7 Natural Ways To Overcome Drug Addiction
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Tips To Overcome Drug Addiction
Overcoming addictions can be challenging but not impossible. Along with standard conventional treatments, you can follow alternative approaches to beat addictions. Admitting that there is a problem and motivating yourself is the first step. Meditating provides mental clarity. Practicing yoga enhances concentration and helps break the cycle of stress. Acupuncture helps reduce withdrawal symptoms. Therapies like massages, aromatherapy, and art and music therapies can also help in overcoming addictions.
Drug addiction or substance abuse has no fixed explanations or reasons. You may be addicted to drugs or other substances due to reasons like social pressure, curiosity, rebelling against authority, or escaping emotional problems.
Overcoming the nature of drug addiction can be difficult and challenging, but it is definitely not impossible. Change is possible with the right kind of treatment and support along with self-help and determination. If you have tried and failed to overcome an addiction, don’t think that you’ve been defeated. The road to recovery can be bumpy and it can take you through the wrong turns, but all you need to do is to keep trying till you succeed.
Withdrawal symptoms depend on the drug used. Some of the most common symptoms include sweating, anxiety, tension, inability to concentrate, headaches, irritability, nausea, and others.
In 2014, a survey by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that more than 20 million Americans aged 12 years or above were illicit drug users.1
There are several addictions, but all those who want to overcome them expect only one result – freedom from addiction.
1. Motivate Yourself
The toughest step toward recovery is deciding to bring about change for yourself. It is normal to have feelings of uncertainty whether you are ready for it or not. It is okay to be confused. But, the key here is to not let go of that thought to make your life different.
Recovery from addiction requires time, motivation, and support. The first person that can help you overcome addiction is you. Believing that you can recover is important, too.
Relapse or returning to drug use is common with addiction. To prevent relapses, avoid returning to the people, places, or things that are associated with your addiction. Seeking help from friends and family members is also one of the most important initial steps to overcome addiction.
2. Engage In Meditation
The purpose of meditation is to calm and quiet the mind. Meditation promotes relaxation and provides mental clarity. Meditation, in particular, mindfulness meditation has been criticized due to the lack of scientific evidence to support the claim that engaging in meditation can help addicts.
There is a study that reported a decreased drug abuse with Transcendental Meditation.2
Individuals who regularly practiced Transcendental Meditation decreased or stopped abusing drugs, decreased or stopped engaging in drug-selling activities, and changed their attitudes in the direction of discouraging others from abusing drugs. The magnitude of these changes is directly proportional to the individual’s duration of practice. This means that the longer an individual practiced this meditation the stronger were the changes.
3. Practice Yoga
Yoga along with other substance abuse treatment programs can help in overcoming drug addiction. Yoga uses physical postures to connect the body and mind. This technique also uses certain breathing exercises. Yoga helps an individual to gain self-awareness and focus attention inward.
There is a study that proposes that a whole-system approach can be used to break the cycle of stress, negative emotions, and addictive behavior by creating a sense of self-awareness, self-control, and self-realization.3
Practicing traditional elements of yoga and mindfulness at any point in the vicious cycle of substance use can help improve attention, increase concentration, enhance emotion regulation, and facilitate personal and spiritual growth through self-observation.
4. Use Acupuncture Treatment
Acupuncture is one of the practices used in traditional Chinese medicine. In this technique, thin needles are inserted through the skin. This is known to stimulate specific points on the body.
The efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of substance abuse is debatable. However, there is a study that shows, to a certain extent, how acupuncture can help with substance abuse. The study also claims that prominent effects of acupuncture are increases in the levels of enkephalin, epinephrine, endorphin, serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the central nervous system and plasma that might mediate substance abuse.4
Acupuncture is often used to reduce symptoms related to withdrawal. It stimulates detoxification, promotes a heightened sense of relaxation, and encourages endorphin production thereby making it an excellent tool for overcoming addiction.5
5. Go For A Massage Therapy
Body massages may help in overcoming addiction. More importantly, it may with controlling withdrawal symptoms. Massages relax the body and mind, improve circulation, and can energize your life.
