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Fighting Addictions

Fighting Addictions

"Sera started smoking cigarettes when she was 14. Six months later and she has progressed to marijuana and occasionally, cocaine. At 21, Sera admits that she's addicted to these drugs and they are ruining her life, but quitting is so difficult! She has tried and failed to fight her addiction so many times. She has lost hope of ever being free from drugs."

Addiction is a chronic disease of the brain which manifests through compulsive use of substance or engagement in risky behaviors for or as a result of the substance use regardless of negative, harmful consequences.

People can develop an addiction to many different things. From substances such as marijuana, nicotine, opioids, alcohol, and cocaine to behaviors, such as gambling, internet use, and sex. 

Addictions are difficult to fight and might lead to physical and psychological problems as well as interpersonal problems with one's loved ones. 

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If you are embarking on a journey to rid yourself of addictions, try these four tips:


Figure out your triggers

You might have realized that you are more likely to indulge in your addiction after certain situations, with some people, or in specific places. These are your triggers, take note of them and find ways to avoid/manage them.

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If your friends are your preferred company for smoking weed, avoid meeting them for a while or meet them in a public, no-smoking space. If you find yourself gambling away large sums of money anytime you pass a betting shop, take a different route. 


Don't quit all at once

Quitting all at once is known as "going cold turkey." Quitting cold turkey is associated with a higher chance of going back to the addictive habit as well as uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Instead, try to gradually let go. 

If you are a smoker who indulges in 10 packs a day, try to reduce your intake to 8 packs, then 6, then 4, until you get to the point where you are smoking just a stick a day. 


Find a support system

Fighting addictions is hard and the temptation to just indulge is constant. Find people who can motivate you when the going gets tough. Tell your close friends or family members that you are trying to quit. Join a support group online or offline. Having people who understand what you are going through can help you with quitting. 

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Prepare your mind for quitting

Quitting an addictive behavior is in your mind as well as in your habits. You can't just jump into it, prepare yourself for the process. Think about what you need to make the process successful. Find out what professional support is available. Take note of your triggers and how to avoid them. Check if medications or alternatives are available. In essence, think about what you need to give up and the new habits you need to adopt.

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Overcoming addiction is never easy and the journey is riddled with numerous relapses, but you can't give up. Remember, emotional and environmental triggers are the most common reasons for relapse; note your triggers and take steps to avoid them.