How to Stop an Addiction

When this happens, the brain no longer works as it should. Addicts rarely break the cycle of addiction without guidance from people who have their best interests at heart. Because it takes time for addiction to develop, it also takes time to break the cycle of addiction. The longer someone continues the ritual of addiction, the deeper entrenched it becomes, and the harder it can be to break the cycle. But in a world of electronic payments, digital documents, and remote work, a truly smartphone-free lifestyle is getting less and less practical. A better—and, for many of us, more plausible—approach is to manage addictive behavior by moderating device use.

It doesn’t matter what the goals are, just that they are important to you. Many people try to cope with their urges by toughing it out. When this happens, it can be useful to stay with the sober house urge until it passes. Imagine yourself as a surfer who will ride the wave of your drug craving, staying on top of it until it crests, breaks, and turns into less powerful, foamy surf.

What are the 5 steps of addiction?

Adding hunger and restrictions to the mix is likely to make things harder. Food addiction is thought to involve the same neurotransmitters and areas of the brain as drug addiction. Processed junk foods have a powerful effect on the reward centers of the brain. These effects are caused by brain neurotransmitters like dopamine (3).

  • By breaking it down into its many parts, people in recovery can then tackle the problem from multiple angles.
  • The first thing to do when you realize you have relapsed is to understand what happened.
  • If your friends try to force you into using drugs or drinking with them when you are trying to get sober, be honest and straightforward with them.
  • Get professional help from an online addiction and mental health counselor from BetterHelp.
  • Using the drugs puts them at a higher point than before but not using keeps them at the same stressful level.

Considering you are eating vegetables, you are okay with having the donut because you are still eating healthy at other times. When we’re repeatedly exposed to pleasure-producing stimuli — social media, sugar, alcohol or any number of readily-available substances — our bodies adjust. Then we need more on repeated use, just to feel a the marginal pleasure boost – and, eventually, just to feel «normal.» When your addictive behavior comes to the point of creating conflict, it is out of balance with other parts of your life. Even after making a commitment to quit and going through the withdrawal phase, these conflicts don’t simply go away. These changes in your brain can make quitting difficult, but it is important to remember that addictions are treatable.

What causes relapse?

Substance use disorders affect the brain causing it to look for excuses and justifications to keep using. A dopamine hit brings about pleasure and is then quickly followed by pain, or a come-down, in order to keep us motivated, says psychiatrist Dr. Anna Lembke. Ultimately, Lembke says, this is a universal problem – not one limited to those of us struggling with the disease of addiction – that has come with living in modern life. And to restore our sanity, collectively we must rethink how to navigate a dopamine overloaded world. With addiction, you want to make sure that you set yourself for success.

When you are in that moment, ask yourself, “Will this really better me? You are responsible for your actions and the consequences that comes along with them. Stop and think about how your decisions will truly affect you, and only then should you make the decision. It’s important to remember that there isn’t a single treatment that is right for everyone, so working with a therapist to find the right approach for you can improve your chances of success.

Connect with others who are breaking the addiction habit too.

You can choose to get back on the path to recovery and use the experience to strengthen your commitment. When experiencing a craving, many people have a tendency to remember only the positive effects of the drug and forget the negative consequences. Therefore, you may find it helpful to remind yourself that you really won’t feel better if you use and that you stand to lose a lot. Sometimes it is helpful to have these consequences listed on a small card that you keep with you. Once you’re sober, the negative feelings that you dampened with drugs will resurface. For treatment to be successful, you’ll first need to resolve your underlying issues.

  • When your life is filled with rewarding activities and a sense of purpose, your addiction will lose its appeal.
  • With a journal, you can help yourself start a plan to stop addiction to help identify patterns, triggers, goals, and motivators.
  • Medications can be utilized to treat symptoms of withdrawal, help people remain in treatment, and prevent relapse.
  • However, the desire to experience a ‘high’ from the behavior – in this case binge-watching videos – can be just as strong.
  • If there’s uncertainty, writing down the pros and cons may help make the decision.

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