How Do I Stop Using Drugs and Alcohol?

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How do you stop using drugs and alcohol? Let’s break this question down into two really obvious camps right away:

1) People who can stop using drugs on their own

2) People who have tried to stop on their own, and cannot

This is an important distinction, and it represents our starting point. There are a number of people out there who get caught up with partying, drug use, heavy weekend drinking, or whatever–and many of those people do not actually have a problem. They might spend a weekend in jail over a DUI and figure out that they need to calm down and get their house back in order pretty quickly, and they can do so without any problem. There are people out there that fit this description, people who can stop using (or control their using) on their own. They might have gotten tripped up with drugs or alcohol, but they basically do not have a problem.

The other group of people do have a problem. A real problem. (This is the group I belong to, by the way). I could not stop on my own, and for a long time, I didn’t even want to try to. Then I went through a fairly long phase where I tried to control my using. I could manage to fool myself for a few days or even a few weeks that I had things under control, but eventually, I would always go back to being a full blown addict. Eventually I came to a point where I could no longer see myself continuing in my life–regardless of whether I continued using drugs and alcohol or not. I just felt like I could not continue on like I had been–drinking heavily and chasing all sorts of drugs, day in and day out….I just felt like it couldn’t go on anymore. This was my point of surrender.

At the same time, I felt like I could not possibly get clean and sober either. I had been to treatment centers before and I had been exposed to AA in the past but I felt like those things wouldn’t work for me. And even if they did help me get clean, I felt that I would just be miserable without being able to get drunk and high.

So I really felt trapped. But I did something that led me to where I am now. I asked for help. I asked for help and someone was there and they stayed with me until I could get into a treatment center. And once I was in the treatment center, I asked for more help, and the people at the treatment center set me up in a long term treatment center. Things fell into place and my life slowly got better and better and I’m still not sure of the exact process that occurred. I do know that in the beginning, I asked for help. Then I started following directions.

Now I’m leaving out a few details here, but I am now approaching 7 years of continuous sobriety, and I work at that treatment center where I first got clean. It’s difficult to describe the transformation that has become my life. This here is a detailed account of what worked for me and what didn’t, and this gives quite a bit of my story as well. This entire website explores my success in recovery, as I try to document and explain the process by which I transformed my life.

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  • rachael

    i have never done drugs, but i think everyone should try and stop using them and try and fight against drugs and stop using them

  • Michael

    I am one of those people who has a problem. My life is not going well, things didn’t go how I wanted it to with my girlfriend, and people are starting to dis-like me. But about four weeks ago, a drug dealer gave me something where my feelings went away. It feels so good though. The pills make me feel so much better, but people keep saying that it will ruin my life. But you know what! it makes me feel better! I yelled at my friend for trying to convince to stop using, but she said said, that it was the drugs that made me yell, and not me. But I don’t know what to do, you know? things have been so hard, and the drugs are the only thing that makes me feel better. But my friend told me to be carefull because I’m going in to high school, and if I get caught high, the teacher won’t hesitate to call the police. I don’t know what to do. Ever since my ex-girlfriend found out I’ve beem using, she told me never to contact her ever again, and that’s what makes me feel so, bad. But the pills make me feel good!!!

  • Patrick

    Hi there Michael

    You sound pretty young. If I were you I would ask for help. Like maybe from a school counselor or something. Sure they will probably jump all over you, but if you don’t catch this problem now, it will get much, much worse as time goes on. Better to stop now.

    Try to stop on your own. If you can’t, promise yourself you will ask for help. Set a deadline, like one week. If you haven’t stopped in one week then you will ask for help.

    That is what I would do. You have too much life ahead of you to just throw it all away on this crap.

  • niah

    Okai, im a girl who uses drugs, alot. How do i get off the drugs and stay clean? Im always high, there isnt a moent when im not high. I love drugs, but it all made me go insane, but i got and getting help about drugs but my school counselor doesnt work. So what should i do before i loose everything.?

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    You should stop taking it

  • siyabonga

    that was a good story of how you quit drugs and i hope you will become a great inspiration to others.

  • Aisha

    It all starts by urself i was a drug user and i stop if you cant help urself then no one will is better to be drug free

  • anonymous

    im 17 and i always wanna be high no matter what im doing. before practice i smoke weed if i have it and as sad as this sounds, i even go to work high or even drunk and i work with kids which is terrible. i steal pills from my parents and just blow them whenever i wanna get high. its really all i think about and my friends are telling me to stop because it will just fuck my life up even more. my bestfriend is in rehab and wouldnt you think id listen to him? well i dont, i dont listen to anyone. im failing classes at school and im on medicine to help me focus in school..which i abuse also because it makes me feel high at times if i take enough of it. i even fucking smoke weed or get drunk by myself. i dont know if i have a problem or not or if this is just normal?

