Have you found yourself taking drugs more than at just social functions? Has your daily life been impacted by your drug use? Then this blog is for you.
Taking drugs is a problem. Many people have turned to it over years for one reason or another. However, taking drugs has serious consequences for you, your health, and your quality of life.
There will always be stress factors in the workplace or home. There will always be deadlines to meet and telephone calls to make. There will always be someone that will nag you for one thing or another. However, you must learn how to cope with these situations without the aid of your friend, the drugs, now. Fortunately, stopping your drug use for good is an achievable goal. There have been many people over the years that have been in the exact same position as you are in right now. Perhaps you have already attempted to quit taking drugs but were never successful. Perhaps you were successful in first attempts to quit taking drugs but were unable to keep up the good work. That’s okay. You are not doomed for a lifetime of taking drugs. You still have a shot at stopping taking drugs for good. All it takes is a desire to stop taking drugs, learning about drugs, understanding that you are the only one responsible for your drug use regardless of external influences, and an open mind to the ways to cease your drug use. This is the basis for QUIT, the four steps to stop taking drugs.
QUIT is a four step method to quit smoking. Like the acronym ROY G BIV you learned in elementary school to remember the colors of the rainbow, QUIT is an acronym to help you remember the four steps.
Q stands for “Question Yourself about Your Drug Use.” It is important to question yourself about your drug use because this will give you an understanding about why you want to stop and why you take drugs in the first place.
U stands for “Understand What the Problem is.” Equally important as questioning yourself about your drug use is making an effort to understand what the fundamental problem is. Many people will say they have a problem but have no idea what the problem is. There are many reasons why people take drugs and it is important to understand what drives you to take drugs even if you have quit taking drugs before.
I stands for “I Am the Sole Decision Maker in My Choice to Stop Taking Drugs.” It is important that you stop because you want to stop not because someone else wants you to stop. You are the one who makes the decisions about you every moment of every day. You can’t blame others for your decisions.
T stands for “Take Control and Think Positive.” We cover different tips to help you stop taking drugs for good as well as other information that will aid you in your journey to stop taking drugs.
And there you have it – QUIT, the four steps to stop your drug use.
Question Yourself About Your Drug Use
It is important that you start this process by questioning yourself about your relationship with drugs. The only way you can stop and continue to not take drugs is by learning and addressing the real reasons behind your drug use.
Why Am I Taking Drugs?
You are taking drugs because somewhere along the way you decided to try a drug, whether it be marijuana, heroin, crystal meth or cocaine. It does not matter when you took your first drug. It does not matter why you took that first drug. All that matters is that you took it. Like nicotine addiction, the drug created a craving in your brain that now must be filled. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder and your brain is no different. Once the drug started to leave, your brain felt lost without it and only wanted you to take more of its beloved drug. (Never mind the fact that your brain wasn’t even aware of the drug’s existence until you smoked that first cigarette.) Your body starts going through physical withdrawal – in fact, your body goes through physical withdrawal every second that a drug is not in your system.
The time comes when you decide to take drugs for a second. Something doesn’t feel right this time. So you go for another hit. The buzz comes but it doesn’t feel as strong as you remember. Guess what? The buzz wasn’t as good or strong as the first one. See, your body quickly develops a tolerance for drugs. The technical word for this is “rapid acute tolerance”.
The buzz is what the drugs are all about. The buzz is what has gotten you into trouble. The buzz is what has you reading this blog.
Is Your Drug Use A Problem?
Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer “yes” to any or all of them, you have a problem.
- Are you neglecting your responsibilities at school, work or home?
- Are you using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks you normally would not take while high?
- Are you getting into legal trouble because of your drug use?
- Is your drug use causing problems in your relationships?
- Have you built up a drug tolerance?
- Are you taking drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms?
- Have you lost control over your drug use?
- Have you abandoned activities you used to enjoy?
- Have you continued to use drugs despite knowing that it is hurting you?
Understand What the Problem is
There are many different reasons why people experiment with drugs. What makes it even more difficult to recognize drug addiction is the fact that some people become addicted to drugs the first time they try it while others don’t. Drug use does not automatically lead to drug abuse. Drug addiction is less about the amount you abuse and more about the impact it is having on your life. If your drug use is causing problems in your life, even if you are only a social user, you are likely to have a drug addiction problem.
