6 Tips to Help Destroy the Grip of Addiction by Eric Dunbar
in Self Help / Addictions (submitted 2010-05-04)
Drug use destroys families, loving relationships and sane minds. A great number of people and institutions in America have tried to help addicts overcome their addiction. There are thousands of programs in the United States alone that are trying to help addicts live a life free of drugs, but the success rate for these programs is extraordinarily low considering the great effort and investments that have been made.
The majority of drug treatment and rehabilitation centers adhere to the misguided notion that if the belief system of an addict could be compromised, that addict could bury their addictive behavior and once again lead a productive life free of addiction. Treatment centers base their observation only on that which is obvious, or that which they can philosophically understand. This superficial view has convinced treatment centers all across America that an addiction is the result of bad judgment, poor religious standards, a lack of character on the part of the addict, and bad personal choices.
Although professional help is needed to help one cope with and understand addiction, they do not offer a guarantee that their program will end the addictive cycle. But there are several things that you can do to destroy addiction in your life.
There is no easy way to kick your habit. You need help to overcome your addiction, but please understand that you have the awesome responsibility of helping yourself. Here are some tips that will help you win the battle:
#1 - Stop denying that you are addicted
Denial is a defense mechanism. It is a psychological strategy that addicts use to cope with reality and to maintain self-image. Denial is the one thing that all people have in common. When a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept they reject it, insisting that it is not true despite any overwhelming evidence that may be set before them.
When in denial an addict may deny the reality of the unpleasantness of their addiction altogether, like I did; while others may admit that they are addicted but deny the seriousness of their addiction. Some addicts however, admit that they are addicted and that their addiction is a serious problem, but deny the fact that it is their responsibility to seek help.
#2 - Determine in your mind that you will defeat your addiction.
I spent many days feeling defeated and for a long time I acted according to the way I felt rather than reacting to reality. This is a distinction that is most difficult for someone under the influence of drugs.
At some point in your addiction you will come to the place of being sick and tired of being addicted. This usually happens when you have hit rock bottom. But why wait to fail before you start to fight? Just as a person thinks in their heart, so it shall be in their life. Don't surrender to your addiction. Believe that you can overcome it, because you can.
#3 - Change your habits
Study your addiction and learn the things that make you more susceptible to your craving. When I smoked crack one of the things I noted is that my habit was greatly influenced by the time of day, certain things I did and places I went.
I was more vulnerable at night than during the day because the drug was more accessible during the night hours. Whenever I would smoke a cigarette I wanted to smoke crack. If I traveled to certain neighborhoods where crack was plentiful I would become obsessed with getting high, mostly because almost everyone I saw was high. So what do you do in such situations? You should avoid the things that make you want whatever it is that you are addicted to and your chances of relinquishing your habit will become greater with time.
#4 - Attend to your nutritional needs
The last thing an addict is trying to do is watch their diet. Drugs are chemical substances and they cause a chemical imbalance to occur in the body, depleting some natural chemicals while in making a surplus of others.
If it is at all possible you should try to at least eat a good nutritional meal several times a day. I smoked crack with a guy who would not use the drug until he ate a good meal and for the next 4 hours he would smoke relentlessly. For years no one knew he smoked crack because he never lost weight, the quality of his skin was normal.
The reason nutrition is important is because it gives your body the ammunition it needs to counteract the drug. Of course if you smoke meth all the nutrition in the world won't stop your teeth from decaying.
#5 - Find new friends
Finding new friends is an important aspect of gaining your life back. As long as you hang on to those old relationships you will remain addicted. You must let go and move on to the next level. Find someone whom you would consider a good role model and attach yourself to them. Learn from them and imitate the things they do. Be up front with them and tell them that you have a problem with drugs and you seriously want to change your life. I did and I have been clean since 1994 and not once have I desired to return to my old life of drugging.
#6 - Increase your knowledge
Knowledge is power and if you want to be empowered to defeat your habitual drug use. There is a chapter in my book titled, "The House That Crack Built" in which I talk about the devastating effects that drugs play on the body. You would be amazed to know the reality of the slow but sure death that you are inviting into your life. The more you know, the more you will grow.
Please be mindful that these 6 steps alone will not break your addiction but it is an excellent place to start your recovery and healing. Drug addiction is serious and no one should face this enemy alone, therefore, you should do all that you can to help yourself but seek professional help and counseling.
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About the Author
Eric Dunbar is the owner and editor of Golden Entrepreneur, where you will find online business tips, articles and great software tools to grow your online business. Eric Dunbar is also the author of THE FACE OF A DEMON, referred to by many as "The Recovering Addict's Handbook", and editor of X-JOURNAL Blog