  • Aaron

    Hey everyone. I have 2 days clean today and I’m 20 years old. I’ve been to six-28 day rehabs, 1 half way house, 1 long term program for 11 months and 2 jail sentences(one was for 4 months and the other for 2 and a half months). I’m 20 years old and thats a lot of time i’ve spent institutionalized expecially at my age. I started smoking weed and drinking at 12 years old and it progressed over time. I started smoking crack at 17 and shooting heroin at 18. I truly believe that drug use like mine and others is due to self esteem and self worth. I just lost my job this past monday because i was smoking crack and shooting heroin in and out of the bathroom at my job. Drugs have completely controlled my life. For the people who are young and think they might have a problem believe me it gets so much worse. You dont have to go through what i went through. I have been in and out of NA and AA meetings and Rehabs and Jails. It’s not fun. Today I’m finally choosing I cant fucking live like this anymore. I want to have a life and I’m sick of being controlled by drugs. I truly believe it’s cause i think im not worth anything. Once i start doing things for myself and stop being a people pleaser i believe i then will have a chance at staying clean. I hope i inspire someone or somebody reads this. God Bless everyone and pray for me.

  • echo99

    Being aware that you have a problem is always the first step. Then understand why you have that problem (why you take drugs), like how Aaron discovered why he did. Then accept that you have a problem in that area, like, if i were to use Aarons’ story, his substance abuse was due to his lack of self-esteem and self-worth. Accept that you have a problem with drugs and your lack of self-esteem and self-worth. Ask for help from your family and friends. If you can, go to a drug counselor or psychotherapist, then go. School counselors are not specifically trained to handle addiction in detail (at least where I am from). Overcoming your addiction takes a lot of effort, will power, social support, courage and knowledge. To all of you who are still under the influence, I hope that all of you will do your best to get better. Will pray for all of you. God Bless!

  • Wayne

    Hi all

    I have read many stories on this site and find numerous similarities with situations in my life. I started using drugs at the age of 22 after I left the army. It has been five years on, and the story continues. It’s always the same story. Go out, get drunk in a pub or a club, phone my dealer and snort coke till the early hours of the morning. This has become a social problem for me as I no longer know how to conduct my social life in any other “normal” way. It is so stupid! I am currently doing my Maters degree in International Politics and the previous semester I finished second in my class out of 60 students. No one in my class use to suspect me of doing drugs, however, until recently I started doing coke with fellow classmates and even did it with a professor’s son! I can’t seem to shrug the drug and alcohol yoke. I have a beautiful girlfriend, great family, and fantastic friends, but my drug use continues.

    I really want to change, I have tried so many times but my attempts seem futile as I so often fall into the same cycle again and then the self loathing begins. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that alcohol is the catalyst to my addiction problems. However, I often make the excuse that life is so boring without big parties and getting high, as well as a constant over functioning brain problem that leads to sleepless nights and constant streaming of theoretical thoughts. As I write this I am recovering from a long weekend binge. I want to stop, I really do, but my inner voice has no control at times and inevitably leads to another irresponsible party.

  • P.I.B.

    I have been smoking weed since I was 13 and the only time I stopped was when I went to state jail for 8 months. Before I went to jail I tried acid, ex, and xanax .The reason I went to jail was because I was addicted to xanax. I never got to graduate high school because I was in prison. When I got out I got my GED and also an associate’s degree. The only thing is I snort coke and I can’t seem to leave it alone. I split up with my girl friend, got laid off and I feel like I’m at a point in my life where I have hit rock bottom. I know I have the will power to stop but I feel so alone in life that I rather get high than deal with all these problems. I know that I started to use drugs because I have a low self-esteem and wanted to be cool. That was childish of me but that mistake I made by start using drugs made my life more difficult than it really had to be. But I have faith in god that I’m going to stop and get my life strait.

