5 Totally Achievable New Year’s Resolutions for Recovering Addicts

2020 signals the start of a new decade and for many people, it feels like a new opportunity. An opportunity to right the ship and learn from the mistakes of one’s past. Call it a clean slate, a new beginning, or any other expression you can think of. Truth be told, it takes more than just a flip of a calendar year to recover from alcohol or substance abuse, and recovering addicts know this all too well.

But there’s something with new year’s resolutions that motivate people to change. Maybe because it’s the perfect time to commit to something, whether it be replacing bad habits or sticking to an addiction recovery treatment. Starting the new year on a positive note can certainly have a trickle-down effect and for recovering addicts, now is the chance to make life-changing decisions.

These 6 new year’s resolutions can definitely be achieved and will help steer you back in the right direction. Start your year right and commit to these small, practical goals.

  1. Lean on loved ones for support

As the saying goes, no man is an island. It’s likely that you have friends and family members who have your best interests at heart. If they are reaching out to help you, don’t push them away and instead, lean on their support to help you push through barriers. Choose people who are genuinely interested in helping you recover from addiction and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Confide in them and allow them to lift you back up.

This one small change can have a dramatic impact on your road to recovery so surround yourself with loved ones that are willing to support you with everything they have.

  1. Stay positive

When you’re struggling, it’s easy to blame the world and become bitter to those around you. It’s this resentment that holds back many recovering addicts. If you truly wish to turn your life around, you have to let those feelings go. Cultivate a positive mindset and welcome the new year with a renewed perspective – positive thoughts, positive words, positive feelings, positive actions. You’ll be surprised as to how much of a chain reaction this makes and you’ll feel one step closer to living sober.

  1. Take accountability for your actions

Along those same lines, it’s time to stop blaming others and start taking accountability for your actions. You make your own decisions. The consequences are a result of your own doing, and not other people. Own it to yourself to make responsible decisions that can help accelerate your recovery and this could be through avoiding familiar triggers, cutting off toxic relationships, and replacing your bad habits with healthier ones.

  1. Rekindle your lost passion

Some people end up throwing away their passions due to alcohol and substance abuse. If that’s you, then you should definitely consider rekindling your interests and give it another shot. Doing something you love is what gives you purpose, whether it be playing a guitar, playing basketball, or making art. When you’re genuinely interested in what you’re doing, it clears off any distractions in your mind. You’re in deeper focus and the temptations suddenly appear less tempting as they seem.

Try it and see how it feels. Before you know it, you’re back on track doing the things you love, with a huge smile on your face to go along with it.

  1. Believe in yourself again

The feelings of regret and disappointment are often present in the hearts of recovering addicts and it can definitely impact their self-esteem. But no matter how many mistakes you’ve made, no matter how deep you got caught into your addiction, do remember that there’s always a way back. You just have to believe in yourself again. It’s this self-belief that will allow you to defeat your inner demons and set yourself up for future success.

  1. Forgive yourself

The one mistake most recovering addicts make is wallowing in self-pity. You can either feel sorry for yourself, or dust yourself off and get back on track. It’s about time you forgive yourself for the things that you’ve done. Just because you made a huge mistake, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a second chance. The power of forgiveness is capable of lifting that heavy burden in your heart and allowing you to start anew. You deserve another chance to make things right and the moment you forgive yourself, is the moment you’ll be freed from the shackles of your past.

With the start of the new year, now is the opportunity to make lasting life changes. You don’t have to do everything at once, you just have to take action or at least start by talking to an effective drug and alcohol rehab in Bali. Like they always say, small steps lead to huge successes. These 6 new year’s resolutions will help you stick to your addiction recovery and hopefully, set you up for a clean, sober lifestyle.

Dependence vs. Addiction: What’s the Difference?

At first, dependence and addiction may sound like the same thing. These words are often used interchangeably and sometimes their true meanings can get lost in between conversations. Due to this inconsistency, it helps to differentiate the two and have a better understanding of what they really mean. In this article, we’ll be discussing the differences between dependence and addiction to hopefully clear up any misconceptions surrounding these two terms.

 

What is dependence?

