It can be really hard for a person to avoid turning to drugs or alcohol, especially when these items are readily available. While seeking professional help is the best way to learn how to avoid substance abuse, there are a few methods people can adapt on their own. Developing coping skills, creating new habits, joining local support groups and keeping up with treatments help people stay on the path to recovery.
Develop Good Coping Skills
It can be easy to turn to drugs or alcohol when life becomes too difficult to deal with. Coping skills are ways to combat the feelings that come from stressful situations. Coping skills can be any positive activity that helps the patient take their mind off things and calm down. Physical activities, such as going to the gym or playing sports, are an excellent choice. Other people choose more relaxing coping skills, such as meditation, reading, or removing themselves from the situation for a while. A professional can help the patient develop practical coping skills that can be used any time temptation arises.
Join a Support Group
Support groups can be a great way to meet peers that are going through the same things as the patient. While it can be difficult to discuss personal issues in a group setting, most support groups allow people to open up at their own pace. The goal is to make the patient feel comfortable while providing website them with practical advice. A regular support group will also make the patient feel more accountable for their actions.
Find New Ways to Relax
Most people turn to drugs or alcohol out of habit. It’s how they relaxed every Saturday night for as long as they can remember. While these habits can be hard to break, it only takes the average person 15 days to develop a new habit. Try finding an enjoyable activity to that can be done as a group, such as bowling or going to the movies. This can help keep the mind occupied and help replace bad habits.
Keep Up with Treatments
If a person is already getting treated for mental illness or substance abuse, it is important to follow all of the advice given by the medical professional. In addition to following their advice closely, patients need to be willing to keep up with regular appointments. Simply seeing a therapist once a week can be enough to keep some people on track.
For people who aren’t sure if they have a problem, try taking a substance abuse assessment in Grand Rapids. This is often the first step in uncovering an issue and getting personalized help.