If you or a partner have smoked and tried to give up, you will no doubt realise that getting rid of an addiction is about much more than just quitting. Whether it’s alcohol, drugs or some other form of addiction like gambling, various psychological and physical factors are involved that can affect the way a person thinks and reacts when they try to quit.
For those who are helping an addicted person, it is difficult to understand the cravings and the psychology that comes with an addiction. Behaviours such as saying an addiction has stopped when it is still continuing and even stealing from loved ones to feed the habit, are all too often part of the problem.
Doing Your Research
Knowing your enemy is critical when it comes to addiction. It’s not a simple question of labels and statistics. You need to know how a particular addiction affects someone, why they take it up and the possibilities of overcoming it and cleaning up. This will vary from addiction to addiction and from person to person so doing your research is critical.
Helping someone get over an addiction is not easy. Assuming that you have managed to help convince them to give up, the process of actually doing so can be long and emotionally draining. While providing support to someone with an addiction, making sure that you have all the tools you need at your disposal is vital. That includes not only doing your research but also joining support groups who will be able to share their experiences. In more severe cases of addiction, getting professional help such as psychotherapeutic support is going to be important too.
Having a Plan
While some things are not going to be preventable, there is still a lot in your power and having a plan in place helps you to implement strategies with more chance of success. For instance, making sure that certain trigger situations are avoided, at least in the initial stages of giving up. That means you need to be aware what they are and how to reduce exposure to them.
Putting together a coherent plan can also give the addict some confidence that they have a strategy in place to beat their habit. Coping with periods of irritation or aggression requires planning as well and having things like back up support in place when you need it is also important.
Coping with Addiction Set Backs
If you haven’t had an addiction, you may find it difficult to understand. Yes, you may have done all your research and know that it’s not just a physical problem but a psychological one as well.. Smokers can become irritable, unable to concentrate. Drinkers might suffer from withdrawals such as sweating and confused behaviour. Drug addicts can have more severe symptoms including violent stomach cramps.
It’s no surprise to those who have been through an addiction when the addict falls off the wagon or starts taking drugs again. If you are dealing with someone who has an addiction you shouldn’t be too surprised or disappointed when there is a setback. That doesn’t mean abstinence has failed and they should carry on with their drug or choice as before. You have to get back to your plan and continue to push forward. Don’t be judgmental or moralistic – be supportive and guide the person back onto the right track.
Finally, making sure you stay healthy and give yourself some time is also important. Dealing with an addiction can be emotionally draining and physically demanding. Make sure you eat properly, get exercise and have a break when you most need it.