  • R.A.B

    i have used drugs and booze since i was 13. i am now 19, kick out of home, school, collage, and now by friends.
    so far i have been lucky in my indulgence but recently its all getting worse, people used to tell me how nice, funny and great to be around i was, now people dont talk to me, my friends have all gone leaving there own lifes, and im left here… a friends house…until tomoz….then i have no where to go….and the worse part is that last night i went out and got messy, very messy, as usual, wen i should have been sorting my f##king life out!! u say ask for help! i dont have time to ask for help! i hav to spend all my time finding places to stay, food to eat, i have to survive! help! yes please

  • sarah

    Hey everyone,
    I’ve read a few peoples comments and I would just like to say that life is never easy wether you are an adict or not!!!What we need as humans are skills to help us deal and overcome the many hardships of life. I truely believe that there is good in everyone of us, we should need to find it. With all this being said I still cannot find it in myself to listen to these words, but I do know that in order to make my life the way I want it to be, i need to figure out how to take the advice of others. I need to go into things with a different mind frame, it’s not the advice that doesnt work or the rehabs is the mind we are in that stops us from getting the help we need. I am not an addict but the man I love dearly is and his addiction feels like my addiction, thats why i’m looking for help!!!

  • Tmama

    I have read all the comments and i am doing a project on it soooooooo if u do use drugs u should stop and go to rehab or summmin so fuckin get off the pillz yo!!!! w/B

  • Tmama

    HEy… what are you doing?

  • Anonymous

    I have been useing pills since i was 15, mostly painkillers, i am now turning 28. I have a gr 8 education, no job, no friens and no life, ive completely isolated myself from everyone. The part that scares me is if i quit ill have to start all over again. learn how to live again, alone

  • kris

    ive tried alot of hing i tried this program and it worked very well check it out there was a lot of helpful information in it and it only cost me 15 dollars
    Click Here!

  • vishal

    use your will power to stop it,if u know the negative things is happening to you get it back before its to late,then plan every year a weed party may be your mind will be relaxed and will not affecting you and hopefully leave all your friend behind it

  • andy

    Hey guys.

    My friend is 15 and he just stopped taking drugs.
    Every weekend he would go out and do weed, or take speed before he went to school. At one stage i was starting to get really worried because he kept trying new drugs. Now that he’s trying to stop, he’s getting angry at things and people (like me) for no reason. He wont go get help, and its starting to get out of place, and i don’t want him to end up being an addict and get sick. What should I tell him?

  • felicia

    im one of thos proplr that have to smoke in the morning just to get started.i also used to take pills that i shouldnt of had. and i needed help. so i went to a rehab and in 3 months i was out clean. well about a year later my friends and i went to this party and i was just hanging out with this guy/ that was i thought was really cute. he asked me to take him to the store to get more beer and i said why not so we got nto the car and left well at the store i got out and went in there got the beer and got back in the car. on the way back i started to feel real dizzy and i couldnt move much. half way there he asked me are you feeling it and i said what. five minutes later i guess i passed out and he took me in his car to his place. i woke up with him on top of me . i couldnt think and i couldnt move. he was haveing his way.he told me that i was going to have his baby and at that moment and time i started to cry. the next morning i woke up and he was laying right beside me. i grabbed my keys and left.i went back to my friends house where she was crached with one of the guys she met and told her what went on.she told me to cll the police. i didnt.about that timei started to feel sick and i threw up several times and couldnt really talk. about a week later ai was siitin in the pharmacy restroom waiting on the results for the pregnacy test. i picked up the stack and it had a cross on it i took the other one and it had a cross on i. i was so scared i got back in my car and sped all the was home. i thought about going to that guys house but i didnt know what he was going to say. i called my brother and told him what had happened and he agreed to come with me. me and my brother arriving at the guys house got out of the car and rang the door bell. the guy answered and saw my face and told me to step inside. and told my brother to wait here. i looked at my brother and nodded my head.when we came back out the guy told my brother that he was very sorry and that he would take care of me and i wasnt inlove with him but i really didnt have a choice. the next weekened i moved in with hm and i slept in his bed while he slep oon the couch down stair. it took allittle whle for out relationship to gro but now we aremarried and have a beautiful little girl.

  • Cristiano

    This is crazy
    No one can stop taling drugs
    I need help
    How can People stop taking drugs?
    And #How People stop making Crimes?

  • kay

    im doing a project with a friend and he doesnt think that helping someone to stop is helpful tell him he is wrong plz

  • Dan

    HEllo everyone I just want to say I’m one of those that can’t stop I’m 19 been to three rehabs in and out of the rooms. I don’t know what to do anymore. I recently got out of rehab got a sponser put together two months and I went back out I just went to a meeting tonight after this two week tare. I don’t know what to do. All my behaviors and coming back and even so now that I haven’t picked up tbd past two days. Depression is really kicking in and I’m sick of living this way I’ve known since I was 16 that I don’t use like other people do. I want this problem to be gone and be able to advance in life.. ugh my names Dan thanks for letting me share.

