Substance use disorder (SUD), colloquially known as addiction, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a complex, chronic brain disorder. The Mayo Clinic explains addiction as a disease “that affects a person’s brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication” without regard for consequence. Addiction can wreak havoc in all areas of an individual’s life. Since the disease compels an individual to prioritize satisfying his or her substance cravings above all else, he or she will likely experience a plethora of adverse effects, including physical complications, relationship fractures, financial strain, legal challenges, employment issues, and more. While there is an array of treatment options available, there is no universal treatment method that proves successful for every person struggling with substance abuse and/ or addiction, as everyone has nuanced needs when it comes to the recovery process.
Tips to Reclaim Control of Your Life
- Shift your focus: Rather than perseverating on past circumstances and holding them at the forefront of your mind, shift your focus to more positive thoughts, home in on achievements (both big and small), and concentrate on what brings meaning to your life.
- Try something new: Humans are hard-wired to experience joy when experiencing novelty, so try learning a new skill, do a challenging puzzle, tackle a difficult recipe, etc. to build self-confidence.
- Flow with your feelings: Avoiding negative emotions when they present can disrupt the process of learning from and moving past them; by acknowledging, naming, and allowing yourself to feel them, you can help begin to release them.
- Exercise or engage in movement regularly: The Academy of Neurological Therapy asserts that “exercise has been shown to help improve and prevent many conditions, including: weight management, stress levels, emotional regulation/ mood, memory, attention, strength, endurance, balance, flexibility, and blood pressure regulation.”
- Give back to the community: Dedicating oneself to others through activities such as volunteering produce greater joy than focusing on oneself.
- Practice positive self-talk: Positive self-talk encourages self-confidence, effective coping, achievement, and a general feeling of well-being. Select a few affirmations, or positive statements, that speak to you and repeat them regularly.
- Practice mindfulness: Through consciously drawing attention to the present moment, our mind is unable to dwell on past pain, reducing its impact. Consider trying meditation, yoga, reading, listening to music, journaling, etc. to help quiet your mind. Data shows that meditation can help lower blood pressure, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, improve insomnia, and more.
It is important to bear in mind that recovering from addiction is a life-long process. Further, learning to assume and regain control of your life in an authentic way that aligns with your treatment goals will require perseverance, steadfast commitment, and long-term dedication.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at email@example.com.