How to Beat & Overcome Addiction: The Path to Recovery

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First off, what is an addiction? An addiction is a compulsive behavior that people find difficult to control. Battling addiction is no simple feat that effects your mental health and you maybe wondering how to overcome it. Today, people are addicted to gambling, pornography, food, video games, smoking, dugs and alcohol. When drugs or alcohol consumes your body, you lose a sense of control that can take over your life. Although it’s not easy, it doesn’t mean recovery is not possible. You can absolutely work through overcoming drug or alcohol addiction, if you are ready to lead a sober lifestyle. It will take time and dedication but in the end, it can and has been done. Each person’s recovery path will slightly differ but here are some ways to face your addiction and take back control of your life. Keep reading to learn how to overcome addiction.

Step 1: Acknowledge Your Addiction

First, you must identify your addiction and how it’s affected your life. Over time, you may not have recognized your addictive behavior anymore but your friends or family members have let you know the harm it’s causing. Giving up your addiction starts with this acknowledgement. You have to know you have an addiction and want to seek help for the problem.

The people in your life may have tried to convince you to seek treatment for the problem in the past but it’s ultimately up to you to make the decision to become sober. Whether you are addicted to alcohol or a drug abuser, this entails having a plan to seek treatment for detox and long-term recovery. With addiction, it’s not as easy as discontinuing use of drugs or alcohol. There is a process to follow so your health remains intact. Drug or alcohol withdrawal can have serious side effects such as vomiting, tremors, seizures, and more. You want to be in a place where your health can be monitored. That’s one of the many reasons why it’s always recommended to go through the detox process in a treatment facility rather than trying to attempt it on your own.

Step 2: Make a Plan

We know the desire to quit does not automatically sync up with being sober. But you can make a plan today. Once you’ve decided that you want to get rid of your addiction for good, set out next steps to make it happen. If you are unsure how to get started, ask for help to solve the problem. Reach out to the people in your circle who are ready and willing to step in and help. Or you can always contact us and we can guide you through your options.

The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to face your addiction alone. There are several resources at your disposal to lean on for help and get the plans in place you need to beat your addiction. Having steps to your sobriety outlined can help it seem like a more possible goal to achieve.

Step 3: Go to Detox

Before you can start any other part of your recovery, you must first go through the withdrawal period and detox your body of any drugs and alcohol. This timeframe can be difficult to get through on your own. Many people who attempt the withdrawal period on their own end up relapsing because of the pain and discomfort of the side effects.

However, when you seek treatment under the supervision of medical professionals, you have the support and care you need at a time when you need it most. When the body undergoes any kind of significant change, it can respond in unpredictable ways. You will want your detox process to be monitored, in case any side effects occur that require immediate medical attention. The detox period usually lasts for about a week, depending on your situation. It can be longer if you suffer from a long-term addiction.

Step 4: Seek Inpatient or Outpatient Care

Following the detox period, you’ll want to immediately receive addiction treatment. This can be in the form of either inpatient or outpatient care. The programs are designed to help you identify what triggers your desire to use, how to cope with cravings or temptations in the future, and to talk about the disease in a way where you can be educated and educate others.

Inpatient care allows you to temporarily reside in the place where you’ll be receiving treatment. Most facilities are set among serene backgrounds with little to distract you from your sobriety. There is one-on-one and group counseling, classes, physical activities, and time to reflect on your journey.

Outpatient care follows a similar protocol but you do not stay at the place where it’s being held. This requires a commitment to yourself to show up to each appointment. In certain cases, people who have been through inpatient care before and have relapsed will seek treatment in outpatient care.

Regardless of which kind of treatment you decide, the goal is to help you achieve sobriety and also to maintain it after you leave the facility. Most treatment centers are set up to provide you the transition life skills and planning to continue on your new sober path and avoid relapse.

Step 5: Set Personal Goals

What is it you want to achieve from your sobriety and from your life, in general? Is it a health choice you’re making? Do you want to reconnect with friends and family you’ve lost touch with as a result of your addiction? Make a list of goals big and small of the positive changes you want to make in your life.

Know that you can only achieve these with a sober mind because addiction only deters progress. Having these goals written down and in place where you can readily access them will help keep you motivated. Addiction treatment is to help you get to a healthier place but if personal goals will help you get there faster, then all the better.

Step 6: Learn How to Cope

Once you have gone through the detox and rehabilitation process, it doesn’t mean alcohol or drugs will never pop up again in your life. Although it’s a good idea to avoid being around them whenever possible, you’ll also want to learn to cope with triggers you might get to use.

You’ll learn about “triggers” in treatment and will be given tools on how to cope when you’re feeling vulnerable. When you’re upset, angry, or anxious, it might be common for you to turn to drugs or alcohol to help you feel better. The high from addiction is short-lived and the damage is permanent. To beat addiction, you’ll need to be open to alternative, healthy choices.

