Substance Abuse Addictions are addictions such as smoking, alcohol and drugs. These addictions are not only bad for you mentally and financially (like electronic and money addictions), they are bad for you physically and if you don’t do something about these addictions, they can make you severely ill and can even result in an early death. Yes, you can die from Substance Abuse Addictions.
I have never abused substances or had any Substance Abuse Addictions. My experience with substance abuse is from those around me, in my family, who have abused substances in their lives so the advice offered here is based off what I learned worked and didn’t work for them.
Substance Abuse Addictions are the hardest addictions to manage as they not only affect you mentally but also physically. We will look at some of the things you can do to help you with your addiction, these are Get Help, Will Yourself and Take Control. Remember though, these are not easy addictions to beat, it will be a long journey.
You need to understand that your body has already adjusted to the abused substance inside it and is ready to fight against you as it refuses to change. Change is something your body must do in order for you to beat your Substance Abuse Addiction and because of this you will not beat Substance Abuse Addiction alone, you need help. Below are steps you should take to “Get Help” with your addiction:
The first thing you need to do on your journey to manage your addiction is to admit to it. Admitting you have a Substance Abuse Addiction shows that you know something is wrong with you and that you want to change it. To change it, you have to NEED to beat addiction not simply WANT it, this is where many go wrong with making changes in their lives.
You must not let your pride get in the way of your journey. Your pride may tell you that you can beat addiction on your own, in your own way but this will not work. You need help to beat your Substance Abuse Addictions as they are heavy burdens to carry on your. Open up to others, such as your family and friends, telling them that you have a problem so they can help you by holding you accountable to staying on your journey to beat addiction.
The best help you can get with your addiction is from your Doctor. A Doctor can help you by recommending various treatment options for your addiction such as medication, counselling or even going to a rehab centre. There are probably more options available but you will have to speak to your Doctor to find out what they are.
When speaking to your Doctor, it is important to tell them everything about your addiction and how your life has been affected by it. The more you tell the Doctor, the better the Doctor can understand your addiction and recommend the way that could help treat you the best.
With a treatment option decided by you and your Doctor, you now need to commit to it. If it is medication, you must make sure to take it regularly as prescribed. If it is councilling, you must attend regularly and be open about your addiction even admitting to any relapses (giving in to your addiction) you may have had. If it is rehab, you should stay there until the rehab staff are satisfied that you have beaten your addiction, not when you think you are.
To “Will Yourself” you must WANT to beat your addiction and to do that you NEED a reason to do it, a reason that you can use to remind yourself why it it so important to beat your addiction. Below are reasons why you should “Will Yourself” to beat your addiction:
Substance Abuse is highly damaging to you health. It can leave you feeling short of breath, having an aged appearance (I saw a recent picture of my aunt, I couldn’t recognise her, she looked like she was 80 but was actually 57 because of her smoking) and even worse, cause heart attacks/liver failure LEADING TO YOUR DEATH. If you don’t want this to happen to you, then you need to beat your addiction. By doing so, you will have more energy, you will physically look better and YOU WILL LIVE MUCH LONGER.
Substance Abuse damages your Mental Health as much as your Health. Mentally you will spent most of your time in a low mood feeling anxious or becoming more aggressive without the substance in your body. With the substance in your body, you will feel a FALSE SENSE of positivity and feel in control but these soon fade away with you back in a low mood again. This is an endless cycle. If you want to break this cycle you must beat your addiction and if you do you will feel much happier, REALLY be in control and can develop real confidence.
A life of Substance Abuse is a life of waiting for your next fix (use of the substance), being a slave to the bottle or powder. When addicted, you become a sneak with your abuse by hiding substances around your home (my uncle hid alcohol around his home) or sneaking away to abuse (my cousin would sneak off to take drugs). Is this how you want to spend the rest of your life? If not, then you need to beat your addiction. Think about how much better your life will be without substance abuse: being able to spend your time on better things such as your family.
