Drug addiction is more common than many of us may think. Sometimes there are people around us in our everyday lives that we would never know are struggling with substance addiction, given their ability to still function in social or communal settings. According to the 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS), approximately 43% of Australians over the age of 14 have abused a drug at some point in their life, with the most common being cannabis and cocaine.
Whether you’re currently battling drug addiction, in recovery from a previous addiction, or feel yourself developing a habit and looking for ways to stay away from certain harmful substances, there are several helpful tips that you can follow to keep yourself on track and away from drugs. A lot of it has to do with lifestyle changes, such as surrounding yourself with different people and keeping away from temptation.
In this article, the specialists at Hills & Ranges Private offer some tips for staying drug-free.
Tips for Staying Drug-Free
Social Tips for Staying Drug-Free
- Cut out toxic relationships and friendships that bring stress and negativity into your life
- Cut ties with anyone who may influence you to use substances, or anyone who uses drugs themselves
- Create new, healthy friendships with people who are drug-free and will encourage you to stay sober
- Avoid places and situations that normally present an opportunity for drug us
Lifestyle Tips for Staying Drug-Free
- Find new hobbies to keep yourself occupied and away from temptation
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day to maintain a healthy mind and body
- Get outdoors often and spend time with nature
- Learn new things – take a class or teach yourself something that you’ve always wanted to lear
Support Tips for Staying Drug-Free
- Research the dangers of drugs and the effects they can have on your brain, your body, your relationships and your children. Children who grow up witnessing their parents abusing substances have a higher chance of using drugs later in life
- Take care of your mental health as much as your physical health. Going to therapy is a great way to ensure you’re taking care of your mental health
- Write in a journal – avoid keeping any feelings bottled up as this can often result in turning to drugs to blow off steam or “forget” problems. Track any time you were offered and refused temptation and how you were able to do so for review later
- Join a group for those who are also working on staying drug-free
- Talk to friends and family about your decision of staying drug-free and how they can help you. Those people can help hold you accountable and provide tips, as well as be a good place to turn to when you’re having tempting thoughts
- If you aren’t able to keep away from drugs on your own, you can always check into a drug rehab or treatment facility where you’re surrounded by professionals that will work with you to ensure you learn the tips you need for staying sober after you leave
These are only a few of the tips on how to keep yourself away from drugs. Naturally, everyone will have a different journey and find certain methods more effective than others in how you can stay away from drugs. Of course, the most important thing to remember for those new to substance use is that drug addiction is a preventable disease, and can be avoided by staying drug-free in the first place.
The Dangers of Drug Addiction
If you do find yourself in the face of addiction, or heading down that path, you must be aware of how addiction affects your mind, body and life. Drug use can trigger the brain to release extra dopamine – the chemical in your brain that makes you feel happy, excited or more care-free – and your brain is trained to crave those feel-good experiences again and again with repeated drug use. Over time, you build up a tolerance to that amount of dopamine, and therefore you crave more drugs to feel that rush in a vicious cycle.
Continued drug abuse can affect other parts of your brain. Over time, you will damage your memory, ability to learn or make sound judgements, not to mention the range of social implications & physiological damages it can cause to the rest of your body. As you seep into this reliance on certain substances, getting drug-free becomes more difficult, leaving more importance on the tips mentioned above.
Getting Clean & Staying Drug-free
The earlier intervention occurs with these tips for staying drug-free, the better the chances for long-term success. As such, be aware of the signs and symptoms of drug addiction and seek help immediately if you suspect you or someone you know is an addict.
Here’s how you can tell if someone may be dealing with substance addiction:
- Have the overwhelming urge to use drugs daily
- Need more and more to feel the effects of the drugs
- Start stealing, lying or resorting to criminal ways to obtain more drugs
- Feel irritable, antsy or sick when you are unable to get drugs, or are attempting to be drug-free
- Stop caring about your appearance, job, relationships and home life
- Go without basic needs (such as meals, or stop paying bills) to afford more drugs
When one or more of these symptoms present themselves, that’s how you know it’s time to begin working on tailored strategies for how do you stay away from drugs in the long term. Seek help from friends, family and professionals, and begin practicing the tips above. One of the most effective ways to rid yourself of drug addiction is by checking yourself into a drug rehab facility, where you can detox and recover under the supervision of professionals away from familiar surroundings & habits. Hills & Ranges Private offers a renowned drug rehabilitation program that can help you learn these tips on how to stay away from drugs after you leave to get your life on track. To learn more, contact us today and discuss your situation with our friendly staff.