If you have decided that you want to stop using drugs and undergo treatment for addiction then you only have to change one thing – everything.
Entering on the road to recovery from drug addiction is all about change. In order to achieve success and live a clean life will require a total change in you. Your decision to get clean is your first change and it is the toughest. Be proud of yourself.
Whether or not you decide to go to rehab is entirely up to you, but there is a lot to be said about the support you will receive – not only from the counsellors and medical staff at the rehab facility, but being thrown together with others in the same situation can be very comforting.
As the first few weeks are the roughest, it is a good idea to take the time put down in writing the reasons driving you to change your life. Refer to it often, especially when you are feeling the urge to return to old behaviour. Write down every reason that has driven you to put your life back on track – no matter how minor or inconsequential. Some obvious reasons will immediately spring to mind – family, career, health and security. When the urge hits – refer to your list.
If you are planning to going to rehab be forewarned that there is a possibility that you may not be able to get admitted immediately.
Do not stop living while you wait, but…
Avoid old friends that you used to drug with. Inform them that you are cleaning up your life and for the sake of your sobriety it is best if you avoid old people and places – change is good. If they are true friends they will understand. However, do not be surprised or hurt if they avoid you after you tell them.
Get rid of your dealer’s phone number – delete it from your phone contacts. This is more of a symbolic gesture, as no doubt you can come up with a dealer’s phone number if you wanted. But the time required to dig it up – should you get the urge – just might be enough of a speed bump to slow you down and reconsider what you are about to do.
Most heavy drug users are not accountable to anyone – even themselves. It’s time to change that as you wait for a place in rehab. Inform your family of your decision, it will be difficult, but once you have done it you will feel a more inclined to stay on track. In all likelihood your family will be very happy when told.
You probably have not done much physical exercise while you were using. It’s time to change that. Do something physical – even if it is only a long slow walk. Exercise makes you feel better, and moving around changes your thought patterns. An old saying around the rooms of recovery holds – “moves a muscle and change a thought”.