These might include going to meeting with a support group regularly. Exercise is a good alternative to deal with stress and other negative feelings. And it’s also recommended to have someone you can turn to make you accountable for your actions and talk through what you’re feeling before it’s too late.

You do not have to go through this alone. Speak with a treatment specialist today.
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Step 7: Get Moving

As mentioned, exercise is a great distraction plus it’s a benefit to your health. Start a gym regimen or sync with a friend and take walks or go for hikes. Get yourself moving whenever your mind space isn’t at its best and see how it can help you focus on more positive aspects of your life.

Although getting into a routine may be difficult at first, keep with it and start to see how it changes your life for the better. Exercise doesn’t have to be anything too intense. It can be a regular evening walk, yoga class, boxing, a jog through your neighborhood – pick what works for you and just keep moving. Motivate yourself with an upbeat playlist or set mini goals to track your progress. The more you stick with it, the more you’ll begin to feel and look stronger.

Step 8: Find Accountability

Secure a sponsor who can help you through tough times, especially as you transition from rehab into your regular day-to-day living. A sponsor is someone who has been in similar shoes before and has learned what it takes to overcome cravings and negative thoughts to maintain sobriety…

They are there to give you a wake-up call when you need it. A sponsor provides a listening ear and can offer advice if you feel like you are going down a dangerous path leading back to addiction. Once you learn what triggers you, you can identify ways to prevent turning to alcohol or drugs. If your old group of friends is a bad influence on your newfound sobriety, discuss with your sponsor how this affects you and what you can do to change things.

By having someone in your corner whom you trust, you can also give them permission to hold you accountable for your actions. With addiction, it’s difficult to see the repercussions or serious effects it has. However, with the clear mind of sobriety, you must face the results of your actions and that can be tough to face alone.

Step 9: Dive Into a New Project

If you’re new into your sobriety, the change can still take some getting used to. Focus your energy on something you’ve always wanted to try. This can be anything from learning a new language to taking an art class to running a marathon. By honing in on a project, it will give you a sense of purpose. The steps you take toward your goal will feel like mini-achievements, which you should feel proud of no matter how small they may seem.

Surround yourself with people who are supportive of your sober lifestyle and find ways to connect with people in healthy ways. There may be several activities you gave up due to your addiction that you can have back when you beat it for good.

Step 10: Start a Gratitude Journal

When life seems like you’ve hit rock bottom, it can feel like forever trying to crawl out of that dark space. Through your addiction recovery, little by little, you’ll start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Start slow with listing your gratitudes and see how much your life grows when you take time to appreciate what you have.

It can be something as seemingly insignificant as a fresh cup of coffee to start your morning. Think about how that kind of routine makes you feel. Does it bring you comfort? Think of all the little joys you have in your life or that you want to see more on and expand. Write it down. Then, reflect on your entries once in awhile to see how much you’ve amassed. You may be surprised by how much a little bit adds up to be something big over time.

Step 11: Celebrate Accomplishments

Reaching sobriety is an accomplishment in and of itself. But with each day, week, month, and year that goes by where you remain sober is cause for a celebration. Be proud of how far you’ve come to get closer to where you want to be in your life. Whenever you face roadblocks in the future, know you are stronger than your addiction. Your recovery is part of your story but your addiction does not define who you are.

By being mindful of your progress and being active in your sobriety, you’ll help prevent the chance of relapse. There will be tough days even after you’ve gone through rehabilitation; it’s inevitable. You’ll learn how to handle these without the need for drugs or alcohol to aid you. This, too, is an accomplishment that deserves at the very least, a quiet acknowledgement that you have persevered.

Step 12: Staying Healthy and Sober

You didn’t reach your addiction overnight which means you won’t beat it overnight either. But every day that you focus on your health and sobriety, is a day where you didn’t let your addiction run your life. The steps toward sobriety require a process that has worked for millions of people and can work for you too.

While detox and rehabilitation or the cornerstones of beating your addiction, knowing what to do after receiving treatment is just as important. If alcohol or drugs have been part of your life for a significant period of time, it can take awhile to learn how to live without them. During your inpatient or outpatient care, you’ll learn how to transition back into your daily life sans addiction.

You’ll learn how to replace old or bad habits with new routines. You’ll feel stronger, healthier, and happier. If you are ready to take on your alcohol or drug addiction and fight for your future, we can discuss the different treatment programs available for you. We are here to help whenever you’re ready to live a drug-free life.

Find hope. Find recovery. Begin a commitment to lifelong recovery from substance abuse today – for yourself, your friend, or for your loved one.
(888) 325-1995


National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. Revised July 2018, Accessed March 9, 2016.

NIDA for teens. In Recovery- Steps to Overcoming Addiction. May 2011, Accessed March 8, 2016.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Read Personal Stories. Accessed March 9, 2016.

National Center for Biotechnology. Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery. Sep. 2015, Accessed March 8, 2016.

National Center for Biotechnology. Chapter 1 Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy.  Accessed March 7, 2016

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