Substance Abuse costs money- WAY TOO MUCH. Cigarettes are highly taxed, alcohol is strictly measured and you will pay whatever a drug dealer demands. What a WASTE OF MONEY this is and if left unchecked will leave you in debt (another cousin of mine had to get a 2nd job just pay off debts from their drug abuse). Without drug abuse, you will have more money available to you: you can buy that thing you always wanted but have never been available to afford, treat yourself to a holiday, support your family or save up for the future.
Drug Abuse is illegal and Alcohol Abuse can lead you to being arrested for being “Drunk&Disorderly” or being “Under the Influence”. The 2nd of those two is worse because you could actually kill someone this way, this could be yourself. Being in trouble with the law may be the motivation you need beat your addiction but you may be forced into a treatment program and when we are forced into something, we tend to not it give our all. With Substance Abuse, YOU MUST give it your all to beat it. It’s better to get help willingly rather than the law forcing you!
Your Family & Friends suffer from your Substance Abuse. They are forced to watch your HEALTH deteriorate, be the victim of your MENTAL HEALTH aggression, watch your QOL revolve around your next fix, watch you plunge into debt from wasting MONEY and worst of all, have to get you from a Police Station because you broke THE LAW. You see, Family & Friends suffer as much as you do. Is it really fair for them to have to suffer because of you? No? Then use this to motivate your self to beat addiction as they are life’s greatest treasures, not substances.
Trying to “Take Control” is easier said than done. It requires tremendous Willpower, Motivation and Help. It is a very difficult journey to go on and complete as there are many obstacles in your way to tempt you into losing control. Below are some of the things you should consider to stay in control:
This can be anyone you trust such as family or friends- a trustee. Promise you will beat your addiction, why you need to do it and that you will start NOW. Have this recorded as a video which you can send to as many people your trust. The idea of this, is to prove that you are willing to take control of your addiction and want someone hold you accountable to your promise in order to help you stay on track with your commitment. When you’re struggling, watch the recording you made to remind you why you are trying to beat your addiction.
There are many different treatment options for Substance Abuse but the best one is Rehab, specifically Inpatient Rehab. Inpatient Rehab involves you living in a Rehab centre for an amount of time whilst receiving treatment there. Inpatient Rehab allows you to come away from your usual environments were your addiction occurs, to be an environment where you can give your full attention to beating your addiction and substance abuse addiction will NEED your full attention to beat it.
Whilst in rehab, you may be receiving treatment along with other addicts, one way is where you all share your experiences about your addiction. In treatment, socialising is fine but when you are not currently receiving treatment, these people should be avoided as they are more likely to tempt you into giving in to your addiction (my second-cousin checked into rehab for her drug addiction, had a relationship with another addict who encouraged her to do more drugs and now she is no longer with us, she was in her 40’s).
The best role models for you and the people who YOU SHOULD be socialising with, are those who are clean and have stayed clean from substance abuse addictions (during my cousin’s recovery from alcohol addiction, he stayed with a man who had stayed clean off alcohol for over 20 years). People like this are the ideal role models who prove to you that substance abuse can be beaten, stay beaten and that it is possible to rebuild your life after substance abuse.
Once you are clean, you should avoid anything that may tempt you to return to your addiction. Avoid drug dealers, avoid going to the pub and avoid going to e-cig shops. With smoking nowadays, cigarettes are no longer allowed to be on view in shops making this temptation easier to avoid. With alcohol it can be harder, for a start avoid alcohol aisles in shops and if you have to go to a pub/restaurant then choose soft drinks, tea or coffee (by law pubs must sell tea&coffee). Remember, it only takes one drink or cigarette to set you back to square one.
Although we have tried to give you as many strategies help you with Substance Abuse as possible, Substance Abuse Addictions are very difficult to beat. It is a long, hard journey to beat this kind of addiction because as you try to beat it, your body will fight back trying to tempt you back into your addictions and you must summon the willpower to SAY NO. Remember you have more likely to beat addiction by seeking help, willing yourself and taking control than if you tried to beat it all on your own. We wish you all the best on this difficult journey!