National Geographic Society

  • Connect:

10 Tips for Recovering From Addiction

Tips and Reminders for a Successful Recovery

Various ecstasy pills with different branding. Note: pills are fake and were created as props for shoot.

Ecstasy pills

Provided by Dr. Urschel and Enterhealth LLC

Published

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.

5 comments
John Bond
John Bond

My sister has suffered from addiction for a long time now. she is starting to get on track but has been having trouble. These tips helped her a lot. Spending time doing activities and not being idle helped her the most, she doesn't think about it as much when she is enjoying herself. Please let me know if you have any updates or expansions on this.

John Bond | http://www.triumphtx.org

C. Mallang
C. Mallang

Somebody tell me how to help my 20 year old nephew I am watching the heroin episode and it is like they are filming my family except we are not rich people who can afford the Dr's in Dallas and 90 day in patient treatment   I am 3k away from him and have been able to get a Church rehab here to take him but I am scared they do not have the resources to deal with the medical part ,  somebody tell me how to start , I have talked to him several times he ask for the help and is supposed to get his ID so he can fly but I am so far away I can be there to push him      

Mikejohndannygriffiths Griffiths
Mikejohndannygriffiths Griffiths

I'm traneing up to be a peermentore tho help pepal to come off drugs and to have a better life and make them feel better in them selves so I hpoe that in the futer I can do that

Tami Scarcella
Tami Scarcella

This is one of my favorite shows. As an interventionist it is my responsibility to educate the families on addiction and the process of the disease. Nat Geo takes it to a whole other level by showing the scientific method of the drugs being used and how it affects the body and mind. There are also many alcohol and drug rehabs that need more education on the process. I have noticed that alot of substance abuse treatment centers have people in recovery or in the 12 step program working for them that don't have an education or deep understanding of detoxing from alcohol or other substances. The addicts working the addiction field can relate to the user but having that educated background makes it a whole lot easier to explain to the families.