The results of a study show that self-massages can improve the moods of smokers as well as reduce their withdrawal symptoms. Further, the study also showed that self-massages may help in reducing the number of cigarettes smoked.6
If you don’t get the time for a full body massage, a head massage is also beneficial. The head is a sensitive and nerve-rich area of the human body; hence, head massages can be very beneficial especially for those battling addictions.7
6. Benefit From Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy can be very helpful in giving up addictions. The nasal cavity is in close proximity to the brain, and various smells can open up neural pathways, lift moods, and promote beneficial states of consciousness.8
Aromatherapy uses essential oils and these oils used also have other healing properties. You can add the essential oils to a warm bath. Ideally, 5–10 drops of the oil in a tub full of water or you can just use them like smelling salts during the day. Just open the bottle and inhale the aroma.
Even though essential oils are not addicting, it is advised to switch them from time to time. Some of the essential oils that may help overcome addictions are as follows:
- Anise Oil – Improves relaxation and sleep
- Basil Oil – Curbs addictive cravings and helps in withdrawal
- Bergamot Oil – Helps relieve anxiety, depression, and compulsive behavior
- Black Pepper Oil – Helps alleviate the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal
- Eucalyptus Oil – Dispels alcohol cravings
7. Beat Addiction With Art And Music Therapy
Art therapy may be used to provide emotional release, self-expression, stress management, and adjustment to recovery. Art therapy helps decrease an addict’s denial of addiction, increase the addict’s motivation to change, provide a secure outlet for painful emotions, and reduce the shame of addiction.
Language may not always be an effective way to convey feelings. Through art therapy, the feelings of an addict that cannot be explained can be communicated in the form of a creative work.
Much the same way, music therapy is also beneficial for an individual struggling to overcome a particular addiction. Music improves the addict’s ability to recognize and accept emotions, promotes self-awareness and self-expression, increases self-esteem, and reduces stress levels.
A study providing positive outcomes of using these therapies in substance abuse treatment centers has been made. However, the use of art and music therapy in treatment centers has been understudied.9 Art and music therapies may be used as complements to other standard conventional treatments.
Addictions can be hard to overcome. The first step is to accept there is a problem, and the second step is to do something about it.
Always remember, there is no shame in trying to become a better you!
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Behavioral Health Trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).|
|2.||↑||Benson, Herbert, and Robert K. Wallace. “Decreased drug abuse with Transcendental Meditation: A study of 1,862 subjects.” In Drug abuse: Proceedings of the international conference, pp. 369-376. Philadelphia: Lee and Febiger, 1972.|
|3.||↑||Khanna, Surbhi, and Jeffrey M. Greeson. “A narrative review of yoga and mindfulness as complementary therapies for addiction.” Complementary therapies in medicine 21, no. 3 (2013): 244-252.|
|4.||↑||Motlagh, Farid Esmaeili, Fatimah Ibrahim, Rusdi Abd Rashid, Tahereh Seghatoleslam, and Hussain Habil. “Acupuncture therapy for drug addiction.” Chinese medicine 11, no. 1 (2016): 16.|
|5, 7, 8.||↑||Mars, Brigitte. Addiction-Free Naturally: Liberating Yourself from Sugar, Caffeine, Food Addictions, Tobacco, Alcohol, and Prescription Drugs. Inner Traditions/Bear & Co, 2001.|
|6.||↑||Hernandez-Reif, Maria, Tiffany Field, and Sybil Hart. “Smoking cravings are reduced by self-massage.” Preventive medicine 28, no. 1 (1999): 28-32.|
|9.||↑||Aletraris, Lydia, Maria Paino, Mary Bond Edmond, Paul M. Roman, and Brian E. Bride. “The use of art and music therapy in substance abuse treatment programs.” Journal of addictions nursing 25, no. 4 (2014): 190.|
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.