This article aims to help students or any individual stop a struggling addiction.
An addiction is a chronic dysfunction of the brain system that involves reward, motivation, and memory. It’s about the way your body craves a substance or behavior, especially if it causes a compulsive or obsessive pursuit of “reward” and lack of concern over consequences.
Daily, people struggle with one addiction or the other. As it is known, drugs and alcohol addiction is the most common type of addiction but then, there are a lot of other addictions not frequently talked about.
Besides nicotine, drugs, and alcohol, other common addictions include:
- coffee or caffeine
- anger, as a coping strategy
Technology, sex, and work addictions are not recognized as addictions by the American Psychiatric Association in their most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders but then, they are actually addiction.
Gambling happens to be a strong addiction these days, especially among youths. It has become so sweet that some people do not mind spending every penny to gamble. The popular football betting is closely related to this. Many youths have become so addicted to this and do not mind selling a property or borrowing to bet.
Sex can also be an addiction. There are individuals who can be likened to sex freaks. If it’s possible they can spend every second of the day on sex. In many cases when there is no available person to get down with, they choose to do so by themselves and that’s how many were exposed to Masturbation.
Some people are also Technology addicts. Many of us are addicted to this without even knowing it. A common example is phone handling. There are people who can not do without their phone. There are also people who can borrow to buy the latest gadgets.
Some habits or social behaviors look like addiction. But in the case of an addiction, a person will typically react negatively when they don’t get their “reward.” For example, someone addicted to coffee can experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms such as severe headaches and irritability.
Someone experiencing an addiction will:
- be unable stay away from the substance or stop the addictive behavior
- display a lack of self-control
- have an increased desire for the substance or behavior
- dismiss how their behavior may be causing problems
Over time, addictions can seriously interfere with your daily life. People experiencing addiction are also prone to cycles of relap.
Signs Of Addiction
Most signs of addiction relate to a person’s impaired ability to maintain self-control. This includes changes that are:
- Social, such as seeking out situations that encourage a substance or behavior
- Behavioural, such as increased secrecy
- Health related, such as insomnia or memory loss
Someone with an addition won’t stop their behavior, even if they recognize the problems the addiction is causing. In some cases, they’ll also display a lack of control. That’s why it’s important for anyone who is experiencing addiction to seek help.
Causes Of Addiction
Environment and culture also play a role in how a person responds to a substance or behavior. A lack or disruption in a person’s social support system can lead to substance or behavioral addiction. Traumatic experiences that affect coping abilities can also lead to addictive behaviors.
Stages Of Addiction
Addiction often plays out in stages. Your brain and body’s reactions at early stages of addiction are different from reactions during the later stages. Thus, the stages include;
- uses or engages out of curiosity
- social or regular: uses or engages in social situations or for social reasons
- problem or risk: uses or engages in an extreme way with disregard for consequences
2. Dependency: uses or engages in a behavior on a daily basis, or several times per day, despite possible negative consequences
Steps on How to Stop A Struggling Addiction
All types of addiction are treatable and can be stopped. The best plans are comprehensive, as addiction often affects many areas of life. Treatments will focus on helping you or the person you know stop seeking and engaging in their addiction. However, the approach followed to stop an addiction may be dependent on the severity and type of addiction.
For instance, the approach applied to stop drug addiction differs from that used to stop gambling or technology addiction. How then can one stop a struggling addiction?
1. GET MEDICAL HELP
This is mostly for severe cases of addictions. Here you will need to speak to a professional such as psychologists, counselors or even psychiatrists in order to be given medications in some cases, for mental disorders such as depression or schizophrenia.
You can also visit your primary care doctor for an evaluation. The type of treatment a doctor recommends depends on the severity and stage of the addiction. With early stages of addiction, a doctor may recommend medication and therapy. Later stages may benefit from inpatient addiction treatment in a controlled setting. One of such settings is a halfway home.
A halfway house is a home or institution for people including mental patients, former prisoners or drug addicts. They stay there for a limited period of time to get used to life outside prison or hospital. The halfway house gives such people the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to reintegrate into society for better self support.
The need for Halfway homes cannot not be overemphasized. They are there to provide the necessary support and services for those in need of it upon their release from prison or rehabs. These halfway houses are available for such individuals to live in for a stipulated period of time with a close observation.
After treatment, Individuals who do not have a place to stay have the option of staying at a halfway house. They are the best options because the environment encourages a faster recovery process which is backed up with skills empowerment for the life outside the house. The amazing thing about most halfway houses is that they will help you get a job in order to be independent in all areas of life.
In other words, halfway houses provide a safe living condition to help drug addicts go through the recovery stage through proper guidance all with the aim of bouncing back into society as changed and better individuals who are free from substance usage. They prepare admitted patients for success by exposing and empowering them with skills as well as giving them the opportunity to practice what has been learnt throughout the period of stay in the house.
What To Expect In Halfway Houses In Maryland
Halfway houses in Maryland try their best to be your partner during the various stages. They do not only concentrate on the treatment programs but also device means of helping inpatients to become useful to themselves and the society at large. So, before you enter the house, bear in mind that it is designed for individuals that have been treated at rehabs but are not fully prepared and stable to live their normal lives.
Also, bear in mind that halfway houses are slightly structured in different ways. Depending on the one you’re admitted in, some require residents to follow the house rules. Most homes will ask residents to:
- Pay rent
- Stay sober on and off the premises
- Keep the home free from drugs and alcohol
- Complete chores around the house
- Attend weekly house meetings
Halfway homes contain other like minded individuals who are also on their recovery path to a better life as well as dedicated and friendly staff who are highly supportive and interactive with residents.
