Finding Ways to Keep Your Mind Off of Drugs

Drugs, CIA, And USA - Mena, Arkansas Coverup

Finding Ways to Keep Your Mind Off of Drugs


One of the most difficult things that people with addictions struggle with is to keep their minds off drugs. The longer a person has used drugs or alcohol to cope with life, use it as a coping mechanism, the harder they will find to stop using. Why? Because they are programed in some way to automatically think about alcohol or drugs to make themselves feel better.

Let me ask you a question:

If I said to you to try as hard as you can to not think about a pink Elephant with a purple tail, what is the first thing that comes up in your mind? You see, our mind is made to focus on what stands out and takes our attention. As soon as I mentioned the Elephant, you would have pictured this in your mind, and the thought of this weird Elephant will stick in your mind for some time. So it is with an addiction. What you focus on is what you will get. Have you ever experienced watching TV and then an advertisement comes on about some food or drink, and then you get the taste for it and want it. The more you think about it the more you want it. It is no different with an addiction. The more you have that in your mind the more you will want it.

A successful outpatient addiction program will work because it focuses on helping people get what they want not what they don’t want. Most people keep thinking about what they they don’t want when they are giving up their drug of choice. They tell themselves that they must say no, that they have to be strong and stop the cravings. But what ends up happening is that they desire it more and more until they lapse or worse relapse.

One of the things that an outpatient addiction program’s aim should be, is to help people learn new ways to focus on what they want in their life. So, as people get their life back they start to desire to get their family back, get a job or promotion, learn stress and anger management techniques, be able to cope with emotional distress, learn good communication skills, have a great support network and most of all, understand that whatever they focus on is what they get, whether positive or negative.

Here are some very important principles that anyone who wants to stop an addiction from controlling then can do to maximise their success:

  • use the two “D’s” principle – delay and distract: If you are craving then tell yourself that you will not use for 10 mins (delay) then you find something to do that you know will help you stop thinking about your cravings (distract).
  • Call someone who knows you and has already offered to help you in these circumstances
  • Get out of the house and go for a walk (but don’t get into trouble by walking into a risky situation)
  • Listen to music or play music
  • Read through your goals and plans for the future, or write them if you don’t have them already
  • Experience mindfulness, by allowing yourself to feel
  • Do relaxation techniques
  • Meditate
  • Do something fun, watch comedy, have a laugh

In a simple way, the way to maximise your success in stopping an addiction for good is to start living your life the way you want to and have desired to, not avoid using drugs or drinking alcohol. It is also vital that you chose an outpatient addiction program that is suited to your needs.

editor 1s

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