As the New Year quickly approaches, it is a time when many individuals make plans and resolutions. Some individuals may resolve to exercise more, lose weight, eat healthier, or achieve and maintain sobriety from drugs or alcohol. It is true that not all resolutions are easy to keep, but when these resolutions concern your personal health and welfare it is in your best interest to be tenacious.
The Dangers of Drug Use and Abuse
Drugs are chemical toxins that interrupt and alter the basic functions of the body. While many individuals may initially turn to drug use to numb unwanted physical or emotional sensations related to a life problem, the drugs work to numb all sensations, including desirable ones, and fail to address or resolve the problem itself. Unfortunately, the drug addicts’ solution to this new problem is to take more drugs, which further interrupts their life patterns. Continued drug use can result in interrupted sleep patterns, anxiety, depression, headaches and more. As the body is overloaded with chemicals it is drained of nutrients and can become predisposed to physical illnesses like pneumonia, strokes and heart attacks. Eventually, drug addiction dictates the individual’s every thought and action in life, and they can become convinced of the idea that the only ways out are either a prison sentence or death. Fortunately, there are other ways out of addiction, and they begin by taking steps to stay sober. Here are ten tips for staying sober in the new year:
1. Remove drugs and alcohol from the home
No matter how firmly you resolve to abstain from drug and alcohol use, a moment of weakness can lead to relapse if drugs and alcohol are readily available. That same moment of weakness can better be conquered if drugs and alcohol do not exist in the home.
2. Be firm in stopping drug use before you begin
Even an individual who is aided in rehabilitation treatment by a trained professional must make the personal choice to quit their drug use. Before the cravings begin, make the choice that you will not give in to them no matter what. Decide that you will put down drugs or alcohol without using them.
3. Enroll in rehab
A variety of rehabilitation treatment facilities exist to help individuals address and resolve their problems with substance abuse. If you feel that you need help in fighting your addiction, find a rehabilitation facility that you feel will work to help you achieve sobriety.
4. Find a support group
Your sometimes, difficult journey to sobriety can be supported by others who are in a similar position. It may be easier to discuss feelings of shame and guilt with others who share those feelings and understand what you are going through.
5. Reach out to family and friends
Family members and friends normally respect the individual who is seeking to achieve freedom from drug use and abuse. They can encourage you when things become difficult or apparently impossible.
6. Be patient
Successfully fighting addiction is not a quick process, and often takes a minimum of ninety days. Keep in mind how long you have used drugs, and that it takes time to erase the drug residues and their effects on the body and mind.
7. Change your life patterns
If your normal routine is to go over a friend’s house every Friday night where you then shoot up heroin, it’s quite obvious that maintaining this pattern will make it difficult to quit drug use. If your current circle of friends and their recreational activities seem to condone or encourage drug use, you need to choose new friends.
8. Establish and maintain a healthy diet
Drugs interrupt the body’s normal functions and balance, including ability to sleep normally and use food nutrients properly. Many drug addicts seek the brief and artificial energy-like boost of drug highs that can be more easily and safely attained through proper diet and exercise.
9. Find enjoyable, drug-free activities
One of the ways to cope with the difficulties and problems of life is to participate in enjoyable activities. Swimming, jogging, fishing, tennis and other similar activities draw one’s attention outwards to the environment and can enable the individual to address and resolve problems in life.
10. Educate yourself on the dangers of drug use
If all an individual knows about drugs is that they cause a temporary high and can be dangerous if used in excess, they are missing a lot of specific information regarding the exact effects of drugs on the body. Like anything else, understanding drugs can help one make the wise choice to abstain from drug use.
A Drug-Free 2014
Traditionally, the dawning of a new year is celebrated with high hopes and goals for the future. Staying sober during 2014 can not only help an individual lead a healthier, happier life, but can help them focus on and achieve their other goals as well.