substances the harder it can be to quit and the more intense the withdrawal symptoms will be. Many frequent users abuse other drugs or alcohol too and this makes quitting on your own much harder.
Most frequent substance users are addicted and need a more intense form of treatment and support. Supervised detoxification by a professional is important at this time especially for people who abused more than one substance or if frequent use has gone on for a good period of time. Withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable depending on the substance used and if drugs have taken a toll on your health detox can be serious. Medical professionals that take care of people going through detoxification understand the disease of addiction and know what to expect at this time. They will keep you safe and comfortable during this process. Many frequent users do much better in an inpatient treatment setting or an intensive outpatient setting.
Safe detoxification can take place in a hospital, detox center, outpatient treatment center, and inpatient treatment centers. Contact your physician and they will let you know what's best for you if you're not sure which direction to take. During detoxification medications can be prescribed to help you through the rough part and depending on the specific addiction there are medications that can be prescribed to reduce cravings while you work on your recovery. The most important thing to remember is DETOX isn't recovery. During detox you're getting rid of the chemicals and toxins that cause physical symptoms but drug or alcohol abuse also affects a person psychologically, physically and spiritually.
After detoxification is completed there are important decisions to make concerning treatment for managing your recovery from substance abuse and there are also lifestyle changes that have to take place. If you haven't detoxed in a treatment facility there are several options you can choose to get the treatment, help and support you need during this phase of your recovery.
Many people successfully manage their recovery from substance abuse through 12 Step support groups like Alcohol Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. This is no quick fix though, you have to want to get better, attend meetings faithfully, and apply the steps and principles in your daily life. Many people have successfully managed their recovery from alcohol and drug addiction surrounding themselves with the support and knowledge they receive from these wonderful fellowships.
Outpatient treatment centers offer excellent care and some include detoxification. There are various programs provided with outpatient substance abuse treatment. Some outpatient facilities are geared to specific substance abuse and others treat all forms of substance use. Counseling, therapies, evaluations, medications, 12 step support and addiction and relapse education are some of the programs provided to patients to help them understand their addiction and manage their recovery.
Some substance abuse facilities provide intensive outpatient forms of treatment for individuals who are in need of a more intense level of care. If outpatient treatment is the option that's best for you make sure you strengthen your recovery by surrounding yourself with non-users, read and learn as much as you can on your own about addiction, and focus on getting better. Some people attend AA or NA meetings in their local area during outpatient treatment because it helps them manage and strengthen their recovery. You can never receive too much knowledge and support while overcoming substance use and addiction.
Residential Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment is a definite option for chronic drug use and addiction as well as frequent substance users. When a person has used drugs or alcohol habitually for a prolonged period of time they are unable to function without the substance. The addiction has made changes in the brain that makes it impossible to get through the day without using or drinking.
A residential treatment setting can provide 24 hour care, a controlled living environment, complete medical evaluations, professional detoxification if available, and all the necessary treatment, therapies and education you will need during your recovery. Many inpatient facilities also provide aftercare programs when inpatient treatment is completed. Addiction is something that a person has to work on and manage every day but as time goes on it becomes easier and easier. After residential treatment is completed many people find Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous very helpful while managing recovery.
Chronic use of drugs or alcohol takes a toll on every area of the addict's life. Addiction destroys you mentally, psychologically, physically and spiritually and it takes time to heal from the serious effects that have taken place in your life. It may seem like it's never going to get better but I promise you it will.
Addiction is a treatable disease and everyone recovers at their own pace, but with the right treatment, knowledge, support and determination you can recover and live a happy life without the use of drugs or alcohol.
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