The beginning of a new year often encourages people to create a list of resolutions. Inevitably many people end up abandoning those resolutions because they feel that they cannot commit to such big changes. One of the toughest resolutions of all— getting sober from a substance addiction— might seem impossible, but it doesn't have to be. You may just need some help getting started. If overcoming addiction seems like an insurmountable challenge, focus on taking one small step at a time. Here are some resolutions to add to your list for 2018:
If you're not convinced your addiction is severe enough to merit intervention, get informed. Learn more about your substance of choice, whether it’s alcohol, prescription drugs or illegal substances. Research the signs and symptoms of addiction and assess yourself without bias. Find out what prolonged substance abuse can do to your body.
According to drugabuse.com, the most common short-term effects of substance abuse include high blood pressure, dizziness, mood changes and paranoia. In the long-run, continued substance abuse can lead to heart attack, respiratory failure, coma, and stroke. The risks of experiencing these more severe side effects increase the longer substance abuse continues. This is because tolerance makes your body crave higher amounts of the substance to achieve the same effect as what smaller doses used to.
Change your habits
Overcoming addiction isn't something that can be accomplished overnight. It takes dedication to build a new lifestyle and start new, healthier habits. One of the biggest challenges of breaking through the cycle of addiction is trying not to fall back into old habits by doing things like hanging out with old friends, going to places where you use, or otherwise being in a situation that encourages you to use. These are "triggers" that increase your chance of relapsing. Old habits die hard.
Still, you can avoid certain relapse triggers by changing your habits. Starting a new hobby, making new friends, or even moving somewhere new are all possible options for someone who is serious about fighting addiction and getting sober. You must get rid of any reminders of past substance abuse if you want to move forward. If you decide to receive treatment at a rehabilitation center, consider going somewhere far outside your comfort zone. Doing this will help keep you out of temptation's reach.
In addition to avoiding triggers and seeking treatment, making healthier choices about exercise and nutrition is one of the best and most important changes you can make. In fact, being active can boost positive mood endorphins, helping you naturally feel happier without the need for substances. The healthier you are, both physically and mentally, the less likely you are to fall back into addictive habits.