If you’re struggling with a drug abuse problem, you’re far from alone—even if it might seem that way sometimes. Estimates suggest that almost 20% of Americans age 12 and older have misused illegal or prescription drugs within the past year.
Unfortunately, knowing how to quit drugs is harder than it sounds. It’s not uncommon to relapse, and addiction can make it arduously difficult to slip back into our normal lives.
So how do you fight addiction in a way that finally sticks? Here’s what you need to know about how to quit drugs forever.
Decide to Change and Get Ready
As with anything, the first step toward quitting drugs is to commit to the process. For most people, it helps to sit down and outline the reasons for wanting to quit.
It’s also a good idea to write down your recovery goals at this time. A goals-oriented mindset is the key to avoiding temptations and leading a healthier lifestyle. Consider keeping an ongoing record of your progress toward those goals so that you can celebrate everything from mini-milestones to major wins.
Plan Your Next Steps
Next, you’ll need to take time to plan out your drug-free life. Envision your life without drugs and plot out how you’ll get there.
How will you handle common situations that used to trigger your drug use? In some cases, this might mean avoiding the places and people where you feel you have a higher risk of slipping back into old habits. In other cases, it might mean being more mindful about your goals when you’re in high-stress situations.
What steps will you take to control your cravings? Some people turn to activities like yoga or meditation to increase their mindfulness, for example, while others concentrate on a daily exercise routine or creative hobby. Whatever you decide, finding something new to keep yourself busy can help.
Get the Support You Need
If you’ve relapsed after a past rehab attempt, you may have started wondering, “Why is it hard to quit drugs?”
The truth is that it’s difficult—but not impossible—to quit drugs without proper support.
For some people, finding support will mean finding people who have gone through a similar struggle, or simply surrounding themselves with loved ones who encourage them to make healthier choices. For others, it might mean finding a drug rehab center with programs that support recovery. Whatever you decide, it’s important to have people on your team as you work through the more difficult parts of your journey.
Find the Strategies You Need to Quit Drugs Today
Knowing how to quit drugs is the easy part: it’s sticking to it that’s hard. That’s where the key steps above—most importantly, a detailed plan and a stellar support system—will come into play.
Though your efforts will take time, working to be more mindful and find new activities to keep you busy can get you on the road to long-term recovery, step by step. Don’t hesitate to reach out to family, friends, support groups, and professionals as you work toward recovery.
For further insights on caring for your health and well-being, be sure to take a look at our other posts.