Self-help for fighting addiction and substance misuse

Addiction is a powerful thing and no matter what it is you find that you are addicted to getting help is the most important thing. As someone with an addictive personality, I have to be aware of my triggers and I know that if I have one cigarette, even after 8 years of not smoking, I will once again be a smoker.

Addiction can have a profound impact on the lives of the individual, their friends and family. It can affect all areas of a person’s life, including relationships, finances and work, whilst also contributing towards physical and mental health problems. Fortunately, addiction is treatable, with self-help from the individual and support from others.

The most powerful weapons for aiding self-help recovery from addiction and substance misuse is to recognise you have a problem in the first place and to have the motivation to do something about it. Once you have achieved this, it is far easier to put your plans into action and get the help that you need.

It is important for the person to identify what the triggers are for their addiction. This could include being with certain people or going to particular places, having specific thoughts or feelings about something, or seeing or hearing certain things. Once you have identified your addiction triggers, think about what it is that is keeping the addiction going, such as fear, loneliness, stress or low self-esteem.

Armed with this knowledge, you can then try to do things differently. Seek ways to eliminate the triggers for your addiction and the factors that keep it going. This could involve, for instance, cutting off contact with a group of friends who are also addicts, or tackling stress and low self-esteem by looking for a new job, taking a new course or starting a hobby.

It is important to remember that although there are many things a person can do themselves to tackle their addiction, they shouldn’t have to do it alone. According to the NHS, you should talk to your GP for advice or contact organisations who specialise in helping people with addictions. A counsellor or a substance misuse recovery worker can also provide invaluable support in your endeavours to beat addiction. There are different types of addiction recovery programmes that can support your lifestyle and even your religious beliefs. If you are from the Christian faith then Honey Lake Clinic offer a christ-centred rehabilitation programme that can help.

An addict can achieve greater success in overcoming their problems if they establish a supportive network around them. According to Beating Addictions having a supportive network can make the detoxification process easier to deal with than trying to manage it alone.

Set yourself realistic goals in fighting your addiction. Don’t be too disheartened if you experience any setbacks – just try to remember that you are in it for the long term. Think about all the reasons why you want to beat your addiction and keep reaffirming these daily.