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4 Ways To Break An Addiction On Your Own

written by Vidya Sury September 2, 2023
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If you feel shackled down by an addiction, you’re not alone. Statistics show that 2 million people suffer from active substance use disorders. But to break an addiction isn’t always about drugs and alcohol; some people can’t seem to shake off an addiction to social media, others are stuck on food, and others are addicted to gaming and gambling.

An addiction of any type is readily recognized by the fact that “it is not a matter of choice.” Individuals who are addicts do not have the ability to “decide” to stop abusing, for example, alcohol or a certain drug, or even the behaviors of gambling or shopping. Addictions affect the user, their family, and friends.

What is an addiction?

How does an addiction begin?

When does the pattern of behavior become an addiction?

Some individuals may be able to use a substance or engage in a behavior periodically over a period of years without becoming “addicted.” Other individuals are not capable of stopping and do become addicted.

Are addictions only in certain social, educational or ethnic groups?

Absolutely not! There is no such thing as a typical addict.

The causes of addiction have been studied for several years. Addiction is caused by the emotion the substance or behavior brings about in the user. The body and mind become dependent on that feeling and seek to maintain it.

There are addiction risk factors that make some people more likely than others to become addicts. Studies show that sometimes addictions can be hereditary. The child of an alcoholic may not grow up to be an alcoholic; however, they may become addicted to gambling or some other type of compulsive behavior as an adult.

Besides hereditary, individuals who grow up in families with abuse, and neglect and who are impoverished are more likely to become addicts.

For most addicts, it can be extremely difficult to recognize that what they have associated as simply a habit is actually an addiction. While every individual is different there are some symptoms that are prevalent among most addicts and addictions:

  1. Unable to meet responsibilities at home, school or office.
  2. Continues to use substances or engage in behavior even when it is dangerous.
  3. The need increases to engage in behavior or use more of a substance to achieve the same effect or feeling.
  4. Has tried but failed to stop using the substance or end the behavior.
  5. Continues to engage in the behavior or use the substances even when they are aware of the dangers.

Answering yes to three or more of the above symptoms during a 12-month period may show that you or a loved one has an addiction. The first step to treating an addiction is recognizing that it exists.

Regardless of what type of addictive habits you have, it’s always possible to break free. While professional help is important, you alone can break an addiction.

Here are 4 effective ways to get started on your own to break an addiction

1. Set a quit date limit

How to break an addiction

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The first thing you want to do is set a quit date limit. Doing this should give you a tangible and committed starting point toward your recovery. This date will be a milestone in your new journey, so consider choosing a day that holds meaning for you. For example, you can choose a birthday, an anniversary day, or any other day that holds a special event.

A quit date gives you enough time to prepare mentally for the challenges of the new change and gather all the supporting resources you need to break an addiction. It also creates a sense of accountability, giving you something to hold yourself to.

2. Find healthy alternatives

Now, you need to discover healthy alternatives to replace your old behavior and fill the void left by the addictive habit. Most people spend hours each day with their addiction, creating huge gaps in their lives when the quitting phase starts.

Of course, you can always exercise, but you need specific alternatives to indulge in, even when cravings start at ungodly hours. Consider these activities your coping mechanisms to help you navigate your cravings and triggers.

For example, you can opt for a nicotine pouch as a substitute for cigarette smoking. They are available on platforms like Snusdaddy an online nicotine pouch shop. You can also consider spending time with loved ones who distract you from your addiction.

3. Move out of your environment

To break an addiction, move out of your environment or, at least, change it. Staying in the same place or environment will make quitting more challenging. Understandably, it’s not always possible to move, but you can at least change your environment.

Remove anything that reminds you of your addiction, whether at work or home.

But don’t end there; to break an addiction, separate yourself from people who encourage you to be involved with your object of addiction.

For example, if you’re trying to quit drinking, get rid of tiny reminders like bottle openers, corkscrews, and wine glasses. You can also avoid poker chips or games like cards if you’re trying to quit gambling.

4. Review your previous attempts at quitting

How to break an addiction

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You’ve probably tried a couple of times to quit but failed. It’s important to look back at all your past attempts, review them, and find out what went wrong or why you failed. Think about what worked in the past and what didn’t.

Consider what might have caused you to relapse and make the necessary changes. Doing this can help you plan better to overcome the challenges that caused you to fail and address them properly.

Living with an addiction requires a daily commitment and there is always the possibility of relapsing. An addict that has been “clean” for even 20 years can succumb to temptation just as they did decades before.

There are several treatment programs and centers that can help with the numerous types of addictions that are prevalent today. Many of them are anonymous. Support groups are also available to help family and friends who experience the effects of an addiction in a loved one.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.

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