Support is key: Quitting an addiction is hard enough – so try to have as many positive people in your life to support your decision. Tell ALL the people you know that you are dedicated to quitting, and ask for their support – you’ll be surprised how many people are willing to be there for you.
Give yourself an incentive: If your addiction is pleasure-related, try to get the same positive feeling from a healthier source – try pampering yourself, laughing with a friend, looking through an old photo album, or simply watching a beautiful sunset and marveling at the gift of life itself. Try not to reward yourself with material things, as this could set up another addiction.
Utilize professional care and a support network: If you are addicted to alcohol, to smoking, or if you have a drug addiction, it is especially important to have a doctor who is trained in your addiction to monitor your health and progress during your withdrawal. A support group specialized to your addiction is highly recommended – as well as a councilor trained in your specific addiction.
Reduce stress: Although you may not realize it – your addiction has ‘trained’ you to rely on stress -relieving chemicals to be released in your brain. You will need to try and replace this feeling with a healthy stress–relieving activity. Get a weekly massage, take a hot shower, or even scream into a pillow to vent frustration – but choose something that cannot do harm.
Exercise!: Depending on the addiction you are trying to overcome, check with your doctor as to what types of exercise he thinks is adequate and appropriate for you. Exercise will perform two functions: help to get you healthy and provide a great way to reduce stress.
Stay away from ‘triggers’: Relapse is a constant concern for any recovering addict – relapse can often be triggered by memories or surroundings that remind the user of the addiction or the feelings it aroused. Be sure to break the habits as well as the addiction – if you are more likely to drink in a bar – stop going to bars and drinking lounges, if you used to smoke while chatting on the phone – try chewing gum instead. Sometimes triggers can even be people – so cut ties with those who you associate with the addiction – if they are real friends they will understand, and be there for you when you recover.
Quit for YOU: Don’t quit your addiction for your boyfriend/girlfriend, family or friends. QUIT FOR YOU. It takes enormous courage strength and willpower to kick an addiction. If you do it for others the chance of relapse is high. Once you are through the worst, you will find it will always be a daily choice to remain ‘clean’ or sober. But you will be in control to make a choice, instead of the drug or addiction controlling you – which is no way to live. It takes guts, but you can do it.
Drug Addiction Helpline – Call 1-877-748-3971
National Drug Rehab Referral Alliance – Call Toll Free: 877-235-0400
24 hour Addiction helpline – 1-800-559-9503
Overeaters Anonymous – 505-891-2664 (USA)
Alcoholics Anonymous http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/en_find_meeting.cfm?PageID=29