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How to Overcome Substance Abuse and Addiction

Drugs and alcohol addiction changes the brain’s reward system, which increases the desire for substance abuse and experiences. These changes also affect impulse control and judgment, making quitting drugs much more difficult.  

While it’s easy to get discouraged when you are struggling with drug addiction, the good news is that overcoming this problem is possible. Recovery is within your reach with the right addiction treatment programs, positive support networks, and coping mechanisms. Here are five ways you can overcome substance abuse and addiction.

  1. Seek professional support

Recovering from substance abuse and addiction isn’t easy, but there is no shame in asking for additional help from a doctor or healthcare professional. Your doctor can give options for medications to help you alleviate withdrawal symptoms, but you may require medical supervision during the detox process in some cases. A medical professional may also prepare you for success with this long-term program, offering a safe way to combat relapses and maintain sobriety.

  1. Surround yourself with supportive people

Creating positive relationships with people who encourage you to stay sober can go a long way in helping you overcome substance abuse and addiction. These may include people in your treatment program, your sober baseball or volley team, or people in your 12-step meetings. Hanging out with people who support your need to stay sober can pay off in the long run.  

  1. Stay away from temptation and peer pressure

It’s usually said that you become most like those you surround yourself with. That means if you surround yourself with friends or family members who abuse alcohol and drugs, you are more likely to make the behavior a habit as well. Create healthy relationships by avoiding people who pressure you to abuse substances.

Peer pressure is also a major part of life for teens and adults. The best way to stay away from drugs and alcohol is to say no to peer pressure and give good excuses to keep from giving in to it.  

  1. Maintain a well-balanced lifestyle

Most people turn to drugs or alcohol when something in their life isn’t working or is missing. Stress management skills may help you overcome these life burdens and enable you to live a healthy and balanced life.  

You need a clear idea of what you want to achieve to continue your addiction recovery process and balance your life. Set a plan and figure out how to turn this into a dream. That will give you a foundation for creating the lifestyle you want.  

  1. Exercise

Exercises are good for your body, mind, and spirit. During the workout, your body releases endorphins, making you feel runner’s high and more relaxed. Exercise and addiction give you the same sensation of euphoria. While it might not be as strong as what you experience with drugs or alcohol, the effects can be physically and mentally helpful.

Working out can also foster healthy, addiction-free living when combined with medication-assisted treatment and other forms of therapy. This is especially helpful when you want to give up smoking but are experiencing a high appetite due to nicotine replacement.


Getting addicted to drugs or alcohol isn’t a character flaw or a sign of weakness, but it takes more than determination to overcome the problem. Fortunately, these tips can help you overcome substance abuse and help you enhance a healthy lifestyle free from addiction.