If You Learn To Cope, You Have Hope!

Written by Brent Agin M.D.

October 6, 2020

get toxin out of your system

In the beginning, recovery is simply about getting toxins out of your system without adding more.  That is a task that takes all willpower and willingness.  So what happens after, when your feelings begin to emerge and the path in front of you seems full of obstacles.  With substance abuse addiction, it’s natural to be overwhelmed.  After all, you have been emotionally paused, and life has been going on all around you. The comfort comes if you embrace that the journey has no set speed, and your success is not one outlined in a manual. It is yours.  Nobody has taken this exact journey before you, and nobody will after.

Recovery Is Not Complete Just Because You Stop Using

toxins and medications

So faith got you here, and the promises seem within reach right?  You put down the substance and you are ready to create a life of continual recovery.  Now we need to commit to identifying some tools that can keep you focused and armed.  They are not unreasonable tasks, and the truth is, most people without substance problems, are successfully using the same tactics. These tactics can allow you to address and overcome problems that you have been unsuccessful in handling in the past- ones that originally led you to substance abuse addiction (www.turnbridge.com).

We have all heard them, and we have felt them.  These are the triggers of body needs that feel quite uncomfortable.  Yes, I am talking about HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired).  You cannot avoid these feelings, but you can identify with them and stop dealing with them impulsively.  Without sounding condescending, I want to point the simplicity in sending these feelings and conditions out.  With substance abuse, they are very damaging, and the solutions are simple!

Hungry:  Eat

Angry:  Identify your part, your control or lack thereof, and take a time out to calm down.

Lonely:  Reach out to your sober supports

Tired:  Sleep

It is equally important to take it easy.  Studies show that relaxation reduces the use of drugs alcohol (Addictionandrecovery.org).  It makes sense that, if you were using substances to ease anxiety, fear, pain or aggression, it will to be difficult to avoid these feelings in sobriety. With that said, relaxation is recovery is not a suggestion; it’s mandatory for your continued abstinence in substance abuse. Researchers at the University of Washington found that a recovery plan that incorporates mindfulness meditation (a form of relaxation,) was more effective in preventing relapses over the long term (Drugfree.org).

Coping with Substance Abuse

You can learn to achieve that by focusing on a perception shift.  The truth is, most of these things come from catastrophizing when the threat to your happiness and safety is minimal.  Focusing on seeing your power in a realistic way is key.  Do actions within your power, and resolve to surrender to those that are not.   Realizing that your needs are being met, despite how you are feeling, is another great strategy.  The essentials; support, food, shelter, etc. are the only things you need and you can relax knowing they are being met. 

It’s Not Just a “Head Healing” That Needs Care.

The due diligence in working on the mental health and stability is hugely important. Still, the physical, and more structural components must not be neglected. After struggling with substance abuse addiction, you may need to balance hormone levels, nutritional damage and really understand your genes to reach maximum potential when fighting addiction. That’s where we come in to play. We subscribe to an uncover, recover, discover process- making our testing and discovery of the upmost importance when supporting our drug rehabilitation initiatives.

Resources:

“11 Recovery Tools to Help You Beat Addiction” Turnbridge.com https://www.turnbridge.com/news-events/latest-articles/addiction-recovery-tools#. Accessed October 11, 2020.

“Fives Rules of Recovery” Addictionandrecovery.org https://www.addictionsandrecovery.org/five-rules-of-recovery.htm Accessed October 11, 2020.

“Mindfulness” Meditation Can Help Reduce Addiction Relapse Rates: Study”  Drugfree.org https://drugfree.org/drug-and-alcohol-news/mindfulness-meditation-can-help-reduce-addiction-relapse-rates-study/# Accessed October 11, 2020.

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