  • Dabs115

    I am one of those people that has tried several attempts at staying clean but was not successful. I am 40 years old now and my life seems in shambles. I have had success in employment and education, but now I am un-employed, have had several run-ins with the law and because of that, is having a difficult time getting employed. It would seem that I would want to stay clean and sober, but the fact is that everytime I began to gain some clean time, I began to get cocky and start using again. I am truly tired, depressed and really want help. I want to ask for help, but I am embarrassed that the people in my life will say I am a failure again. I do have an AA sponsor, but I have not been able to admit to him that I have relapsed again. Please somebody, anybody give me some advice, I truly have a desire to get help and stay clean and sober for the rest of my life. Please help me.

  • Patrick

    @ Dabs115 – admit to your relapse and ask for help.

    I would recommend coming to the forums:

    And telling your story there. You will get support from real people there.

    Good luck.



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    Iv got ringsting so hace u got eny treatment

  • adam

    im not really sure i have a problem but maybe that is the problem?? i at most drink once a month but when i do i really do, i take drugs on the same day and havent got a clue why. its at the point where i wont drink without it. i dont even like drink!!!. ive got everything a man could want, so why do i put that on the line??????

  • SMR

    I am 18 and I have been drinking and using other various drugs sinc I was 13 I use to be a straight A student, then I let partying and having fun get the best of me. I have been arrested for drinking numerous times and I tell myslef everytime Im going to quit. My depression always gets the best of me though and I end up going out using again. WHAT DO I DO?? I really need a change but im so scared to ask for help!!

  • asim munir malik

    Dear Friends,
    Put your trust in god and help agencies as well. Some powerful and well trained help mightdo the trick. Make friends who are clean and follow their lifestyles. And seek good advice from sober and clean people.

  • Brooklyn

    I’m a young woman and I’ve done basically every drug there is. A have a few favourites that I keep going back to. I smoke weed daily. I’m in a constant cycle of doing drugs then being clean for weeks to months then back to the drugs. Part of me wants to get help, but most of me just wants to keep doing drugs. I feel like a dont have a problem because i can go for periods of time without using and not care. But yet I always still use again, crystal, heroin, coke, mdma, oxys. I sometimes combine up to 4 drugs at a time, with caring of what happens if I do, which scares me. I’m not too much of a drinker so i stick with my drugs, which doesn’t help. I’m not sure what to do, because I don’t want to quit.. and I can’t see myself ever quitting any drug I like permanently.

  • kerlsk

    Hi, I have been doing drugs at a daily basic for 3 years now, it started as just having fun, but consequences were following, and after i while i did it to “run away/relax” from the daily life.
    I really wan’t to stop, but I just can’t because at the same time I don’t want to quit. I have lost girlfriends, friends, the relationship to my mother and father, they have both called me a junkie… my grades at school have become really disappointing lately.
    I have quitted several times, but I always fall back to the same routine, time after time, it’s like every time i manage to get stand on my own feet, i fall again..and doing stronger and stronger drugs each time and more often. I even got thrown out of the ‘hash/pot community’ which was horrible, they were the only one I had left.. so I started to hangout with
    needle-junkies, they were the only one who accepted me for who I was. Once I stopped for 5 months, I told some friends and some school mates that I stopped taking them, because my life were falling appart and such.. I was so proud of that! but nobody believed me they just laughed and said “once a junkie, always a junkie”, so I started to use them again(big mistake).nobody believed me and then I realized that it was no point of quitting because I would always be the “school’s junkie” It’s really hard to quit when everybody are saying things like “you will fall back again like everybody else, why do you think that you can do it, when they didn’t” I am also delivering a urine example once a month, I don’t know why, but I am doing a lot more drugs when I’m doing that. (when I was 100% clean in 5 month I cutted the urine tests out)
    I managed to quit before, but now I just can’t..
    It’s almost like I have two persons inside me, one great guy that want’s to get good grades, a high education and most important to become clean. the other person want’s to get high, fuck one or another girl, sell and manipulate people so they get hocked on drugs. I really don’t recognize my selves anymore, it’s a really dirty way of gaining money. I am not sure if I have a mental decease or if I just can’t figure out what kind of person I want to be

