Substance abuse in the United States is a larger problem than most are willing to acknowledge. Research suggests that one in eight Americans meets the diagnostic criteria for alcoholism, and one in ten will struggle with drug abuse at some point in their lives.
It’s not easy to come to terms with a substance abuse disorder. In addition to the work of recovering, maintaining that recovery often requires a radical change in lifestyle.
It’s a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. To ensure that you have the best chances of making a successful recovery, take the following tips to heart to help you on your path.
1. Consider Non-12 Step Programs
The best-known framework for dealing with substance abuse is some variant of the 12-step program. Originally formed in the 1930s as a peer-support network, the program can be a good tool for building social support networks. However, there has been pushback against it.
For one thing, the program is almost 100 years old and is out-of-step with a lot of our current scientific understanding of how addiction and substance abuse actually work. Further, the program is explicitly religious and spiritual in nature, which may not be the best fit for everyone.
That’s why a number of non 12 step rehabs and other counseling services have cropped up in recent years. For those needing more dedicated help but who feel like the 12-step program isn’t a good fit for them, these services can be an indispensable lifeline.
2. Take It One Day at a Time
Getting sober is only part of the task. Maintaining sobriety is the real work of recovery. And to succeed, you need to take it one day at a time.
It’s almost a cliche to say at this point, but it’s only become such because it’s the truth.
Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. And like a marathon, you can’t take it a mile at a time. You have to focus on each individual step.
3. Take Care of Yourself
The better a person feels, physically and mentally, the less likely they are to rely on drugs and alcohol. That is why an important part of early recovery is to start to replace a destructive lifestyle with a healthy one.
Proper nutrition and exercise will help you feel your best, especially if you practice good habits over time. And when you’re feeling your best, you’re better positioned to succeed.
4. Cultivate Hobbies
In addition to making sure that you feel your best, you also need to make sure your mind is occupied.
Many people in recovery report feelings of boredom or restlessness. If left unaddressed, these feelings can lead to the temptation to start using again. That is why is it critical to your success to find healthy outlets to occupy your energy and attention.
Recovery from a Substance Abuse Disorder Is Possible
Above all else, the greatest thing to remember is not to give up.
Recovery from a substance abuse disorder is a long road, and there will struggles and setbacks along the way. But no one is beyond help and no one is untreatable. Even if you backslide, it’s never too late to try again.
And for more health and lifestyle tips to help you live as your best self, be sure to keep up with the latest from The Freeman Online.