Dependence is a term used to describe physical reliance on a particular substance. The body undergoes biochemical changes as a result of continuous substance abuse, to which the person experiences withdrawal symptoms after cessation. Take for example prednisone, a drug that decreases the body’s own cortisol production in order to adapt to repeated doses. This results in steroid-like withdrawal symptoms which are eliminated once cortisol levels are restored.

How is dependence treated?

Dependence is treated medically and the goal is to slowly flush out the drug from the patient’s body so it can readjust to its normal functions. Patients who’ve developed a dependence from medication like painkillers can be treated through a method called tampering. This method decreases the dosage of the drug slowly over time to minimise withdrawal symptoms.

Patients who’ve developed a dependence for prescription or illicit drugs have different medical needs and thus detoxification is required in order to fully eliminate the drugs from their system. Controlled tapers and medications are often used to manage serious withdrawal symptoms and medications are prescribed to manage dependence. For example, patients detoxing from heroin may be given methadone or buprenorphine which are opioids used to alleviate cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

There is no set duration on how long detoxification lasts. It can take several days up to several weeks depending on how much toxins are present in the patient’s body. While the detoxification process plays an important role in managing dependency, a drug rehabilitation program is key to preventing relapse avoid detox again in the future.

Just like how some substances cause dependence are not addictive, there are also highly addictive substances that do not show withdrawal symptoms. Drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine do not exhibit any signs of physical withdrawal symptoms such as tremors and vomiting after cessation, but may show psychological symptoms like anxiety, drug cravings, and even depression.

What is addiction?

Addiction is a term used to describe psychological and behavioural changes in a person after prolonged substance abuse. Addictive drugs hardwire the brain’s reward and motivation systems. Therefore, continuous exposure to the substance tricks the brain into seeking drugs and prioritizing them over productive, healthy activities.

For example, people who are addicted to alcohol may refrain from a quick beer on the way home but inevitably find themselves sitting beside a bar table for hours after work. Even if their GP advises them to stop drinking alcohol, they may seek reasons to justify their behaviour and continue on with their drinking habits.

How is addiction treated?

Most health experts and those who work within the addiction treatment sphere recognise addiction as a disease due to the fact that it can significantly alter a person’s physical and psychological condition. Almost all addictive drugs impact an area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens which is normally stimulated by naturally rewarding activities like spending time with friends, eating, and other pleasurable activities.

Similar to dependence, the patient undergoes detoxification to get rid of all the toxins in their body. From there, the patient receives therapy depending on their goals and needs. There are several different types of therapy for addiction and those are:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy – a type of therapy that helps people recognise their addiction and replace their destructive habits with healthier ones.
  • Motivational interviewing – motivates patients to embrace their treatment efforts that best help them change their substance abuse behaviour.
  • Dialectical behavioural therapy – helps patients with severe personality disorders to minimise cravings and lower the risk of relapse through learning healthy coping skills.
  • Contingency management – provides material rewards for patients that can serve as added motivation to maintain their sobriety.
  • 12-step facilitation – aims to promote sustained abstinence by engaging with people within 12-step peer support groups.

Counselling also comes into play when treating addiction to help strengthen their life skills and reinforce a positive attitude. From there, medications are prescribed to manage withdrawal symptoms and help the patient manage their cravings.

Perhaps the most important part of treating addiction is the rehabilitation program. Rehab programs offer addicts the best chance of success in regaining control of their life and maintaining sobriety for a very long time. These programs focus on keeping the patient drug-free while helping them develop their social and professional skills while being away from familiar triggers and temptations.

Like behavioural therapies, rehabilitation programs vary to meet the exact needs of the patient. For example, some rehab programs work on an outpatient treatment where the person receives medical care at a facility and is allowed to go home. Residential treatment on the other hand, works by admitting the person in a special facility for a number of days to receive care.

Understanding the difference between dependence and addiction can go a long way towards clearing up any misconceptions about the two terms. If you or your loved one is suffering from dependence or addiction, don’t delay and seek help as much as possible. Calm Rehab, a leading drug and alcohol addiction rehab centre can answer any questions you have with regards to this article.