    So I am really trying to find things that makes me feel good about my selves without taking any drugs. I am helping out my parents at home, I have convinced my mother that I have quitted, that felt great.. my dad won’t believe me tho.
    I have also figured out that helping young people stop taking drugs is my “meaning of life.” I have helped out people that wouldn’t even considerate to quit, I won’t let them make the same “wrong turn” as I did.
    I have figured out what makes me happy, when I am sober, but I am still doing them.
    I were clean for a month last week.. but now I fell again, back to the same routine. I am high on 6 different drugs right now. I’m tired of this endless struggle.. it feels like I have tried everything nothing helps.. I have contacted profesjonal help, but they don’t seem too understand a shit what I am talking about, they have never been there. I am also getting higher a lot often when I am speaking to them, or the child welfare.
    I don’t get so often high, when I am avoiding talking to the police, child welfare and psychologists.. what should i do?

    stop giving urine examples so that i can get clean without getting reminders about my earlier drug problems and get a fine + record

    OR take the risk to keep in touch with them and deliver urine examples, If I deliver negative test’s i won’t get a fine or a record.

    option two would be the best if i could manage that, but right now I just want to get clean.. I think i get high more often if i do that because I know I can’t get high when I am delivering urine-examples. (almost like when you are trying to quit smoking, you really need one if you know you don’t got any one left in your pocket)

    (sorry for the spelling errors)

    If anyone are having or had the same struggle as I am going through right now, I would appreciate to have someone to talk to, someone who know how it is/was. I feeling pretty alone in this hopeless mess.
    Skype name = kerlsk

    I am only 16 years old..

  • Yasheka

    I am going thur the same thing. I am a single parent and I have been on drugs for the past 10 years very strong. I really want to stop too it really got bad for me when my boyfriend shot me three times and killed himself in front of me and thing just went down hill from there. I dont what to do sometimes I feel like killing my self but Iguess the only thing that keeps me going is my daughter so what am I suppose to do know? Icant even get a job at the corner store. I been in and out of jail I surprsie that I havent went to the pin. I pray pray and I ask god what is my purp0se on this earth. What should I do know?

  • Patrick

    @ Yasheka – Have you been to a 12 step program, AA meetings, anything like that?

    Sounds to me like you could benefit from finding a community and becoming part of it.

  • lola

    hello… like as they want i want to change also how to deal to stop using it!!! can iget a advice from you im also shy to asked help to my family members .. and then i feel like i know evrything in life …i always thinking advance and sometimes i dont understand my self..& what my body wants !i always thinking to stop but that was when i dont have money but when i have money i can never stop my self..i use to injoy simple things before but now .. it is so much big difference…i cannot stop my self not use it..iwish also i can stop to this… im very shy kind just dont know how to stop it..

  • angel

    I did stuiped things now i dont want to bae a druge person now im good

  • ker

    its just the weekends. after a week i end up getting drunk and then alwaysbuying coke, sometimes even alone. i have a 6 ye old so this really has to.stop. i dont know whats worse the alcohol or the xoke. oi just cant get.over the temptation for coke if i had a few drinks. please help

  • gJ

    I need help. I am addicted to mainlining pain killers. But I NEED TO STOP! The problem is, I work 60 hrs a week, I am engaged and she has no idea i do this so I refuse to tell her, I can’t go to a Methadone clinic without her knowing, I just can’t tell anyone without it ruining my life. I need to know how to do this on my own, without telling anyone, still going to work everyday, and still being able to sleep at night. I’m so lost and scared please give me some advice!

  • cheslyn

    it is a very difficult process 1 has 2 make up once mind on once own i also have a problem i can sometimes go 4 days without using then just this 1 day i wake up n start using my body is having different feeling sometimes it aches sometimes when not using 4 days i start vomiting on my own i want 2 leave but when i leave i get all types of symptoms how do i stop….

  • aurora

    i do drugs for fun


    I feel bad about myself i’m going on for 4 weeks a month after month non stop,
    i cant go with out it or my body cant. My body and chest are in pain some times,
    if my cat or the DRUG is finished i gust get some more.
    in my mind i have 2 voices one say no and the other say “man don’t worry it wont hurt GIST DO IT” or i’m having one big argument with my self.
    But then I don’t give a dam after wort.
    I’m starting to lose every thing and i can see it but i’m struggling to get or find my self or a way out.
    I live in SA in Jo’Burg, please give me directions where i can go. I’m 25 years old and have no idea what I’m doing. but i know i need help badly, so any buddy please help ME that i can help my self. please

  • Robert stupp

    I need help


    I need really help my son uses drugas I dont no how to help him. But im write now working

  • Eric

    Killing myself with alcohol and crack cocaine I’m 49 years old I’m at my end I can’t go on no more.going to see if I can get into treatment tomorrow it’s 1am now can’t sleep been on a three day drunk. Take care I pray we all get sober