World Drug Day: Dealing with drug addiction

It may be difficult to deal with and recover from drug addiction, but it is not impossible.

June 26 is World Drug Day

Drugs are one of the greatest vices of our society. Drug addicts literally lose the ability to make rational decisions and getting the next 'hit' takes precedence over everything else career, family, loved ones, friends and even laws. They tend to spend every waking hour craving for a 'fix'. To try and get money somehow, anyhow, by any means, to supply to that habit. To not bother about anything but that 'feeling' that nothing else matters. Even a drug addict knows they are spiralling towards destruction but are unable to control it.

Most people have experimented with 'controlled substances' at some point in their lifetime. People experiment with drugs either out of curiosity, or to be part of a social circle, or to have a good time. Some use it to enhance and improve their athletic performances, while some succumb to peer-pressure and just want to be 'cool'. Sometimes people given are given drugs to alleviate medical problems like pain or depression - and they get addicted to those medicines as well.

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It is when the user gets to the other end of the spectrum, where drugs become more of a necessity to function rather than an aid to functioning is when abuse begins. When the usage of drugs starts causing problems in your social, personal and professional life, you have a drug addiction problem. Read:Drug addiction in Punjab.

It may be difficult to deal with and recover from drug addiction, but it is not impossible.

These are the ways you can deal with a drug addiction problem:

  • Acceptance - Be ready to put a cap on your problem. Decide that you want to make a change and STOP using drugs. The desire to get better helps fight the addiction better.
  • Take support - Start being honest with yourself and your loved ones. Support is very essential for recovery. When you have the support of your loved ones, treatment and recovery become emotionally easier. You know you can lean on them for encouragement, security, comfort and guidance.
  • Rehabilitation - Rehabilitation is an important part of the treatment. The treatment for dealing with drug addiction is not just about kicking the habit. It involves addressing various aspects of your life including personal and professional life. It also involves getting ready to face the world again. It primarily involves getting rid of your dependence on a substance which caused you to think, act and feel differently which was harmful to yourself and the society.
  • Address the issue - Dealing with the addiction also means that you have to address the issue that led you to your drug habit. It may have been for any number of reasons mentioned above. And those triggers may still appear in your life. You need to find a healthy way to deal with these issues. The feelings that you were trying to hide from by using drugs will start resurfacing. You have to learn to deal with them in a healthier manner. Consider Psychotherapy and Counselling.
  • Support groups - Join a support group and attend the meetings regularly. When you interact with people who have a similar problem, their stories and experiences will encourage you as they know exactly what you are going through.
  • Stay away from addicts - Change your social circle if they are the ones who got you into this habit in the first place. Your chances of successfully dealing with the addiction are higher if you are away from all temptations and people who can lead you to such temptation. Let that include old drinking buddies or bars and pubs.
  • Distract yourself - Keep yourself busy and occupied. Pick a new hobby. Get a pet. Get more involved with the community. Set new goals. Relapse can be effectively prevented when you feel you have meaning to your life and that you are needed. You don't need drugs when you feel good about yourself and who you are.
  • No quick-fix - You have to understand and accept that there is no quick-fix solution. Recovery is a process and it'll take time, effort and patience. You have to be committed to the goal and have to follow through the process of recovery.

You may have been pushed into rehabilitation by your family. This was because you didn't have the mental capacity to take a decision to get better. Once the effects of the drugs start wearing off your system, you'd be able to think clearly. You'd be able to see how your substance dependence was affecting all the different facets of your life, your future and how negatively it affected the ones close to you. You won't just ruin, probably end, your life. You will realise that you were also destroying the lives of people close to you. This is the wakeup call you required. Be the master of your own destiny; not a slave to substances.

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