Though being in the houses are not compulsory to all individuals recovering from substance addiction, they strive to have laid down regulations in order to help those admitted into the house to learn to take responsibility for every action they take . These houses do not only help you to recover from addiction, they help you to become a better human.
The aim of halfway homes is to provide patients with useful information and teachings to help them to successfully move from the treatment and recovery stage into the real world. Overcoming addiction is a long journey. Support can go a long way in making the recovery process more successful. Many organizations can help, depending on the type of addiction.
2. MAKING THE DECISION TO CHANGE
There is a saying that you can force a horse to the stream but the horse can not be forced to drink water. As an addict, every effort to help you get over an addiction will yield nothing till you decide to change.
Sooner or later, most people who have an addiction decide to change. Once the decision is made, most people have a specific goal in mind. It might be to quit entirely, to quit some addictive behaviors or substances (but not all), to reduce the amount of time or money spent on addictive behaviors, or to reduce the harm of an addictive behavior.
For instance many drug users decide to quit cocaine but continue to drink alcohol, or smoke cigarettes or marijuana. Many heavy drinkers have the goal of one drink a week and the likes. Sex addict may decide to discard any thing that triggers sex thoughts such as avoiding pornographic materials, etc. Getting clear on your goal before putting it into practice is helpful for success in tackling an addictive behavior.
Although quitting entirely is the best path to wellness, reducing or eliminating the most harmful substance use is a huge improvement and will greatly reduce the harm caused. The same is true of behavioral addictions: Anyone who decides to quit eating entirely is putting themselves at serious risk for an eating disorder. But stopping overeating and embracing a healthy diet is a healthy decision to change.
Ambitious goals are not always best, it is better to set a goal that you will actually achieve than to plan for substance intake and end up relapsing.
Consulting a doctor, addiction counselor, or psychologist is particularly helpful at this stage, as these professionals can help you understand the risks and what can help alleviate them.
3. GETTING TRUSTED FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS INVOLVED
Take time to contact friends and family who will support you in your goals without being judgmental when times become hard and you slip up. You might also want to let those friends you drink, use drugs, or engage in addictive behaviors with know that you are planning to change.
They may not understand or you may be just surprised. Either way, it’s a good idea to let them know of your goal and what they can do to support it.. There are options for medications to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. There is no “right” way to feel while you are quitting. But if you are feeling depressed or find yourself constantly wanting to return to the addictive behavior, you should seek support from loved ones.
4. STAY IN TOUCH WITH PERSONAL JOY AND GET DISTRACTED WITH SOMETHING MEANINGFUL
As one who is struggling with an addiction and looking for possible ways to tackle an addiction, you need to take time to do something that’s relaxing and fulfilling yet distracting. An idle hand they say, is the devil’s workshop. Being idle is an easy way to fall back to doing those things you ought to be fighting but when you’re busy and occupied, you will not have the opportunity to be vulnerable to the addictions. Some of these activities could include:
- Playing an instrument
- Taking nature photographs
- Playing with children
- Crafting, etc.
These are activities that can make the participant feel happy and distracted. They’re hobbies that are done to preserve a sense of efficacy and worth, and they could help to boost mental health, too.
5. AVOID SOLITUDE
It is common for people addicts to disconnect themselves from others. Withdrawing and isolating from others does more harm than good, it only exposes one to being lonely and at that point, dangerous and negative thoughts may creep in. As much as possible, never give yourself a chance to be alone for too long. Always be in the company of people. Hangout with friends, go for sightseeing and have fun. These are ways of getting distracted from harmful thoughts.
This is why it’s important to talk to a close and trusted person about your condition. They have a great role to play in helping you overcome depression.
6. COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) helps many people, and research has shown it to be very effective in helping people overcome all kinds of addictions. However, CBT is not for everyone. CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy can be very helpful in stopping struggling addictions Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common type of talk therapy. It can be effective if addiction is mild and in some severe cases if the therapist is highly skillful.
This is how CBT works;
For instance, you may feel worthless and view yourself as a failure. First, the therapist makes you aware of these negative thoughts and replaces those one with healthier and positive thoughts. The work of the therapist is to work on your mindset and teach you to always see yourself as a useful personality, of course, that’s very correct. Nobody is worthless in life. Successfully changing how you view yourself can help ease addiction.
Helping a friend or loved one struggling with addiction is often a long and heartbreaking journey. At times, it can be so overwhelming that ignoring the situation may seem like an easier solution. However, sweeping the issue under the carpet can be damaging to you, your family and the addict.
Addiction is complex, and it’s okay if you don’t know everything right away. However, taking the time to understand your loved one’s issue and how it affects them can be beneficial to both you and your loved one. It also helps you be more aware of the signs that your loved one needs help. Dealing with an addict is never easy. Just as an addicted person changes in the course of an addiction, so does the family.
Having identified the possible ways to stop struggling addiction, there is still hope of being free from that addiction. Get help from a medical expert. This is the best and professional way to handle addiction. Get trusted friends and family members involved. They have a vital role to play in this.
As an addict, avoid the triggers and solitude. They are the easiest cause of a relapse.
Above all, take a personal detail on to quit your addictions. It’s not impossible. If chronic drug users and sex addicts could quit and recover fully, you too can.