Seeking out help for drug addiction can make you feel like your world has been turned upside down. For example:
- Eliminating drugs from your system can trigger symptoms of withdrawal.
- Engaging in therapy can expose and uproot thoughts and behavior patterns you’ve held onto for years.
- Sharing your emotions can make you feel vulnerable.
At times, the magnitude of this change might feel overwhelming. Luckily, there are a number of steps you can take to make the process of receiving help for drug addiction challenges even easier.
5 Practical Steps To Take While in Addiction Recovery
Changing your entire life can be an emotional, exhausting, and at times, frustrating experience. But recovering from drug addiction is worth the effort. Fortunately, you can take the following steps to start building a healthier future while detoxing your body and seeking professional help for drug addiction.
1. Rebuild Your Physical Health
Drugs can cause significant damage to the physical body. Common short-term effects of drug addiction can include:
- increased heart rate
- slurred speech
- memory problems
- impulsive behavior
- weight fluctuations
Long-term drug use can change the structure of your brain, making you more vulnerable to depression, anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, and panic disorders. Using drugs can also make you more susceptible to disease, chronic illnesses, and respiratory and heart problems. Luckily, you can begin to rebuild your physical health while you overcome drug addiction.
Developing a balanced diet and an exercise regimen can help reverse some of the harm your body has incurred while you have used drugs. Proper nutrition can rebuild your immune system, reduce high blood pressure, lower high cholesterol, and increase your energy levels. Eating well can also reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and some cancers. Exercising regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, strengthen bones, improve brain functionality, relieve stress, improve mood, and help reduce your risk of chronic illness. Yoga, hiking, swimming, running, and brisk walking are some of the best exercises to pursue while you recover from substance use.
2. Find Alternative Ways to Cope with Stress
When addiction takes hold, the brain identifies the addictive substance as a primary source of pleasure. As a result, when you experience stress or anxiety, your brain looks for the drug as a source of pleasure to help alleviate discomfort. This can often trigger drug cravings. Luckily, most drug addiction treatment programs can help you find healthy ways to deal with stress.
Participating in cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT can teach you how to manage stress without turning to addictive substances like drugs. A CBT-trained therapist can help you learn that negative thoughts can create a significant amount of stress. As you begin to change the way you think about challenging situations, you will be better able to regulate your emotions and have a better grasp on how to control and manage stress. You should also start developing other habits that will help you manage stress while you receive help for drug addiction. Some simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety include:
- Sipping green tea
- Creating arts and crafts
- Writing or creating a gratitude journal
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Listening to soothing music
- Deep breathing
- Talking a walk
- Aromatherapy and diffusing essential oils
3. Start Reconciling & Healing Relationships
Grappling with a drug addiction can also negatively impact relationships. While you recover from drug use and work to rehabilitate your life, you might also want to take steps toward reconciling your relationship with family members and close friends. Recovery from drug addiction is a life-long process that requires a strong support system. Engaging in family therapy is a great way to begin to rebuild trust and restore relationships. In addition to helping you facilitate communication with your loved ones, family therapy can also help:
- Reduce conflict
- Encourage forgiveness and empathy
- Family members better understand each other
- Improve family dynamics
- Address dysfunctional interactions
- Initiate problem solving
As you work to rehabilitate your physical and emotional health, you should also take steps toward bettering the health of your relationships as well.
4. Find a Mentor/Sponsor
Here at Genesis Recovery, we believe life is best lived in community. This is especially true when you recover from drug and alcohol addiction. Having a sober community to support your recovery journey can help you maintain long-term sobriety. As you work through the various aspects of recovery and receive help for your addiction, look for a recovery mentor or sponsor you trust. Make sure the person you’re considering will hold you accountable in a way that’s supportive, understanding, and empowering. You should also ensure that your potential sponsor has:
- Patience and commitment
- Obtained long-term sobriety
- Time to dedicate to your recovery journey
- The ability to listen more than they talk
- A positive “can-do” attitude
5. Establish a Structured Routine
As you seek and receive help for substance use, try to establish a structured routine. Having a routine can help prevent you from returning to drugs out of boredom. Maintaining a routine during the recovery process can also help you feel a sense of purpose in everyday activities, improve your self-esteem and efficiency, and help your brain function better. You don’t need to start out with a strict routine, but you should have a schedule that includes:
- A consistent wake-up time
- Daily exercise
- School or work commitments
- Time for planning and cooking healthy meals
- Sobriety support groups
- Personal hygiene
Helping You Begin Again
Here at Genesis Recovery, we know that receiving help and treatment for drug addiction can evoke a whirlwind of change. But once you’ve enrolled in a recovery program, there are a few key areas you can focus on to increase your chances of long-term recovery. You can take steps to rebuild your physical health, find healthier ways to deal with stress, start mending relationships, seek out a sponsor, and establish a constructive day-to-day routine. Our comprehensive program includes all of these steps.
Changing your life can be hard, but you can begin again. We can help you get there. Call us today at 619-797-7319 if you’re ready to receive help for drug or alcohol addiction.