Natural methods for escaping drug addiction exist, and essentially act as an alternative to traditional rehabilitation. For those with an ample desire to beat addiction and the right tools, self-guided recovery is possible. However, attempting to stop using drugs without any form of professional help can be extremely difficult.
Why quit drugs?
It’s never too late to quit using drugs.
Reducing or quitting drugs can improve your life in many ways. It can:
- improve your physical and mental wellbeing
- reduce your risk of permanent damage to vital organs and death
- improve your relationships with friends and family
- help you reconnect with your emotions
- increase your energy
- help you sleep better
- Improve your appearance
- save you money
Recovered addicts say that they’ve never felt better after quitting drugs, although this can take time. Knowing why you want to quit drugs can help you to stay motivated during the withdrawal process.
What quitting drugs feels like
When you reduce or quit using drugs your body goes through a detoxification process (detox) or withdrawal.
Symptoms vary between people, and between drugs, and range from mild to serious. They can last from a few days to a few weeks — it's different for every person — but they are temporary. Cravings for the drug will sometimes be weak and at other times very strong. Learning how to manage them is important for staying drug-free.
Preparing to quit drugs
Reducing or quitting drugs can be hard — you may have become dependent or addicted. It’s a good idea to be prepared for what’s involved.
Admit you have a problem
The first step in quitting drugs is to admit that you have a problem. If you’re not sure, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you taking drugs first thing in the morning or to get through the day?
- Do friends or family worry or complain about your drug use?
- Do you lie about how much you’re using?
- Have you sold possessions or stolen to pay for your drug habit?
- Have you participated in dangerous or risky activities, such as driving under the influence, having unprotected sex, or using dirty needles?
- Do you feel that you’ve lost control of your drug taking?
- Are you having problems with relationships?
If you answered yes to any of these questions it might be time to accept that you have a problem and need help.
How To Stop Using Drugs Naturally
Do not attempt addiction recovery on your own without ample research. It is not impossible, but it is more difficult than enrolling in a rehab program. Here are some tips for anyone considering taking their rehabilitation into their own hands.
Recognize the Dangers of Self-Guided Drug and Alcohol Detox
Before you can embark on the road to recovery, you first overcome the roadblock that is drug detoxification. A cold turkey detox is not recommended, as this approach can be deadly. Even if your ultimate goal is to recover on your own, there’s nothing to gain from putting your health at serious risk.
Undergo the detox portion of your recovery in a medical setting, with support from trained professionals. This precaution will ensure that your withdrawal is not deadly and allow you to begin a natural rehabilitation process.
The first 48 hours to seven days after quitting drugs will be the hardest. Withdrawal side effects can be bothersome, painful and dangerous to your health. During this time, attempting self-guided recovery is ill-advised.
In a hospital setting, doctors can identify stages of withdrawal and administer medication accordingly. This approach will protect you from the painful and discouraging symptoms of withdrawal.
Begin Your Rehabilitation Journey
Once you’ve conquered the dangers of drug withdrawal, you’re ready to begin the rehabilitation process. Understand that although you don’t necessarily have to enroll in a program, you must still do all of the work that you would have done had you undergone treatment.
It is critical that you begin by identifying the root cause of your addiction. You may be using substances to escape reality, get away from depression or anxiety, or to cope with something in your past.
It will be very difficult to stop using if you don’t understand why you started in the first place.
If you believe the problem is related to a separate, underlying mental health issue, then it is imperative that you seek out professional help to guide you through rehab. Co-occurring disorders are extremely difficult for fully trained professionals to treat, let alone an individual performing self-guided rehab at home.
Addressing your mental health via therapy or the right prescription medication, however, may enable you to eventually tackle the rehabilitation process on your own.
Keep Your Rehabilitation on Track
It is incredibly important to keep up your daily disciplines during self-guided rehabilitation, as you will have to act as your own addiction counselor. It will be up to you to set a schedule, keep your rehabilitation on track, mark your milestones and maintain sobriety.
This is another instance where the choice to do recovery at home makes the process considerably more difficult. Your success hinges solely on your own willpower.
Make a Significant Lifestyle Change
You will need to get proper exercise and nutrition during natural rehabilitation. Taking care of your body will help your body heal from the effects of your addiction, as well as your mind and spirit. For example, yoga, Reiki, meditation and similar activities can offer inner calm to practitioners.
Likewise, keeping your mind occupied via group activities like a book group is a smart strategy for managing your sobriety. The more you break away from old, drug-oriented activities and people, the more likely that you will be successful in your self-guided rehabilitation.
Unfortunately, upending your entire lifestyle can be difficult. The task of shutting out long-time friends and avoiding areas known for drug use can be extremely difficult during the early days of sobriety. Taking these steps is critical to successful recovery of any kind.
Don’t overlook the advantages of participating in professionally guided treatment. The process of creating distance from unhealthy lifestyle habits and developing new responses to drug cravings is far easier to manage when done with the help of addiction recovery professionals.
Focus on Your Sobriety
The ability to quit drugs naturally and experience long-term recovery depends entirely on your own personal willpower and dedication to getting sober.
If you have any doubts about your willpower or ability to stop using on your own, don’t take the risk. Ask for help from family and close friends to keep you honest.
Living with someone you trust, preferably a sober individual, can go a long way toward helping you if you do not think you can live alone during this time.
If you do not have a support system available to guide you through every step of the recovery process, you may be better off fighting your addiction in a traditional rehab setting. After all, you will not be able to rely on friends and family in the same way you can rely on doctors and nurse practitioners working at a treatment facility.
Don’t Forget that Help Is Available
Quitting drugs and alcohol outside of rehab is possible, but there it is little to suggest that those who attempt self-guided recovery are actually improving their chances. Why go it alone when you can enlist the support of experienced and empathetic recovery professionals?
Don’t feel like you need to figure out all the answers on your own. At Maryland Recovery Center, our first priority is helping those struggling with addiction to get on the road to sobriety. We encourage those battling substance abuse problems to reach out to us to learn how we help those in need of professional treatment and care.