When a person uses any potentially mood-altering substance in an overly indulgent manner, it is considered substance abuse. But, the idea of drug use can get out of hand sometimes if not regulated in a safe space. Any drug at the surface can quickly become problematic if the user is not monitored.
Drug abuse can be life-altering, subsequently damaging your mental health. The effect of Dopamine coursing through your body is a resistive force itself. The rush makes it all the more difficult to avoid; however, it is only suitable for you if you stop.
Saying no to drugs can be challenging. While some people can refuse any offers made to them, many teenagers and adults cannot resist due to peer pressure, curiosity or stress. There are several ways of saying ‘No’ to drugs when offered. In fact, you can also subdue temptation by monitoring your triggers, gradually reducing their use, and asking for help when needed.
With that in mind, here are some tips to stay drug-free and healthy.
- Ask for help.
Sometimes asking for help can be difficult. Drug abuse is often stigmatized within communities; therefore, people do not reach out when they need help. But, it is okay to ask for help. In fact, it is a crucial component in your recovery from using drugs.
You get access to outreach programs and recovery groups when you reach out, which is incredibly beneficial during the first weeks of your recovery process. Moreover, with various affordable addiction treatment options available, you’ll receive help even if you are unemployed.
- Stay busy.
Create short-term goals to keep yourself busy throughout the day. Having expensive and broad goals can be challenging; therefore, you must list realistic and measurable small goals you want to achieve daily. Thus, setting smart goals can motivate you to stay drug-free instead of stressing you out and serving as a relapse trigger. Staying busy is the goal, so your list depends on what you enjoy doing.
- Cut out toxic people.
Be honest, analyze your relationships, and determine which one fuels your addiction. Whether it is a romantic relationship or a friendship, you must end the ones that act as triggers.
Toxic relationships often introduce drugs into a person’s life as a coping mechanism from either abuse or trauma. This is detrimental to your mind and undermines your physical health. In this regard, the best course of action would be to either restrict or completely detach from any such relationships throughout your recovery process.
Yes, you read that right. While exercising has numerous physical benefits, it also stimulates you mentally, releasing stress and reducing anxiety or depression. We know that self-esteem is one of the most significant co-factors in promoting drug abuse; therefore, releasing tension within your body and mind can benefit your overall journey.
According to research, working out reintroduces healthy endorphins within your body, preventing you from relapsing.
- Utilize support systems.
Every person has a different support system. These systems play a crucial role in your life as they empower you to say ‘No’ to drugs. Whether it is family, friends, or even colleagues, make sure you have someone who supports your recovery and encourages you to be the best version of yourself.
You should join and engage in recovery groups or communities that practice interactive therapy between people with shared experiences. Expressing and verbalizing even uncomfortable feelings can help you conceptualize and take responsibility for your actions. It is also important to remember that support systems are not there just for your bad times– they are there to celebrate milestones.
- Understand your trigger points and get rid of them.
Triggers can cause intense cravings and tempt you to use drugs. Some of these triggers include PTSD, hypertension, stress, etc. External triggers include people, objects, and places. So, what’s course of action in this scenario? Avoid sites that trigger your need to use drugs.
As far as people are concerned, try the cutting-out rule here to eliminate toxic people and end relationships that are detrimental to your mental health.
- Self-love & Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement can help you enhance self-esteem. It is essential always to be kind to yourself. Take your time, and do things that make you feel happy about yourself. This entire process depends heavily on how you perceive yourself and your life. This way, you can say no to drugs being offered to you and not worry about what people around you think.
Saying ‘No’ can be challenging, especially at a party or with friends. Often people can be insensitive and judgmental; however, it is your responsibility to believe in yourself and set limits that do not hinder your lifestyle. Confidence is a key player here, be assertive when someone is pushing your boundaries, and don’t apologize for having specific values that do not align with your surroundings.
- Monitor yourself
Keep a diary to monitor yourself throughout your journey. This can play an important role when you are incorporating a sober lifestyle. You can include where you were, who you were with, and what you did when you used drugs to determine any triggers or contributing factors you would later want to eliminate from your life.
Monitoring yourself is also a great way of maximizing and building a timeline that can further help you and your doctors determine the best form of help.
In a nutshell, using drugs is stigmatized within societies which is why most addicts have issues reaching out for help. But, it is okay to ask for help because it is a crucial component of recovery.
Asking for help is sometimes what you need the most, so don’t be ashamed. Monitor your use by keeping a record of your activities to eliminate any triggers. Confidence is crucial so keep working on yourself. We hope you succeed in your journey toward a life free of drugs while maintaining relationships that bring out the best in you.