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No matter the substance, addiction can quickly take over your life. A couple uses of narcotics can quickly turn into a habit. Before you know it, you could be struggling to keep your job, take care of your family relationships, and maintain your grip on life.

While this can all seem very grim, it’s not impossible to get your life back on track. By seeking out natural ways to combat your addiction and leaning on your friends and family, you can get on the path to recovery and find your way out of this dark period.

Recovering From Addiction

The impact of addiction is often life altering, and with millions of Americans addicted to drugs and alcohol, it’s no wonder opioid addiction is now a public health crisis with deadly consequences. In fact, according to Duquesne University, “between 20 and 30 percent of chronic pain patients misuse their opioid medications, and 10 percent of those will become long-term sufferers of opioid use disorder.” There is a growing need for forensic nurses to focus on “helping their patients manage pain in healthier, less risky ways.” Overcoming addiction can be an extremely difficult feat. Recovery often involves many attempts at rehabilitation before success.

For those who don’t seek out rehabilitation, the future can look grim. Although addiction is a disease, it’s often considered a preventative disease that can be avoided by following prescription instruction for opioids and avoiding the excessive use of alcohol and abuse of substances for recreational purposes. Recreational drug use can quickly get out of hand and lead to overdose; in 2016, meth caused over 300 overdose deaths in Oklahoma alone and thousands of deaths across the U.S.

However, because illicit drugs are so accessible, many people often fall down these paths, which has caused a large variety of research to be conducted on how to best overcome addictive behaviors and tendencies. Although it’s never easy, a strong support group, a lot of grit, and some new habits can be enough to combat addiction.

Ways to Combat Addiction

Before deciding how to overcome your addiction, it’s helpful to think about the circumstances that led you to abuse substances in the first place and to make changes in your life that will help avoid those triggers. This may include finding new outlets to relieve stress, staying away from friends who are negative influences, and possibly even finding a new career path that is less stressful than what you were doing before. If your substance abuse was brought on by the use of narcotics to treat pain, consider talking to your doctor about alternative pain treatment.

There are many strategies for recovery that have proven successful since the rise of addiction rates over the past couple decades. Some of these include different forms of therapy, help from family, replacing drugs with new habits, and even using natural substances to help curb the craving for the addictive substances.

Exercise

One of the most commonly adopted habits in the addiction recovery process involves the use of exercise as a new endorphin-releasing habit. Several studies show that exercising regularly can help boost a person’s mood and decrease rates of depression, as the positive feelings it releases are similar to those triggered by morphine. Exercise can help improve self-esteem, sleep, energy levels, and a person’s overall health.

If you’re considering using exercise to overcome addiction, get into the habit of going outside to run regularly and finding routes that you feel safe using. This can be a habit you practice whenever you feel addictive impulses that you want to ward off. However, if these impulses come at night, it’s important to take precautionary measures to avoid running recklessly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a pedestrian is injured every eight minutes in the U.S., so it’s best to wear bright colors and reflective clothing at night.

Gamification

Another form of therapy that has been proven successful in treating mental health conditions is therapeutic software or systems which use elements of video games, which can help to improve mood through the release of stress and by regulating emotions. Encouraging individuals suffering from addiction to focus video game mechanics can reduce cravings. Video games can be used as a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that uses immersive structures to offer sensory stimuli, which can help combat addictive impulses by providing a distraction.

Video games are still in their beginning stages as a form of therapy, so if this feels like an activity that might help you overcome addiction, it may help to consult your therapist or primary care doctor to talks about your options.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy is an all-natural approach to healing that comes in the form of plants, minerals and a variety of body attentive therapies. For over 200 years, homeopathy has been used as an alternative therapy by millions of people around the world. These natural medicines have been used to treat a large variety of ailments, including chronic and temporary health problems. Homeopathy has been used to treat headaches, depression, and even chronic pain.

If your addiction stemmed from opioid abuse due to chronic pain, consider looking into homeopathic treatments for chronic pain. You can also use homeopathic medicines to curb addictive impulses by treating the various stages of detoxification.

Addiction may seem like an impossible disease to come out of when you’re in the thick of it. However, there is always hope; you may simply need to try a few different treatment options before finding the one that works best for you. Whether it’s exercise, therapeutic software, homeopathy, or a combination of the three, seeking out treatment is the first step to overcoming addiction.

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