Author: John Carter

How to Overcome Drug Addiction: Treatment and Intervention

how to quit drugs

Skipping doses to take other substances can have negative outcomes as well. For example, Cannabis can spur episodes of psychosis in some mood disorders. Our goal is to focus on preventing the possibility of unhealthy outcomes and behaviors that can push substance use into misuse or addiction. After a program like this, you might transfer to a residential facility with less supervision or a fully outpatient program after you’ve gone through detox and your health is stable. For 80 years, Consumer Reports has been testing products and working to create a fairer, safer, and healthier marketplace.

When this happens, it can be useful to stay with the urge until it passes. Imagine yourself as a surfer who will ride the wave of your drug craving, staying on top of it until it crests, breaks, and turns into less powerful, foamy surf. When you ride out the craving, without trying to battle, judge, or ignore it, you’ll see that it passes more quickly than you’d think.

how to quit drugs

Counseling gets at the core of why someone began using alcohol or drugs, and what they can do to make lasting changes. This may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), in which the patient learns to recognize problematic thinking, behaviors, and patterns and establish healthier ways of coping. CBT can help someone develop stronger self-control and more effective coping strategies. Drug addiction is dangerous because it becomes all-consuming and disrupts the normal functioning of your brain and body. When a person is addicted, they prioritize using the drug or drugs over their wellbeing. This can have severe consequences, including increased tolerance to the substance, withdrawal effects (different for each drug), and social problems.

Get help, advice and support

Addiction and substance use disorders are often misunderstood. Some people believe continuing to use drugs even when they cause harm is a sign of weakness or poor character—but that’s far from the truth. Some inpatient detox programs rely on peer support along with some medical care. Others may include complete medical monitoring with doctors and nurses available at all hours.

  1. When someone tries to stop using drugs, the strong associations between drugs and related cues and new or ongoing experiences of stress may lead them to experience cravings and use drugs again.
  2. Lofexidine was the first medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat opioid withdrawals.
  3. When this happens, it can be useful to stay with the urge until it passes.
  4. It’s important to have sober friends who will support your recovery.

They’re separated into the following categories, all having the capacity to be misused or foster an addiction. Drug use is not inherently an issue, but misuse and addiction are conditions that are cause for concern.

The three basic steps of urge surfing:

Long-term follow-up can help to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. This may include attending regular in-person support groups or online meetings to help keep your recovery on track. It’s also normal to feel conflicted about giving up your drug of choice, even when you know it’s causing problems in your life.

Repeated drug use can also weaken circuits in the brain that help people exercise self-control and tolerate stress. Intensive inpatient medical rehabs offer the highest level of care and monitoring. These programs can keep you safe and medically stable while you taper off dangerous drugs. Some people prefer to detox in the comfort of their own home.

The main benefit of an outpatient detox program is that you get to stay in your own home but still have professional support. Outpatient programs also tend to be less expensive than inpatient ones. But it may be possible to detox in a hospital without going through the ER.

how to quit drugs

Ongoing support and follow-up care are important in the recovery process to prevent relapse. The severity of addiction and drug or drugs being used will play a role in which treatment plan is likely to work the best. Treatment that addresses the specific situation and any co-occurring medical, psychiatric, and social problems is optimal for leading to long-term recovery and preventing relapse. Sometimes folks use when they don’t know how else to cope, or the chosen coping method might “feel better” in the short term than holistic treatments. The risk for harm is elevated if you use a controlled substance (think opioids or benzodiazepines) for pleasure, or to self-medicate a mental health symptom, with another substance like alcohol. If you are addicted to alcohol, pills, or illegal drugs, the first step toward recovery is detox.

action: ‘healthbeat’

Triggers can be any person, place, or thing that sparks the craving for using. Common triggers include places you’ve done drugs, friends you’ve used with, and anything else that brings up memories of your drug use. Roughly half of all adults being treated for substance use disorders in the United States participated in self-help groups in 2017.

You should certainly go to the emergency room (ER) anytime you’re having serious withdrawal symptoms like difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, or seizures. But, heading to the ER to detox isn’t necessarily the best plan. If you simply show up and you’re not having a medical emergency, they might just refer you to a local substance abuse treatment center. Medication can be an effective part of a larger treatment plan for people who have nicotine use disorder, alcohol use disorder, or opioid use disorder.

In recent years, as the opioid epidemic has exploded, more hospitals have expanded their addiction services. Some prescribe buprenorphine, a narcotic that eases the symptoms of opioid withdrawal without making users feel “high.” Talk to your doctor about whether hospital detox would be right for you. “People in recovery are modern-day prophets,” Lembke says. When we’re repeatedly exposed to our pleasure-producing stimuli, our brains adjust and, eventually, we need more and more just to feel “normal,” or not in pain.

You can also benefit from the shared experiences of the group members and learn what others have done to stay sober. If your previous social life revolved around drugs, you may need to make some new connections. It’s important to have sober friends who will support your recovery. Try taking a class, joining a church or a civic group, volunteering, or attending events in your community.

Addressing your drug use can help you to be happier, safer and healthier. While a person is free to say anything they want during an intervention, it’s best to be prepared with a plan to keep things positive and on track. Blaming, accusing, causing guilt, threatening, or arguing isn’t helpful. An intervention is an organized effort to intervene in a person’s addiction by discussing how their drinking, drug use, or addiction-related behavior has affected everyone around them. For example, a person withdrawing from alcohol can experience tremors (involuntary rhythmic shaking), dehydration, and increased heart rate and blood pressure. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, these groups that were often out of reach to many are now available online around the clock through video meetings.