The New Year & Addiction
If you are like most people, you have probably made New Year’s resolutions. Maybe this is the year that you want to get in shape or finally learn how to paint. Maybe you are sticking to your resolutions still, maybe not. But what if you are in active addiction? What should your resolutions be? We understand that sometimes it is easier to set a date such as December 31st to start something new or to make a change, and no matter what time of year it is, it’s never too late to make a resolution, but it may be too late for some to get sober. So no matter what the day or month, here are a few ideas to help you get started.
Seek Help from a Professional
The first step to ensuring a happy new year is getting the knowledge and skills to break free from an addiction, push through the transition, and experience true hope and freedom. This comes with the help of a professional.
For those who are at the beginning of their journey, we offer several programs that can help. Residential treatment might be the type of setting you are looking for, but if not, we also have outpatient treatment options that are available both virtually or in person.
For people who have already completed some form of treatment, help from a professional could mean one-on-one sessions to work through something that has been troubling you or maybe it means speaking to someone at your church. If something has been surfacing lately that you know you need to address, we suggest facing it head-on and with the support and help of others.
Join a Support Group
There are many types of addiction support groups that can help you get the care and treatment your body needs. There is something for everyone, whether it be mental health or other conditions like depression in addition to substance abuse. Support groups are a great way to meet new people who want the same things as you do. You’ll be able to find emotional guidance and support when cravings hit, meet people who can hold you accountable and rest assured that you are not alone.
Some of the most popular support groups:
Avoid People and Places that Trigger your Addiction
Brain scans have shown that triggers are tied to our neurochemistry, activating the key parts of our brains that lead to the desire to use. Triggers are also unique to each of us and depend strongly on our substance of choice and our history.
Additionally, many people who care for you won’t understand what it’s like to be in recovery and may make comments that trigger negative emotions. Sometimes, it may be the people themselves that are the trigger. This could be a former drug dealer, a bartender or drinking buddy, relatives, etc.
The first step in relapse prevention is understanding what our triggers look like and how we can avoid them. There are many warning signs that can show when someone is at risk for using drugs or alcohol again. These usually include:
- Having trouble coping with stress or emotions
- Rationalizing or thinking of the pros and cons of using again
- Skipping meetings or therapy sessions
- Glorifying or minimizing past usage
Set Realistic Goals for Yourself in Sobriety
Giving up an addiction is one of the most difficult things a person can do, but it’s not impossible. In fact, with the right mindset and goals, it can be a lot easier than you might think. So don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic goals; instead, set realistic goals that you know you can achieve. Doing this will help keep you motivated and moving forward in your sobriety. And who knows? Once you’ve achieved your goals, you may even want to set some new ones!
Be Patient – Recovery Takes Time
We all want instant gratification in our lives. We want things to happen now, and we don’t want to have to wait for anything. But when it comes to addiction recovery, patience is key. Recovery takes time, and there is no quick fix. If you’re struggling with addiction, be patient and stay the course.
Stay Busy with Positive Activities
Addicts often struggle with boredom and feel the need to fill their time with drugs or alcohol. When you’re trying to stay clean and sober, it’s important to find positive activities to keep yourself busy. This way, you’ll be less likely to turn to drugs or alcohol when you’re feeling bored or stressed. There are plenty of things you can do to keep yourself occupied, so don’t let addiction win! Hobbies, exercise, time with friends and family – these things can help you regain your focus and put some distance between you and your addiction. So don’t wait – get started today!
If you are looking for help or resources to ensure your new year is a good one, please reach out to us. Our team of experts has the experience and knowledge necessary to provide guidance on addiction and recovery. We offer one on one counseling for addicts as well as the people who love them. For those still struggling to get out of addiction, we offer residential or outpatient programs, even medically assisted treatment for those who are addicted to opiates. Make an appointment today. We want to hear about the goals that you have and how we can partner with you in achieving them.