Natural Ways to Help Fight Drug Addiction
Addiction is often a result of trying to escape a stress, a trigger, or something more, and is most often a symptom of other underlying mental health conditions. This makes the risk of addiction in individuals with PTSD, anxiety, and depression extremely high.
Fortunately, we have stopped vilifying drug addiction to the extent which we used to; it’s now recognized as a chronic disease. While this means that addiction is something that will have to be continually managed for a long time, it also shows that we are now aware that it is a condition that is treatable. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to treating addiction and if you want to fight drug addiction, it has to be on more than one front.
Here are five natural things that you can do to help you beat addiction, alongside a comprehensive, evidence-based drug recovery program.
1. Find a Community
It may sound like a simple solution, but finding your tribe is an incredibly important step in the recovery journey. It’s unlikely that you will identify and be understood by people that don’t know what you have been through. You have to surround yourself with people that know about addiction recovery so that they can support you and vice versa.
The addiction journey is often isolating for addicts—they lose friends, partners, and family members through their behaviors, and it’s essential when re-entering society that you find people that you can connect with and create a community. You need to be with people who won’t judge you, but rather support you, as you try and turn your life around.
There are many places where you can meet like-minded people that are on a similar wavelength to you. Group therapy sessions like Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous are just some of the places that are accessible and affordable.
There aren’t many addicts out there that would classify themselves as active people. In fact, many have not looked after their bodies in years, and struggle with fatigue. Regular exercise could change all of this.
There are a number of reasons why exercise is such a great tool when trying to maintain sobriety. First, you will become healthier, lose weight, and get stronger. This all helps to boost your self-confidence and self-esteem, which are often areas that are particularly poor in addicts. Exercise also helps to keep you busy and stimulates the body to produce endorphins and endocannabinoids, which will give you a natural high, of sorts. This euphoric feeling produced by your body during strenuous exercise is commonly known as “runner’s high.”
Playing a team sport or attending a group class is also a wonderful way to make friends and grow a community with healthy habits and interests.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Addiction recovery is about so much more than simply stopping the intake of substances. It’s about treating, healing, and managing the factors that lead you down the road to addiction. This could be anything from anxiety to anger, stress, or sadness. All of these feelings could be triggers to your addiction and in order to get out of your addiction cycle, you have to find different coping mechanisms.
Meditation is an excellent tool that has helped many addicts to manage their emotional triggers. When you set aside some time to simply accept your thoughts and emotions without acting on them, you are giving yourself space to move past them without reverting to old addictive behaviors. Meditation means that you must be in the present and work on mastering your emotions rather than reacting to them.
4. Get Outdoors
It’s no secret that getting out and about in nature is good for the soul. Go for a hike, a run, a walk, spend some time relaxing in the park, or do some work in your garden. Being outside results in a release of dopamine from your body, which is the feel-good chemical that contributes to overall health, wellness, and happiness. What’s more, is that you’ll get a healthy dose of vitamin D while you are out there!
5. Discover a Healthy Hobby
There’s nothing quite like doing something that you enjoy. Find a hobby that helps to keep you occupied and assists in your healing journey at the same time. There are no boundaries for this: You could decide to become a climber in your spare time, take up art, write in your journey, practice yoga, or volunteer at your local pet shelter. A hobby that makes you feel good is a great way to spend a portion of your day that is filling up your wellness cup and contributing to the overall quality of your life.
At the end of the day, there are tons of natural, healthy ways that can help you fight drug addiction. Keep in mind, however, that addiction recovery is something that takes hard work, determination, and a strong sense of will, but with a holistic recovery plan and the right mindset, anything is possible.
Tess Salvatore is an online editor with many years specializing in the areas of self-help, psychology, and addiction therapy.