Anyone who is in recovery or seeking help for the first time should understand that alcohol and drug addiction is a disease, not a morale failing or a weakness of willpower or a lack in ability to just say ‘no’.
Addiction cannot be cured, but it can be managed. Getting help from a professional that approaches addiction as a disease is first step to a successful recovery. By following the recommendations of experienced professionals with access to the latest advances in therapy and medicine, individuals will have the best chance at recovery and bright and happy future.
Here are 10 key tips for making a successful recovery:
1. Make your recovery a priority – put yourself first and stay in touch with trained professionals who know you and can provide you with comprehensive treatment options and sound advice throughout your recovery.
2. Take it one day at a time – recovery is a process, not a destination. Do not let thoughts of use or old habits get the best of you. Learn techniques to overcome any negative thoughts and feelings
3. Communicate – addiction can be very isolating so talk to your friends and family about your challenges. While it may be tough, the support system you create will give you an enormous boost. They will be there when you need them and will help you stay motivated and focused.
4. Change your environment – one of the best ways to maintain a healthy recovery is to replace your bad habits with healthy, new ones. Surround yourself with positive people, things and experiences. Search out cultural events and activities in your area that can stimulate your body and mind in a new, exciting – and healthy way.
5. Change your friends – some of your friends may have been enabling your addiction instead of helping you control it. If you have friends that may jeopardize your recovery, it is time to find a new circle of friends. The right friends will help you to maintain a healthy recovery.
6. Get out and exercise – spending 30-60 minutes walking or at the gym will just a few days a week will do wonders for you. Exercise will not only boost your physical strength, it will boost your mental health as well.
7. Improve your diet – in addition to exercise, eating right is another key ingredient to a successful recovery. Whether you get help or do it on your own, improvements in diet will make you healthier mentally and physically.
8. Join a support group – whether you join a church based group, AA or other social support network, they can provide wonderful value, help and wisdom to your recovery efforts
9. Work or donate some of your time – being productive at your job or giving back to a cause you believe it will do wonders for your self-esteem. Making a positive contribution at work or for others will give you a wonderful sense of accomplishment and pride.
10. Never give up – whatever you do, regardless of the challenges or obstacles you face, do not give up or give in to the disease. Rely on your family, friends and support tools to keep going in the face of temptations and difficult days.