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What to Do If You Find Yourself Struggling with Addiction

If you’ve found yourself dealing with drug or alcohol use you can no longer control, it might feel like an insurmountable situation. But awareness of the problem is the first step to change, and there is hope for the future! Here’s what to do if you find yourself struggling with addiction.

1. Talk To Your Loved Ones

Addiction can be incredibly isolating, and fear of judgment might prevent you from opening up to your family or close friends. But dealing with substance use disorders alone often proves to be very difficult, and the support of family and friends will make you much more likely to succeed.

If you’re considering the next steps for treatment, your family and friends may be able to help you with that process as well. 

Choosing inpatient or outpatient treatment is often overwhelming, as choosing the right treatment center or healthcare practitioner makes a major difference in your recovery.

2. Consider Inpatient Treatment

The prospect of attending inpatient treatment may be a daunting one. But if you can manage it, going to inpatient treatment can provide you with a foundation to help you get and stay sober. In many cases, you can choose a women’s or men’s inpatient rehab. There also are rehab centers for special populations like those with co-occurring disorders.

In many cases, inpatient treatment centers will first do a medically-assisted detox. In this program, you can come off of drugs or alcohol with medical supervision. You also may be given medications to minimize the severity of withdrawals.

Good inpatient treatment centers focus on holistic treatment. They will help you work through and manage past traumas, co-occurring mental health conditions, and even everyday stressors that may have exacerbated your substance use.

Treatment centers also will help you develop healthy habits. In many cases, long-term drug or alcohol use leads to nutritional deficiencies, so these programs will provide nutritious meals. Many also include exercise programs to promote whole-body health.

Treatment centers often employ counselors who have struggled with addiction themselves. These counselors can offer you valuable advice to help you get through the challenging early stages of recovery. You also will have a supportive community of other patients who are doing their best to get well.

3. Look Into Other Types Of Treatment

If inpatient treatment is not an option for you, there are other types of help available. And even if you’ve been to inpatient treatment or are planning to, it’s often wise to have a plan for follow-up care after you’ve left.

Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) or intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are excellent options for treatment. These programs offer the support of counselors and healthcare professionals, and they also help create a sense of community with others going through similar struggles.

If you have another mental health condition, managing it is a key facet of recovery. Do your best to find a good psychologist or therapist to help you going forward. 

Therapists can help you continue to apply what you’ve learned in treatment, and they can also help you find healthy ways to cope with situations that may tempt you to drink or use drugs. 

A good psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner will be essential to your recovery if you have a condition that needs to be managed with medication.

4. Work On Healthier Coping Mechanisms

Addiction treatment will often help you discover new ways to cope with adversity. Usually, if you’re dependent on drugs or alcohol, these substances become the first thing you turn to when you become discouraged or overwhelmed.

But in order to truly heal, making the effort to apply these healthier coping mechanisms is essential. For example, if you have an especially bad breakup soon after getting sober, the temptation to use may be strong. 

Instead of drinking or using, you might talk things through with a trusted friend, engage in a creative outlet, or do something else to help you process the situation in a healthier way.

Coping without drugs or alcohol is challenging, especially in the beginning. But with time, you’ll find that dealing with difficulties without drugs or alcohol becomes second nature.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, the steps above have given you an idea of what to do to change your life for the better. Remember that addiction is a disease, and if you’re willing to seek help and put in the effort to change, you’ll find your future looks better than ever.