Strategies for Overcoming Drug Dependence

Strategies for Overcoming Drug Dependence


Dealing with drug dependence is not easy, especially if you have never conquered an addiction before.  People who have overcome, say, alcoholism will have an easier time of quitting nicotine some day, because they know what it takes to move beyond drug dependency and stay clean.  But for someone who has never taken the plunge and does not realize what it takes to stay clean and sober, it can be a very difficult leap to make.

What can help in overcoming drug dependency?

There are different recovery programs out there and the big one is the 12 step programs of AA and NA.  These are certainly useful and I would encourage any person who is new to recovery to check them out and attempt to apply their program in their life.  There are far worse approaches to drug or alcohol dependence, such as trying to moderate your intake, for example.  At least the 12 step programs are based on total abstinence and can provide a real solution for addiction, even if it does not work for everyone.

A jog in the park
Creative Commons License photo credit: Daran Kandasamy

Physical fitness is never really talked about much in the substance abuse community and there is a big reason for that.  People are lazy. They do not want to work out every day and they do not want to be told that this could be a huge part of their recovery.  Nobody wants to put in real effort when they could just sit around at 12 step meetings and pound caffeine and smoke cancer sticks all day.  If that sounds a bit critical, that is because it is.  Many people in recovery are “talking the talk” but when it comes time to live a healthy life and make real holistic growth in their recovery, they are pretty much useless.

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For example, I had a good friend in early recovery from alcoholism, and as we passed about our seventh year sober, his health started to slip.  I was exercising and I also quit smoking cigarettes, while he continued to smoke and was overweight.  Needless to say, he passed away quite young, and could have enjoyed a much more expansive recovery had he embraced a model of holistic health.

Overcoming dependence on drugs involves more than just putting the chemicals down.  You have to embrace a healthier lifestyle all around if you want to reap the benefits of recovery in the long run.  Staying clean is more about healthy living and less about social networking at meetings.  Holistic health is the key to long term recovery.

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