Five Ways to Stay on the Wagon

Unscrambling the substance abuse definition into a basic understanding, you learn that it is a brain disease that can take many shapes and sizes. According to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), nearly 23 million people in the United States require treatment for a drug or alcohol problem. Once treatment is initialized, and you begin the journey of recovery, the process of staying clean, sane, and unhooked is a daily activity. Here are five essential tips to stay on the wagon.

Keep the body strong and active

Exercise goes a long way when you are on the path to recovery. For years exercise has proved to be one of the best self-help tools. The period of withdrawal can get extremely unpleasant. Withdrawal symptoms for different addictions vary, and the intensity they are experienced can differ as well. Common symptoms following withdrawal are anxiety, depression, lethargy, irritability, and anger. Statistic show that exercise is a valuable trick to reduce and manage most of these symptoms. Working out allows you to maintain high energy levels, and there’s no better mood booster. It has been long investigated that exercise can minimize the risk of a relapse. Therefore incorporating a workout plan into your recovery journey is a game-changer.

Find a support system

Most treatments for addiction involve counseling or therapy, which focuses on helping the person with the addiction to explore their need for the consumption of the substance and find answers to overcome the underlying issues. The road to recovery may seem long and, at times, impossible, but having a circle of people who genuinely care and positively support and encourage you helps as you try to build a new lifestyle.

Treat yourself to alternate sources of pleasure

At the initial stages of quitting an addiction, everything may seem bleak, and it’s hard to find the simple pleasures of life. Also, you don’t want to end up replacing one addiction with another. The alternate sources of pleasure don’t always have to involve breaking a bank or getting fat. You can start by making a list of “little things that lift your mood.” It could be listening to your favorite music, enjoying a good book or movie, or catching up with an old friend for coffee. These little practices can impact your new lifestyle minus the addiction in a positive manner.

Hydration and cleansing

The value of constant hydration and eating clean cannot be stressed enough for any kind of healthy lifestyle. Quit the caffeine and incorporate more water consumption throughout the day. Refuse to give in to the urge of finding comfort in sugar. Instead, focus on consuming healthy food such as fruits, grains, and vegetables.

Develop Mental and Spiritual Strength

Long-term use and abuse of substances often affect the mind, body, and spirit of those individuals who negatively use them. For recovery, it’s essential to nurture these same domains (mind, body, and spirit) positively. Spiritual practices generally allow people to make sense of life situations to provide meaning or purpose. Therefore let it be meditation, prayer, or whatever your belief system is if it’s going to help you heal, adhere to it.

That craving to use a substance that you’re trying to quit will come knocking on the door continuously. Remember, the more you don’t give in to the cravings, the weaker those cravings will become. You will be building your recovery muscle every time you say no.

Quitting isn’t easy, but chin up; staying on the wagon gets a lot more manageable with time.


My greatest hits