Drug addiction is like any other addiction. Your genetic disposition, mental health and environment all play a role in drug addiction. There are risk factors that increase your chances to becoming addicted to drugs. These risk factors include: abuse, neglect or other traumatic experiences in childhood; early use of drugs; a family history of addiction; mental disorders such as depression and anxiety; and method of administration. If you smoke or inject a drug, it may increase its addictive potential.
No matter what drug you choose to take, it will alter the way your brain looks and functions with repeated use. These changes in your brain interfere with your ability to think clearly, practice good judgment and control your behavior.
Before you go any further on your journey to quit taking drugs, it is necessary to debunk common myths about drug addiction.
Myth: Drug addiction is a disease that you can do nothing about.
Not true. Drug addiction may be a brain disease but you are not a helpless victim. You can reverse the brain changes associated with drug addiction with exercise, medication, therapy and many other treatments.
Myth: Drug addicts must hit rock bottom before anything gets better.
Not true. You can start recovery before you hit rock bottom. In fact, the earlier you start the recovery process, the better your chances are. Inversely, the longer drug abuse happens, the stronger the drug addiction becomes and the harder it becomes to treat the drug addiction.
Myth: I’ve tried treatment before and relapsed. I shouldn’t try to stop again because it won’t work.
Not true again. There will be setbacks in the recovery process, no doubt. However, relapse does not mean that treatment has failed. It does not mean that you are a lost cause either. In fact, you can use the relapse as a learning experience as for what not to do during the recovery process. It can help you become a better and stronger person.
I Am the Sole Decision Maker in My Choice to Quit Smoking
You are your sole motivation in your choice to quit taking drugs. There are so many benefits for you – healthier lifestyle, longer lifespan, more time to enjoy doing things with the people you love.
It is important that you take responsibility for your actions and decisions. You are the only person who can make decisions for you in your life. As a healthy, normal human being, you have the right to put your health needs first. You have the right to make mistakes. You have the right to your opinions. You have the right to say no. You have the right to change your mind and take a different path. It’s okay for you to feel emotions.
If you are having trouble staying focused on stopping quit taking drugs for good, remind yourself that you are stopping for you. Remember all the benefits. You will have a healthier heart. You will have more energy to do stuff that you like to do. You will be able to think more clearly. You are stopping for you, no one else.
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Take Control and Think Positive
Drug abuse is an issue that must be tackled on all fronts.. Once you know the situations that make you feel the emotions that cause you to take drugs, you can start replacing your drugs with healthier ways to deal with those emotions. You are now taking control of the situation. The following are steps you can take to help you take control of the situation.
Don’t wait for your fear of failure to go away. Do not wait to feel confident. You might be waiting to stop taking drugs for good for quite a while. Stopping something you have become accustomed to will always be somewhat frightening because you do not know what will happen next. Take it a moment at a time. Think baby steps. You are only choosing to not smoke for this moment. Next moment, you will have an entirely new decision to make about whether you will smoke a cigarette or not.
Make a list of reasons for why you like to take drugs. Now make a list of reasons for why you do not like to take drugs. Keep these lists with you. They will help serve as a constant reminder of why you are quitting taking drugs for good and also serve as motivation.
Decide to make a change. This can be the hardest step for you. It is normal to feel doubts about stopping as it is a major life change. Change is never easy and this change will impact how you deal with stress, who you allow in your life, what you do in your free time and how you think about yourself. This can be a lot to take in but it is for your benefit.
Explore your treatment options. There is no magic bullet that works for everyone. You will have to carefully choose the treatment that best fits your needs and budget. Your drug treatment should address more than your drug abuse. Drug addiction impacts your whole life – relationships, career, health and psychological well-being. Your success will depend upon developing a new way of living and addressing the real reasons of why you turned to drugs in the first place. Maybe you turned to drugs because you were unable to manage stress in a healthy way.
When you are looking for a substance abuse treatment program, you should consider three important factors: program accreditation and licensing, the effectiveness of the treatment program’s treatment methods and types of relapse prevention aftercare services.
Choose a substance abuse treatment program. There are many different types of substance abuse treatment programs. Choose the one the best suits your needs and budget. The types of substance abuse treatment programs are residential treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient program, counseling, sober living and brief intervention.
