If you are using or abusing drugs and alcohol, one or more of your life’s areas is out of balance. To get it back into balance, you need to develop new habits and change your lifestyle. The first step is to accept that you have a problem—this does not mean feeling bad about yourself. It means acknowledging reality, whether it makes you feel good or bad.
A drug-free lifestyle is not defined by never using drugs but rather by avoiding being dependent on them. It doesn’t mean you can’t use an occasional over-the-counter pain reliever, but rather that you can avoid reaching for these kinds of medications every time you feel pain or stress. A drug-free lifestyle also means that even if you do occasional drug use, your regular usage shouldn’t be enough to alter your brain chemistry permanently.
To simply put the benefits of drug use, you’ll live longer. Drugs can wreak havoc on your body by increasing your heart rate, blood pressure and making you prone to a stroke or fatal cardiac arrest. They also negatively impact your memory, decision-making skills, and general cognitive ability.
Know the Warning Signs and Symptoms
It’s not just about quitting harmful substances like cigarettes, alcohol, or illegal drugs; it’s also about understanding how certain behaviors can impact your physical and mental well-being. For example, constant stress may lead to anxiety attacks, which leads to dependence on prescription medication if left unchecked.
It’s better to know these warning signs before they happen than to ignore them and then suffer consequences down the road. To develop a healthy, drug-free lifestyle, you should familiarize yourself with some of your biggest triggers and understand what you can do to avoid making self-destructive choices. Identify real problems and make realistic solutions: If you choose your actions carefully, you may be able to avoid unwanted prescriptions altogether—and keep from becoming dependent on those little white pills in future years.
Alternative to Drug Use
If you’re a drug user and want to quit, don’t just focus on your drug use; think about what led you to start using drugs in the first place. If you have kids, ask yourself what you would tell them about drugs if they asked for your advice. The best way to quit is to find an alternative solution for whatever emotional problem led you to start using in the first place.
You can find new hobbies, learn something new, or work on strengthening relationships with your family and friends. All these alternatives will help you make significant changes in your life. Without an alternative solution for whatever led you to start using drugs in the first place, quitting might seem impossible. You’ll feel like you have no reason to stay sober or get help.
Even if your drug use isn’t causing any obvious problems, it still might be leading you into dangerous territory. To fully commit to quitting and staying clean long-term, identify what makes it hard for you to say no when people offer drugs. Don’t just write down that they make it easy; think about what specifically makes them so appealing.
Get Support From Friends, Family, and Professionals
Look for people who will support your efforts. They might be friends, family members, or even professional resources like addiction counselors or therapists. If you can’t find anyone in person, there are also plenty of online resources where you can get support from fellow addicts and alcoholics in recovery. You may even want to consider joining a support group. It’s hard to stop using drugs on your own. But if you have support and guidance from other people in similar situations, it can make it easier. Support is crucial when recovering from addiction; having others who understand what you’re going through can help keep you motivated and inspired along the way.
Try Alternative Treatments
If your health is on track, but you feel like something’s still missing, try alternative treatments. These include acupressure, chiropractic, massage therapy, meditation, yoga, tai chi, and acupuncture. Acupuncture can reduce stress levels by quieting down overactive nerves. The pressure points on your body treated during acupuncture can also release natural painkillers called endorphins that alleviate headaches or other minor aches.
If you feel like you’re in over your head, it’s never too late to find the best drug treatment center. Talk to professionals who work at some of the most trusted drug rehabilitation facilities. They can help you find ways to cope and treat the addiction. They offer plenty of support services and resources that will walk you through getting started on your recovery journey. It’s important to know what questions to ask about any treatment options so you can make an informed decision about which treatment center is right for you.
Take Care of Yourself After Treatment
Recovering from addiction doesn’t mean quitting cold turkey. Just as important, if not more so, is treating your body well—getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, and staying active. These habits can improve your mood and keep you feeling mentally sharp. Find ways to take care of yourself while battling drug or alcohol cravings that could lead you astray. If that means scheduling a whole day resting in bed, treating yourself to some cravings, or getting some extra shut-eye on weekends, go for it.
A drug-free lifestyle requires more than just avoiding drugs. An overall focus on healthy living, including proper nutrition, plenty of physical activity, and relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation, can help create an environment where you are naturally drawn toward healthier options.