With so many people struggling to overcome an addiction to drugs these days, it makes sense that not everyone is going to choose to attend rehab. Either that, or all too often, those who struggle with addictions manage to land a bed in a detox facility, but find themselves waiting to get into rehab. The trouble often comes after detox in these cases, so it makes sense that starting on a recovery journey should start even if the addiction treatment hasn’t yet.
This is where it’s really common to start asking what can be done to make the recovery journey more approachable. With so many people asking how to overcome drug addiction, it’s time to start thinking beyond rehab for a whole life approach to addiction recovery.
Whether it’s post rehab continued recovery, long-term lifestyle changes, or a different approach to overcoming drug addiction, these are some of the most commonly recommended – and used – approaches to long term addiction recovery.
Individual Therapy Sessions
Therapy is one of those things that is almost unavoidable if you want to enjoy a successful recovery journey. However, you don’t have to be going to rehab to enjoy the benefits of individual therapy for your recovery journey. There are many different options here, and they might even include online therapy sessions.
Why you need it:
Too often, we don’t really know what it is that drives us to use drugs. Eventually, we understand that there are things we simply cannot deal with. Stress, anxiety, worry, fear of failure, guilt, and shame, and hopelessness are all driving forces behind drug abuse. As people, we all need to cope, and sometimes, things that happen in life are too heavy. Not all of us are able to find healthy ways to cope with the situations that life throws at us.
When you’re overcoming an addiction, you’re also struggling to stay clean in a world that likes to throw all kinds of problems at us. Whether you’re trying to manage your recovery with the demands of work and life, or you’re struggling to make sense of the way people act towards you, a good therapist can help you to see a way to deal with all of these problems and understand what you’re feeling, too.
Okay, so maybe when you’re working to kick your addiction, it won’t sound too fun to make sure to get plenty of physical activity, especially when you’re going through detox, but at some point, you might actually find that exercise, and a solid effort to get plenty of physical activity, actually feels really good.
Why you need it:
The basic reason is that physical activity encourages the body to produce more “feel good” hormones. These are essential because they can help to ease pain, lighten our stress loads, and even help us to get the ever elusive good night’s sleep.
Not only that, but focusing on your physical health can help you to gauge how far you’ve come from when you were actively using or drinking. Each day, you will probably notice that you’re stronger, and have more endurance. Not to mention the way that it helps you to keep off extra weight that many in addiction recovery begin to notice.
You don’t have to make it complicated, either. Go for a walk when you have spare time, or work with some apps or videos when you’re at home. Yoga can be great, too, as it helps to keep you flexible, calms feelings of distress that often come with overcoming an addiction and helps you to ease stress and anxiety.
Now, if you’re not a spiritual or religious person, you’re likely to balk at this one, but for many who are successfully overcoming an addiction, their religion has been a life-saver. Explore churches to see what you can wrap your head around if you’re interested, and keep an open mind. If you’re already part of a church, go back and see if you can connect again.
Why it works:
For many, spirituality helps to create feelings of being connected to something bigger than our little lives. It helps them to understand their place in the world, and be comfortable with their relationship to all other things. When you embrace religion, you’re not only working with the groundwork of spirituality, but you’re building a network of like-minded people who care about you. The sense of community and connection can often be enough to help those who feel alone to beat those feelings and begin to feel like they really matter in the world.
Group Support Meetings
Group support can seem so daunting when you’re overcoming an addiction, but when you immerse yourself and become a part of that group, it can be truly amazing. Millions of people have successfully overcome their addictions with the help of peer group support meetings, and millions more give it a try each year.
Some connect and succeed, and others don’t at first. If you decide to try this route and don’t feel like you connect at first, its okay, keep trying. Explore other meetings and other groups until you find one you fit in with. And don’t be afraid to take someone you’re close to with you at first, this will take the anxiety out of being in a new situation.
Why it works:
As humans, we are social creatures. We do best when we’re in groups. That’s why tribes and families have been so important throughout history. One of the biggest problems that those who struggle with addictions face is isolation. A peer group can give you the feeling of belonging and community that you’ll really need during tough times.
For many people, having people to celebrate your successes with you, and pick you up when you’re feeling down, as well as mattering enough to others to be able to do the same for them can be very powerful.
Even if you’re not going to go to rehab to overcome your addiction, it’s essential to come up with a plan to help you get started and keep going when you’re making progress. It’s not easy, and it’s not always fun, but with the right frame of mind, solid support, and some determination, you can make tremendous strides in your recovery – even if you don’t go to rehab right away.