How to Overcome Drug Abuse

Three Methods:Finding HelpChanging Your LifestyleBuilding a Supportive Social Network

Drug abuse is a chronic disease. This condition involves the use and abuse of drugs despite harmful consequences. One consequence of drug abuse is addiction. Addiction changes the brain so that it is less able to control intense urges to take drugs.[1] Genetics, family history, and environmental factors all play a role in shaping drug abuse.[2] Although it is a difficult condition to overcome, most people are able to overcome drug abuse.[3] It takes a complete commitment to overcoming drug abuse, social support and treatment.[4]

Method 1
Finding Help

  1. Image titled Overcome Drug Abuse Step 1
    Talk to your doctor about a treatment plan. A treatment plan should be tailored to your condition, physical and mental health history. It may use detoxification, behavioural or other counselling, medication, evaluation, and follow up treatment.[5] A treatment plan should help you to stop using drugs, stay drug free, and live the life you want to live.[6]
  2. 2
    Register for a drug rehab and recovery facility. Consider the location, price, duration, and style of treatment at the facility. Some recovery facilities are focused on the spiritual aspects of addiction. A medical model is emphasized at other facilities.[7]
    • Look into whether your insurance policy covers drug rehabilitation programs.[8]
    • Consider whether you need a place that addresses both spiritual and medical aspects of your condition.[9]
  3. 3
    Try cognitive-behavioral therapy. This form of therapy emphasizes the need to learn new skills and behaviors in the recovery process. Cognitive-behavioral therapy empowers the individual with effective ways of coping with the urge to take drugs. The skills learned during this form of therapy can be retained years after recovery has been completed.[10]
    • Behavioral therapy can also help you avoid triggers. It can help you cope with and avoid the people, places, and things you associate with taking drugs.[11]
  4. 4
    Join a support group for people with your addiction.[12] It can help to talk to people who are going through similar experiences. There are many support groups for people who are trying to overcome drug abuse. People who participate in support groups are typically more likely to remain clean and sober.[13]
    • Alcoholics anonymous is a group for people who have experienced drinking problems and want to do something about it. You can search for your local alcoholics anonymous group online to find the day and time that they meet in your city.[14]
    • Al-Anon is a support group for people who have been impacted by problem drinkers. Check out a meeting if you have been negatively impacted by a problem drinker in your family or social group.[15]
    • Cocaine Anonymous is a support group for people who want to get clean from cocaine and other mind altering substances. Check out a meeting in your area.[16]
    • Narcotics Anonymous is a support group for people wishing to recover from narcotics. The only requirement to join is a desire to stop using drugs.[17]
    • Nicotine Anonymous is a support group for people hoping to quit smoking and nicotine addiction.[18]

Method 2
Changing Your Lifestyle

  1. 1
    Stop using drugs. The most important step is to stop using the drug you are abusing.[19] It will take a one hundred percent commitment to the goal of overcoming drug abuse. It will also involve a complete change of your life such as the friends you spend time to the way you spend your time.[20]
  2. Image titled Overcome Drug Abuse Step 3
    Find other ways of dealing with stress and anxiety. Drugs are often abused in order to cope with stress and anxiety. Since you are quitting drugs, you will need another way to cope with stress.[21] For instance, you might start a meditation practice to deal with your stress.[22]
  3. 3
    Start an exercise routine. Exercise is a great way of coping with stress. It can help you cope during recovery from drug addiction.[23] Also, exercise can help restore dopamine levels in the brain to their normal levels prior to drug abuse.[24] So, starting an exercise routine can help you cope and heal from drug abuse.
    • Start a daily walking or hiking routine. A brisk 15 minute walk can help you cope with cravings and enjoy your surroundings.[25]
    • Try yoga. Yoga offers a nice balance of physical activity and meditation to reduce stress and anxiety. It can help you balance mind and body and makes you feel good.[26]
    • Try a strength training regime. Weight training can help you not only build muscle but also restore your natural sleep cycle. If you have insomnia problems, it can be especially beneficial.[27]
    • Join a team sport. Playing on a team sport has the added benefit of socializing away from the temptations of drugs and alcohol.[28]
  4. 4
    Eat a healthy diet. The brain can be damaged from drug abuse so you need to give it the proper nutrients to heal. For instance, a good diet to recover from drug abuse should include healthy fats (e.g., flax oil), limited caffeine intake, and adequate carbohydrates. You should also avoid fried foods and other sources of saturated fats.[29]
    • Try nutrition counselling. Medical nutrition counselling for individuals with drug addiction focuses on stabilizing mood, reducing stress, reducing cravings, and addressing underlying medical conditions.[30]
    • Increase your consumption of omega 3 fatty acids. You can find omega 3 fatty acids in fish like Mackerel, Salmon, White Fish, Tuna, and Herring. You can also find healthy fats in flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds. You can also find them in egg yolks.[31]
  5. Image titled Overcome Drug Abuse Step 4
    Change your wardrobe. By getting a haircut or dressing slightly more formal you can alter how others see you. This can also help you see yourself in a new way and as a clean person. By changing your wardrobe, you can improve your self confidence.[32]

Method 3
Building a Supportive Social Network

  1. Image titled Overcome Drug Abuse Step 2
    Secure the support of your friends and family members. Find friends and family members you trust to help you recover. It is not easy to recover from drug addiction, so you will need the help of people who care for you. [33]
  2. 2
    Try network therapy. Network therapy involves a close group of friends, family, and a therapist who are all committed to helping you recover from drug abuse.[34] In this model, you have an entire social network supporting your recovery from drug abuse. Your friends, family, and therapist all play a role so that you have the right help and people when you need them.
  3. 3
    Avoid socializing with drug using friends. It will be tough to lose these friends, but remember that being around certain people can be a trigger for your addiction.
    • Try using behavioral therapy to help you cope with triggers such as particular friend groups and places.[35]
  4. 4
    Make new friends. You will need to create new social networks to support your recovery process.
    • Try joining a new social club or meetup. Meetups bring people together to share interests and hobbies. Find one in your area based on your interests.[36]
    • Try joining a sports team. A sports team can be a nice way to socialize with new friends around common interests that do not involve drugs.


  • The most important of all is to watch which friends you mingle with.
  • Visit your doctor for help with physical dependency


  • Don't start a new bad habit to replace another!

Sources and Citations

Show more... (33)

Article Info

Categories: Drug Addictions