If you suffer from addiction, whether it be to alcohol, methamphetamine, or another drug, it's important to seek treatment from a licensed rehabilitation facility. However, the determination to beat addiction must come from within, so it's important to rely on your own efforts and instincts -- and not just the work of your rehab team -- in order to overcome your addiction. Here are three self-help strategies you can use to supplement your rehabilitation program and improve your chances of success.
Gather a Group of Supportive Friends
Throughout your recovery process, there will be times when you just need to get something off your chest or talk something through with a person who knows you on a personal level. Try to assemble a support group of friends and family members early on in your recovery process so you can be sure they'll be there for you when the time comes. Consider writing a thoughtful letter in which you explain that you've been battling addiction, are finally ready to fight through it, and need your loved ones on your side. Ask that the recipient agree to be there for you for support in the months that follow. Send this letter to the three or four people to whom you feel closest.
If you've struggled with addiction for a while, you may have family members and friends who have become frustrated with you after trying, in vain, to help you. Sending them this letter ensures them that this time, you are choosing recovery—not fighting against it. Most people will be more willing to help with this assurance that you're on the right track.
Develop a New Hobby
When you're going through rehab, it can start to feel like everything is about your addiction. Between meetings with your counselor, doctor's appointments, and group therapy sessions, sometimes you'll just need to break away and think about something else for a while. Having a hobby to turn to at times like this will help ensure that when you do feel overwhelmed by treatment, you don't turn back to your addiction.
This hobby could be anything from knitting to playing soccer. If there's a hobby you enjoyed in the past but gave up because of your addiction, this may be a great time to get involved again! If funds are limited, keep in mind that there are an array of free or low-cost hobbies to choose from, such as:
- Coloring, painting, or drawing
- Learning to play a musical instrument
Make a List of Your Weak Spots
Sit down for a few minutes and make a list of the situations you were in the last 20 or so times you turned to your addiction. Then, think about these situations. Is there a pattern to them? Do you tend to use more at certain times or in certain circumstances? For example, many addicts find that they use more when they are feeling stressed out from work, after a fight with their spouse, or when spending time with certain friends.
Identifying these "weak spots" ahead of time allows you to take steps to avoid them as you go through recovery. For example, if you notice that you often use when you're stressed out from work, you could get into the habit of hitting the gym after work so you don't have the opportunity to use. If you notice that you only use with certain friends, consider cutting ties with those people.
The self-help strategies above are not a substitute for addiction treatment, but when used in conjunction with professional care, they can improve your chances of recovery. To learn more, visit treatment centers like Pacific Ridge.