Drug addiction, or substance use disorder, is a medical condition that affects an individual’s brain and consequent behavior. It is a progressive disease that ultimately leads to the individual’s inability to control their use of the addictive medication or drug. Some of the most common forms of substance use addiction include drug addiction—opioids, recreational drugs, prescription medication—alcohol addiction, marijuana, and nicotine addiction.
These drugs affect the addictive center of the brain differently, which explains why some illicit drugs are more addictive than others. If you or someone you care about are in recovery from substance use, here are some tips to help you stay on track.
Seek substance use treatment.
Several treatment options can help you manage your substance use disorder, and a trained clinician can help you decide the best course of treatment. Some of the most common treatments used in rehab facilities to manage substance addiction include detoxification, cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step facilitation, medical assistance, and rational emotive behavioral therapy.
Medically assisted detox helps the patient expel the addictive substance in a safe and comfortable environment. If you or someone you love are struggling with substance addiction, you don’t have to suffer alone: an addiction treatment facility can help you with your recovery.
If you’re in the Phoenix area, for instance, and need help finding a Phoenix rehab or recovery center, some online resources you could look up are the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP), and the American Society of Addiction Medicine websites.
Eat a balanced diet.
As you work on your recovery, be mindful of how you treat your body. This is because a healthy diet, especially one that’s rich in fish oils, protein, healthy carbohydrates, and vitamins, can help restore your overall health and brain function. And as cliche as it sounds, maintaining a healthy diet can also help you reduce some of the cravings that could trigger a relapse. Our moods are often affected by our nutritional habits. Keeping this in mind, a balanced diet can help you feel less anxious, depressed, and irritable.
Taking nutritional supplements can also help your body make up for the vitamins that were depleted during your period of active addiction. Studies show that most people in substance use recovery tend to be deficient in essential vitamins such as vitamins A, C, D, and E. Nutrient-dense supplements such as those provided by the Standard Process brand can help you replenish the essential vitamins that your body needs.
Given that most supplement brands are still largely unregulated by the FDA, always consult your primary health care practitioner before trying out new supplements.
Make sleep hygiene a priority.
Getting an adequate night’s rest plays a vital role in your recovery. This is because adequate rest allows the body to self-regulate, making it possible for you to manage your cravings and mood swings. Proper sleep hygiene involves having a fixed wake-up and bedtime. It also means avoiding screens before bed, creating a wind-down or bedtime routine, and avoiding caffeine a couple of hours before bedtime.
How your bedroom is set up can also affect your quality of sleep. If you’re having difficulty going to bed at night or staying asleep, ensure that your curtains are thick enough to block out street lights or other lights inside your home. A sound machine or calming music playing in the background can also help you ease into a restful sleep. During the detox process, lack of sleep is often a common side effect of withdrawal, and proper sleep hygiene can help manage this.
The dependency caused by a substance use disorder can be life-threatening and lead to other health complications such as cardiovascular disease, liver disease, chronic pain, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and more. If you’re struggling with substance abuse, you’re not alone, and a rehab center can get you the help you need.