Substance Use Disorder is a serious mental health disorder that affects millions of people around the world. The impacts of substance use and addiction are often detrimental to an individual’s physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. Understanding the root cause of your substance use, identifying and addressing triggers, developing healthy coping mechanisms, and having a strong support system are all essential ingredients for a successful recovery journey. Often, this process can be confusing and overwhelming. It requires focus, commitment, and a willingness to change. Asking yourself the right questions can help you navigate the journey to recovery successfully. Below are some important questions to ask yourself.
1. Why do I use drugs or alcohol in the first place?
Understanding the reasons behind your substance use is crucial for recovery. Ask yourself what triggers the urge to use drugs or alcohol. It could be to numb emotional pain, cope with stress or anxiety, or peer pressure. Knowing the root cause can help you identify and address the underlying issues.
2. Am I willing to change my behavior?
Recovery requires true dedication and wholehearted motivation for change. Ask yourself if you are ready to leave your old habits behind, embrace new ones and make the necessary lifestyle changes to achieve sobriety.
3. What is my motivation?
Motivation provides the much-needed energy and drive necessary to persevere through the difficulties that come with substance use recovery. It helps individuals to stay committed to the recovery process, even when the process becomes difficult and uncomfortable. What are your motivations? Do you want to improve your relationships? Pursue an educational or career goal? Have better experiences in the community?
4. What are my triggers?
Triggers are situations or events that can tempt you to use drugs or alcohol. Understanding your triggers and developing appropriate coping mechanisms to handle them is vital for a successful recovery.
5. Who can I turn to for support?
Recovery from substance use and addiction is often a challenging journey, and the right support is essential. In addition to working with a professional therapist, consider reaching out to family, friends, or support groups to help you through the process. Having a strong support system can make a tremendous difference in your recovery journey.
6. What are my goals in recovery?
Setting clear goals is essential for a successful recovery journey. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve in recovery. It could be to repair relationships, improve your health or develop new hobbies. Setting realistic and attainable goals with a therapist will keep you motivated and focused on your journey to recovery.
7. What coping mechanisms can I develop to handle stress and anxiety?
Stress and anxiety are common triggers for substance use. Developing healthy coping mechanisms in therapy, such as mindfulness, self-compassion, enjoyable activities, social boundaries, healthy routines, and more, can help reduce stress and anxiety and prevent relapse.
8. What is my plan for preventing relapses?
A relapse prevention plan is designed to provide individuals with the necessary tools to successfully navigate the way to recovery. It involves a series of skills, strategies, and coping mechanisms that help individuals to overcome potential relapse triggers. Not sure how to go about this? Reach out to us for support. We would be honored to help you create a personalized plan tailored to your unique needs.
Remember, overcoming Substance Use Disorder is a process, not a destination, and with determination, commitment, and the right support, you can achieve a life of sobriety and fulfillment. At River Oaks, we seek to compassionately honor the very real experiences of those struggling with substance use and actively work to help you reach your goals. By being proactive in seeking help and taking steps towards healing, many people reach long-lasting recovery and achieve a brighter, more hopeful future. If you are loved one is struggling with substance use, please reach out to us. We would be honored to meet you.
Written by Lauren Presutti