Estimates suggest that roughly two percent of the world’s population suffers from some form of addiction. A vast majority of those addicted are young, and falling into a cycle of dependence impairs their entire lives.
Fortunately, there are rehabs that have helped people cope with their addictive thoughts and behavior, and a drug rehab in Melbourne has been providing comprehensive support to patients for years.
6 Ways To Deal With Addictive Thoughts
Recognize That You Have A Problem
The first step to fighting addictive thoughts and tendencies is to recognize that you have a problem. Most people get addicted over time. Usually, it begins with one drink or one dose of drugs and eventually, that amount doubles and trebles. The thing with addiction is that people drink or take drugs because it is pleasurable or it helps them cope with troubles but seldom does the addict realize that he has become dependent.
So you have to look for signs of dependence. Some common signs are need for an increased dose to get the same effect. For instance, if twenty five milliliters of alcohol was enough until two months back, and now you need thirty or forty milliliters, then you need to be cautious.
Likewise, if you try to consume less, then you get withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be varied. For some people, it manifests itself as a terrible headache, fatigue or anxiety; for others, it might lead to full-fledged hallucination.
So if you are unable to cut down on the consumption of drugs or alcohol and you start witnessing withdrawal symptoms every time you try to cut down, you know that you have a problem.
Discussing The Problems With Loved Ones
Most of the time, addiction to any substance is a way to escape. People try to escape the realities of their daily existence by being in a trance-like state. However, the troubles of daily life can be dealt with better if you have a conversation with your loved ones.
Most of the time, it is the near and dear ones to see signs of addiction. So if your spouse or your mother complains about your drinking habits and their consequences, it is a sign that there might be a problem.
Going For Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Talking to your parents or your spouse might help, but if the problem persists, you need to consult a professional therapist. You might be one of those who are more comfortable opening up to a third person rather than your family. In that case, you can consider cognitive behavior therapy or CBT. In this therapy, one-on-one sessions and group sessions are used to work towards deaddiction.
CBT believes that people’s thought process affects their behavior. If people can learn or can be trained to think differently about certain things, then their behavior can be modulated accordingly. The core assumption of the therapy is that addiction or fear arises because of certain meanings that people associate with an event, and when the meanings assigned to those events change the behavior can be altered as well.
So if CBT comes to the conclusion that a person consumes drugs because he sees drugs as a solution to his problems, then he has to be shown that drugs are not a solution. If the addict comes to believe that drugs are harmful to his health and his relations, he will develop an aversive attitude toward them. This aversion will help him fight addictive thoughts.
Practice Meditation And Concentration Techniques
Mindfulness can help give the mental strength needed to fight addictive thoughts. Meditation helps regulate impulsive thoughts. Most addicts are impulsive people, so impulse control goes a long way in fighting substance abuse.
Meditation also helps feel peaceful and calm. Most people give in to drugs and alcohol because they are looking for a sense of calm or a way to escape. Since meditative techniques can help you feel at peace, you will not need to resort to drugs or alcohol for peace.
Learn From Those Who Have Recovered
Most of the time, dependent people tend to believe that they will not be able to survive without drugs or alcohol. However, if you see examples of people who have recovered and benefitted from therapy sessions, you will start believing in the impact of therapy.
When you visit a rehab, you interact with a group of people who are at different stages of recovery. If you meet a person who has overcome dependence after a lot of struggle and effort, you, too, will be encouraged to follow the same path. Looking at other examples helps you realize that there is no shame in accepting one’s problems or seeking help from professionals.
Pursue Hobbies And Group Activities
Pursuing hobbies and group activities like playing a sport, drawing pictures, and solving puzzles engage the mind. Hobbies do not let your mind wander away. They also make you feel productive. Group activities encourage social interaction and negate feelings of isolation. So hobbies and group activities help channel your energy in other directions, and this gives you the courage to think that your life can be productive and that you do not need drugs to escape from reality.
If you know what triggers you to consume drugs, then you can use those cues to focus elsewhere. For instance, if stress or social isolation is a trigger point, then you can start painting or exercising when you feel stressed or socially isolated.
Dealing with substance abuse is a daunting challenge. However, the first step towards fighting substance abuse is the recognition that there is a problem and that the problem can be solved. Most dependent people believe that there is no way to fight substance abuse, and hence they continue increasing the dosage of alcohol or drugs. But cognitive therapy, meditation, group activities, hobbies and counseling sessions can go a long way in making an addict realize that there is always hope at the end of a dark tunnel.