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Addiction Recovery: How to Break the Habit

Posted on :  March 17th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Towards Recovery Clinics are dedicated to helping people who are struggling with addictions recover so they can enjoy a healthy and happy life.

During our talks with patients, we frequently discuss the differences between habits and addictions. We understand the difficulty of breaking an addiction, especially those to opiates and other narcotics. We also understand that habits can be difficult to change, too. Fortunately, there are several steps that people can take to change habits so they can improve their lives.

  • The first step is to pick one habit to change. If you try to tackle more than one, you will most likely fail.
  • Begin with something small. We want to see success when we try to break a habit, so we need to pick one that we can really change. Maybe you want to exercise every day. Instead of trying to get 90 minutes in everyday, you can start with 10 or 15 minutes.
  • Try a challenge. For many people, it takes between 14 days and 30 days to change a habit. This is one of the reasons why there are so many 30-day challenges all over the Internet. If you can commit to doing something, like drinking a fresh fruit smoothie, everyday, you are more likely to stick to habit after the challenge is complete. Many people will post their daily progress on a blog or a challenge chat room as a way to keep themselves honest.
  • Start writing. When you can write your commitment down and look at it, you are better prepared to be successful. Share your written commitment with people who will support you.
  • Create a plan. It is better to prepare yourself in advance rather than dealing with setbacks as they occur. Think about your triggers and obstacles. Think about who you want to support you and what you will do each day.
  • Pick a start date. It is best to think about your plan and pick a day to start. If you really want to make a change, you need to be serious about it and not just start willy-nilly. You will develop motivation through anticipation if you force yourself to set a start date.
  • Look at your triggers. Everyone has triggers. If you are trying to stop eating late in the evening, you should look seriously at what makes you want to eat. Are you bored? Are you thirsty? Do you just want something to do? Once you identify the triggers, you can create an alternative plan, like getting a glass of water, or reading your favorite book to take your mind off of wanting to snack.
  • Ask your family and friends to help. Let them know what you are doing and when you plan to start so they can truly be there for you. Give them ideas to help support you and help you recognize your triggers. For example, if you are trying to avoid snacking at night, your loved one could stop buying your favorite snacks.
  • Watch your inner dialogue. You can be your own worst enemy, so be prepared to stop your negative thoughts. If you can have a mantra, you can use that to stop thinking about snacks.
  • Give yourself rewards. The rewards should not be related to the habit you are trying to break. If you go a week without snacking, you could buy yourself a new piece of jewelry or something else that you really like.
  • Realize that failure does happen. If it does, learn from it. Take a short break and then try to break the habit at another time. If you really want to break it, you will do it when you really are ready.

Contact us at 905-527-2042 with any questions about drug addiction and recovery.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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