9 Tips for Overcoming Your Alcohol or Drug Problem

a road looking into the distance with the word RECOVERY written in white

1 in 10 American adults will develop a drug or alcohol addiction at some point in their lives. So if you are battling addiction you are not alone. However, managing this type of addiction by yourself can be incredibly difficult. Overcoming your alcohol or drug problem can feel overwhelming and this stops a lot of from people reaching out for help. Knowing where to start and the type of support available can help you on your way to a successful recovery.

Fortunately, you do not have to face this journey alone. From substance abuse disorder treatment to changes you can make in your daily life, here are nine tips for overcoming addiction.

1. Acknowledge the Problem

There are several stages to addiction recovery and these usually start long before you seek support. Perhaps the most important first step to take is acknowledging that you have a problem.

This usually involves accepting the impact that your addiction to drugs or alcohol is having on your life. This may build up over time. For example, you might find that you are struggling more at work or that your loved ones have expressed concern.

Once you have acknowledged the problem you will need to make an important decision: whether or not you want to make a change. At this stage, you may find yourself making excuses for your addiction or feel overwhelmed at the idea of tackling it.

This is totally normal, so it’s nothing to feel embarrassed about. You may need a little time to work through these feelings. It can help to discuss them with a loved one or an addiction counselor.

The most important thing is that you feel ready and willing to make a change when you take the next step.

2. Speak to a Healthcare Professional

Once you have decided to make a change it is a good idea to reach out to a healthcare professional. You can make an appointment with your local doctor or you can reach out to a specialist clinic.

A trained professional will be able to discuss your concerns with you and answer any questions that you have. They will also be able to talk you through your different treatment options.

During these discussions, the healthcare professional will ask about your drug or alcohol usage. It is important to be honest during these conversations. They are not there to judge you.

Your answers will help your doctor recommend the most effective type of treatment for you. It also helps them make sure that you approach recovery in a safe and supported way.

3. Prepare Yourself For the Journey

Substance use disorder treatment is not a quick fix, so it is important to remember this. Your journey to recovery will depend a lot on the severity of your addiction and the type of addiction you are facing.

During this time you may also learn more about the triggers of your addiction. This can be a tough time both physically and mentally.

Because of this, it is important to prepare yourself for this journey. While it might feel overwhelming, preparing yourself emotionally will help you face the challenges along the way.

At this stage, it can help to join a local addiction support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. This gives you time and space to discuss your journey with people who really understand what you are going through.

4. Reach Out to Friends and Family

Loved ones can provide invaluable support during addiction recovery, whether they are family members, partners, or close friends. So don’t be afraid to open up to them about your recovery.

This might involve talking through your concerns about your alcohol or drug use so that you can acknowledge your problem. Or they might be able to talk through your treatment options with you to help you decide the best program to use.

Loved ones can also provide a lot of practical support so you can focus on your emotional and physical recovery. For example, if you have kids, they might babysit while you are attending an outpatient alcohol program.

5. Look For Professional Support

Friends, family, and support groups can help you overcome addiction. However, it is also important to seek professional support.

Specialized rehab clinics can significantly increase your chances of managing drug or alcohol addiction successfully.

These clinics have the expertise and resources to support recovery from a range of different addictions. They can provide:

  • Support managing symptoms of withdrawal
  • Detox programs
  • Inpatient or outpatient programs
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction
  • Mental health support
  • One-on-one and group counseling
  • Counseling for your loved ones
  • Accommodation while you recover from your addiction

They also have supportive and sympathetic staff who have experience dealing with addiction.

Most importantly, rehab centers give you time and space to work on your addiction and regain control of it. This can seriously relieve the pressure on you and your loved ones when battling the challenges of addiction recovery.

6. Consider Different Types of Recovery Programs

If you have already started researching rehab centers, you will understand that they offer a range of recovery programs.

Understanding how these work will help you find the right one for you. You may be able to combine these programs to get the support you need during your recovery.

Inpatient Programs

Inpatient programs offer you access to the resources that a center has while you stay on-site. These programs usually last for one to three months but you can stay longer if required.

These programs are ideal for people with severe addiction or who do not have a safe place to stay during their recovery. Some centers also offer supportive housing for people in outpatient programs.

Outpatient Programs

As an outpatient, you still have access to all the resources that a center has to offer. However, you will stay at home or with a loved one during the course of your treatment.

You will then attend regular appointments at the center. This can help you maintain balance with your life outside of your substance use treatment.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) works in a similar way to an outpatient program.

As the name suggests, you will visit the center for intensive outpatient treatment more regularly. Most people on IOPs come in five or seven days a week for their treatment.

Doctors often recommend this for those battling addiction alongside other mental health disorders.

7. Create Boundaries in Your Life

Outside of your treatment program, it is also important to start creating healthy boundaries in your life. These may need to be more severe to begin with and you can adjust them over time.

For example, you may want to avoid people or environments that will expose you to drugs or alcohol. This can help you detox while you are working on your psychological recovery.

After a while, you may feel able to interact with these people or environments again. Having the tools in place to manage your addiction often makes this feel like less of a risk. So go at your own pace and be honest with yourself about how much you can handle.

8. Take Time Off Work If You Need It

If you were unwell in any other way you would take time off work to recover. So you should apply this same principle to addiction recovery.

You can speak to your HR team confidentially about taking time off work to attend rehab appointments. This will ensure that you have the right support in place at work. It will also make accessing outpatient treatment easier.

Of course, if you find that work gives you focus and helps your recovery that’s okay as well! Just make sure that you are being kind to yourself and don’t overdo it while you are in the early stages of recovery.

9. Be Kind to Yourself

It is so important to be kind to yourself while recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. After all, you are trying to break a cycle of self-abuse in your life.

This can be a frustrating time so try to be patient with yourself. You have taken the first major step and that is something to be really proud of.

It is also important to remember that addiction recovery is not a quick fix. In fact, it can help to think of addiction like you would any other chronic illness.

For example, if you have asthma, you have to monitor this and go in for regular checkups. You may also find that your condition gets better or worse at certain points in your life. So there is no shame in seeking more support or returning to your rehab center in the future.

Get Support Overcoming Your Alcohol or Drug Problem

Overcoming your alcohol or drug problem is nothing to be ashamed of. So don’t be afraid to reach out for support when you need it. This can make a huge difference in your recovery.

These nine tips will help you get started on your road to recovery. If you are interested in getting professional support, get in touch with the New Life Recovery Center today. We’re here to help.