Four important first steps to recovering from an alcohol or drug addiction
Recovery from addiction (whether it’s alcohol or drug-related) is not an easy path.
However, with the right set of systems and support from your network, you can start making the first steps and keep moving forward to a better and more promising future.
If you want to learn more about how to start and continue with the recovery process, here are some of the first steps that can make a difference between success and relapse.
1) Establish good habits
Good habits often mean something completely different from person to person, but for someone in recovery, the best ones are physical exercise, a good diet, and a reliable sleep schedule. Exercise is the ideal activity for someone in recovery because it frees the mind and strengthens the body.
Plus, you’ll need a nutritious and fulfilling diet to keep things going. Start by introducing foods that are good for your brain and continue by eliminating sugary foods or foods that don’t have any nutritional support to your diet (such as snacks, pastries, sweets, and so on).
Lastly, sleep is crucial for a healthy life. Poor sleep habits can have a negative impact on your diet, mental health, and energy levels. So if you can’t rest during sleep, all of your other good habits are in danger of collapsing as well.
2) Find the right treatment
According to the American Medical Association (AMA), alcoholism and addiction are diseases and need specialized treatment. Now, addiction treatment doesn’t always have to include medication or procedures.
As we learned from Roots Through Recovery, every patient’s addiction treatment is different, which is why you have to find the one that works for you. Also, keep in mind that you can adjust your treatment as things evolve.
3) Design your support systems
One of the reasons so many people go to AA meetings or look for support groups specific to their addiction is connection. You need a strong network that, more often than not, will include strangers going through the same steps as you.
Of course, you also need support from family and friends, and you may want to have mentors and other people involved in your recovery. This is why it’s best to work with several support systems that can be interconnected or separate.
Overall, it’s important to learn from the habits of emotionally strong people, but you should also listen to people who understand how addiction feels.
4) Understand and accept the changes
Addiction is a life-long condition. You don’t complete the recovery once you’re done with the treatment. In order to stay sober and continue living a life that you like, you have to accept and understand everything about your specific condition.
The first steps of recovery are about learning how to cope with your addiction and how to keep it under control. It’s also a time during which you’ll feel humbled by the many things you used to take for granted and the many things you didn’t know were possible.
However, recovery can also be a time of positive change, during which you connect with other fellow humans and learn to understand your brain. It takes time, courage, and determination, but you also need other people’s support and compassion.
Nothing changes until you start
Addiction is a scary word for friends and family, but it can be a sentence for the person affected by it. So whether you are suffering from addiction or you know someone in this situation, know that it takes one step toward change to get things starting for the better. The next steps will fall into place when the timing is right and you are ready to embrace your new self.