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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

August 14, 2023

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Making the decision to recover from addiction is a personal and rewarding choice. While addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease, it is treatable and manageable with the right assistance.

This guide will show you how to stop addiction, as well as how to cope with addiction until you engage with treatment in Southern California.

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Steps to Overcome Addiction

Dealing with addiction can be extremely challenging. If you want to know how to stop addictions, consider taking the following steps:

  • Recognize the problem: Acknowledge that you have an addiction and accept the need for change. This self-awareness is the first step towards overcoming addictions.
  • Seek professional help: Reach out to healthcare professionals, therapists, or addiction treatment centers for guidance and support tailored to your specific needs.
  • Build a support network: Surround yourself with a strong support system of friends, family, or support groups who understand your struggles and provide encouragement.
  • Customize your treatment plan: Work with professionals to develop a personalized treatment plan that may include therapy, medication-assisted treatment, or a combination of approaches.
  • Address underlying issues: Identify and address any co-occurring mental health conditions or underlying factors contributing to your addiction. Therapy can help explore and heal these issues.
  • Practice self-care: Prioritize self-care activities such as exercise, healthy eating, and sufficient sleep. Taking care of your physical and mental well-being supports the recovery process.
  • Avoid triggers: Learn to identify and avoid people, places, or things that trigger cravings to use addictive substances. Replace unhealthy habits with positive alternatives.
  • Celebrate milestones: Acknowledge and celebrate your progress along the way. Each milestone, whether it’s days, weeks, or months of sobriety, is a significant achievement.
  • Stay committed: Recovery is a journey with ups and downs. Stay committed to your goals, even if setbacks occur. Remember that relapse is a normal part of the process, and it doesn’t define your recovery.
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Why Addiction is So Hard to Overcome

Substance use disorder is a complex condition, and breaking addictions is tough due to various factors. Understanding why addiction is challenging can help individuals struggling with addiction and their loved ones to navigate the recovery process with greater empathy and insight. Here are some key reasons why fighting addiction is so hard:

  • Changes in brain chemistry: Prolonged substance abuse alters the brain’s chemistry and functioning. Drugs or alcohol directly affect neurotransmitters like dopamine which play a crucial role in regulating mood, pleasure, and reward. These substances hijack the brain’s natural reward system, leading to intense cravings and reinforcing the cycle of addiction. Over time, the brain becomes dependent on the substance to function normally, making it difficult to quit without experiencing withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings.
  • Psychological and emotional factors: Addiction often coexists with underlying psychological and emotional issues. Many individuals turn to substances as a way to cope with stress, trauma, anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenges. Addressing these underlying issues is essential for successful recovery. That said, untangling the complex web of addiction and co-occurring disorders requires comprehensive treatment and therapy to provide individuals with the necessary tools to overcome both addiction and underlying emotional struggles.
  • Environmental and social influences: The environment in which someone lives and the social circles they are part of can significantly impact addiction and recovery. Peer pressure, social norms, easy access to drugs or alcohol, and exposure to high-risk environments can make it harder to break free from addictive behaviors. It may require making significant lifestyle changes, cutting ties with toxic relationships, and creating a supportive and sober network to overcome these environmental challenges.
  • Persistent cravings and triggers: Cravings for drugs or alcohol can be intense and long-lasting, even after a period of abstinence. Triggers – people, places, emotions, or specific situations associated with substance use – can reignite cravings and tempt individuals to relapse. Managing and navigating these triggers requires ongoing support, coping strategies, and the development of healthier coping mechanisms to replace the previous reliance on substances.
  • Relapse as a part of the process: Relapse is a common occurrence during the recovery journey. It does not signify failure but rather serves as a learning opportunity. Addiction rewires the brain, and breaking free from its grip takes time, commitment, and a comprehensive treatment approach. Relapse can offer insights into the triggers, vulnerabilities, and areas that need further support and growth. Approach relapse with compassion, resilience, and a commitment to getting back on track.
  • Stigma and societal barriers: The stigma surrounding addiction can be a significant barrier to recovery. Negative stereotypes, judgment, and shame associated with addiction can deter people from seeking help or disclosing their struggles. Overcoming addiction requires a supportive and non-judgmental environment that fosters understanding, compassion, and access to evidence-based treatment options.
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What Substances Are Most Difficult to Quit?

How long does it take to stop an addiction depends to an extent on the substance involved. Certain substances are notoriously addictive and pose significant challenges when quitting addiction. Examples include opioids, alcohol, benzodiazepines, and stimulants like meth or cocaine. These substances can cause severe withdrawal symptoms and have a strong impact on brain chemistry, making the recovery process more demanding. Seeking professional assistance is vital when dealing with these substances.

Overcoming Addiction Tips

Here are some actionable tips if you want to know how to break an addiction:

  • Stay committed to your recovery goals, even during challenging times.
  • Develop a support network of understanding and supportive individuals.
  • Engage in healthy lifestyle practices such as regular exercise and nutritious eating.
  • Practice self-care activities that promote relaxation and stress reduction.
  • Avoid triggers and situations that may tempt you to use substances.
  • Celebrate your progress and achievements, no matter how small they may seem.
  • Seek professional help and follow a personalized treatment plan.
  • Be patient with yourself and understand that recovery is a journey.

How to Beat Addiction: FAQs

How do I stop being addicted?

To stop being addicted, it is beneficial to seek professional help, develop a personalized treatment plan, and commit to a process of recovery that may involve therapy, support groups, and lifestyle changes.

What are the 3 steps to overcoming addiction?

While there isn’t a universally applicable three-step process, common steps to overcoming addiction often involve acknowledging the problem, seeking support, and actively participating in treatment or recovery programs.

Can you get rid of an addiction on your own?

While some people may be able to stop addiction on their own, seeking professional help and utilizing available resources increases the likelihood of success and provides a structured and supportive environment for recovery.

What are the five stages of recovery?

The five stages of recovery include pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance, representing the journey towards lasting change and sustained recovery.

Is it normal to relapse?

Relapse can occur during the recovery process, and it is not uncommon. Having said that, understand that relapse does not signify failure, but rather it is an opportunity for learning, reassessment, and recommitment to the recovery process.

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Get Help to Overcome Drug or Alcohol Addiction at Renaissance Recovery

We hope that this guide has shown you how to cope with addiction and how to stop drug addiction or alcoholism. If you need further help beating addiction, place your trust in Renaissance Recovery. We specialize in helping people stop addiction in an outpatient setting, meaning that you can get the help you need without the expense or the time commitment of inpatient rehab.

Choose the structure and support you require from the following programs:

All treatment programs deliver individualized treatment that utilizes a combination of holistic and science-backed therapies, such as:

Call 866.330.9449 for help with overcoming addictions and ongoing treatment in Southern California.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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