Residential treatment is what one typically thinks of when you hear the phrase “going to rehab”. You go to live at a treatment facility and undergo intensive treatment during the day. It typically lasts 30 to 90 days.
Partial hospitalization is for those who have a stable living situation but require ongoing medical monitoring. Partial hospitalization treatment programs typically meet at the hospital for four to six hours a day, three to five days a week.
Intensive outpatient programs are not a live-in treatment program. They typically meet for two to four hours a day at least three days a week. Intensive outpatient programs mainly focus on relapse prevention.
Counseling can be individual counseling, group counseling or family counseling. You can choose to undergo counseling in conjunction with the other types of treatment or as follow-up. Counseling can help you identify why you take drugs and learn healthier coping mechanisms.
Sober living is typically what you would do after an intensive treatment such as residential treatment. It is a drug-free environment you can live with other recovering addicts as you resume your real-world life.
Brief intervention is a treatment program for those at risk for drug abuse or drug addiction. It typically consists of visits to health care professionals to discuss the harmful effects of drug use and ways to cut back on your drug use.
Find healthy ways to handle stress. There is no doubt that stress played a major role in your road to drug addiction. You will still feel the negative feelings associated with stress sober as you did when you took drugs. Now, however, you must deal with those negative feelings in a positive way. You can go outside for a walk or do some jumping jacks. Exercise is a great way to cope with stress. It is also very good for your health. You can also try yoga and meditation. If you have a pet, play with them. Animals are a great stress-reducer. Play calming music. Do whatever you need to do to relax without taking drugs.
Record your thoughts and emotions. A great way to learn what triggers your drug use is by recording how you feel and what happened the moment you got the urge to use drugs. This will help you track the direct causes of your smoking so you can prepare yourself to deal with these situations in a different way in the future. Once you notice a pattern, you can begin to change it. Feel your emotions as they happen – do not try and resist. Allow yourself to feel the emotion of the situation. At the end of the day, take a moment to write how you felt about the day as a whole.
There are many ways for you to keep track of your thoughts and emotions these days. If you are more technologically savvy, you can use a Word document on your computer or use an online journal. There are also smartphone applications available for you to record when you get the urge to smoke. You can also always use a good old-fashioned pen and notebook. Don’t limit yourself. This will help everything feel less abstract.
Control your cravings. You will still feel the urge to take drugs even after you are sober. It takes time for your brain to recover and rebuild connections that have changed during your drug addiction. You can help control your cravings by not hanging out with friends that are still using drugs and avoiding places and situations where you took drugs. It is also important for you to be honest with your health care providers about your history with drugs when you are seeking medical treatment. They can then prescribe the absolute minimum medication necessary or alternatives so you are not lead back onto the path of drug abuse.
Pick up new activities. Find a new hobby. Do something that you have always wanted to try like painting. You can also get involved with your community. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community while at the same time keeping you away from trouble situations.
Learn from your mistakes. If you happen to relapse this go-round, don’t give up. Learn from your mistakes. Figure out what triggered this relapse and avoid it next time.
Get support. It is essential to recovery from drug addiction. Seek support from family and friends. They can help by not smoking around you, listening to you, and providing encouragement. A support network is crucial to your success at stopping your drug use for good. Make a list of family and friends you can call or go to visit when you are having a particularly difficult time. You can also check out self-help groups for drug addiction, such as Narcotics Anonymous. This is a great way to find others to lean on during those tough spots. Self-help groups are typically filled with other recovering drug addicts who know exactly what you are going through. They can be an excellent shoulder for you to lean on while you make your way back into a sober way of living.
There you have it – your four quick steps to stop your drug use for good. All you have to remember is QUIT: Q stands for Question Yourself about Your Drug Use, U stands for Understand What the Problem Is, I stands for I am the Sole Decision Maker in My Choice to Stop Taking Drugs, and T stands for Take Control and Think Positive.
Remember, that you are choosing to do this for yourself because you want to stop taking drugs for good. Take baby steps – you can only climb a mountain one step at a time. Enjoy your new free time with your friends and family trying out new activities or doing favorite pastimes. You can do this – all you have to do is QUIT.