If you are considering taking action on your addiction, you should know that there are many ways to get sober. There are many ways to heal and many options for facilitating your healing. You should know that you don’t have to follow the typical methods of getting sober. Instead, you can find your own way based upon your own needs.
If you were to read personal accounts of addiction and recovery, you will notice there are a wide variety of stories out there. For instance, some people didn’t have to hit rock bottom before they got sober. They simply made the decision to stop drinking or using drugs. Others didn’t attend one single 12-step program. Instead, they worked closely with therapists and their doctors. Getting sober doesn’t have to be the prescribed method you might have heard about from friends, family, or the media. Instead, the path to long-term sobriety should be your unique journey of discovering your needs and uncovering what’s driving you to use drugs or drink so that you can stop.
To be clear, sobriety your way does not mean getting sober by yourself. One primary obstacle to ending an addiction on your own is that long-term drinking and drug use leads to changes in the brain that can last long after an addiction ends. In other words, an addiction has a strong biological component where triggers and cravings for the drug occur almost without notice. Even if someone has made the decision to end their using, it’s easy for the smallest of triggers to lead to relapse. For instance, stress from work, relationship concerns with friends, family issues, environmental cues, running into old drinking or drugging friends, and even a smell can trigger an intense craving.
Another obstacle to ending an addiction on your own is the compulsivity of addiction. When someone is triggered and a relapse occurs, the addiction only strengthens. At the same time, your ability to stop using a substance weakens. Once the cycle of addiction is activated by a rush in the brain, certain behaviors or substances can become the primary focus of one’s life. In this case, addiction not only has a strong biological component, but also a fierce psychological component. A person will continue to use despite the negative consequences taking place around him. Because of this attempting to end an addiction on your own is often futile.
Yet, the type of support you seek out is up to you. There are many options for professional support. These can include:
- –Working with a doctor
- –Attending support groups
- –Joining a Moderation Management group
- –Attending 12-step meetings
- –Working closely with a therapist or drug counselor
- –Admitting yourself to a residential treatment center
- –Joining Sobriety Now groups
- –In addition to seeking professional support, researching and learning about the illness of addiction.
- –Participating in SMART Recovery
Depending on what you’re looking for in your recovery, such as spirituality, mentors, and/or a sense of empowerment, there are many options to choose from. In this way, you can get sober on your own terms.
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