How to Live Without Drugs: 7 Ways to Overcome Addiction

If you have ever struggled with an addiction to drugs or alcohol then you know just how hard it can be to turn your life around and get sober, once and for all. For a lot of people who are still living in an active stage of drug addiction and/or alcohol abuse, having fun without the use of drugs or alcohol seems to be out of the question.

While people who struggle with a substance abuse problem often have a laundry list of reasons that keep them from getting sober, such as no desire or denial that they even have a problem to begin with. One major and common excuse is that there is no way to live life and have fun without the use of drugs or alcohol. Although it may feel that way for the majority of addicts, and those in the beginning stages of recovery, that just simply isn’t true.

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For someone who has been living life under the influence of powerful, mind altering drugs, it may seem as though there is no other alternative, but there is a way to live life while sober and still have fun at the same time. That is not to say that sobriety will not offer challenges, but getting through them without the use of drugs or alcohol will become very rewarding. Those in recovery understand how important it is to have an enjoyable life while maintaining sobriety.

Here is a list of 7 ways to live without drugs or alcohol that others have found useful.

  1. Work Out- Working out may not initially sound like everyone's idea of fun, but research has proven that physical activity reduces stress. Not only that but it also balances out the production of serotonin and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters commonly affected by drugs and alcohol. The stimulation of these through exercise naturally leads you to feeling happier. It is important to remember that working out can take on many forms, not just hitting the gym. Consider trying yoga, going swimming, or enrolling in a Zumba If you challenge yourself and are having fun, you are more likely to repeat the same activity.
  2. Play a Sport- To some, the idea of working out or going to the gym is not something they may be willing to do, and that's ok. Another way to stay physically active is by playing a sport. Most cities have community leagues for baseball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, etc. The majority of these leagues can be found by visiting your local cities governmental website. These community athletics leagues help to incorporate physical activity while offering a social aspect as well.
  3. Develop a Hobby- If sports or physical activity really just aren't your thing, then there are still ways to live without drugs or alcohol. One of the most helpful things to do for long-term sobriety is to develop a hobby, such as photography, cooking, reading, knitting, pottery, gardening, etc. Hobbies allow you to gain self-esteem and are naturally rewarding. They allow you to boost your motivation, improve a skill, and become better at something that you are interested in, which can be important in recovery as it gives you a little something extra to stay sober for.
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  • Volunteer- The simple act of volunteering has been reported as one of the easiest ways to have fun while in recovery. Research suggests that nearly 94% of people reported having an elevated or improved mood after having volunteered. Not to mention, volunteering is probably the cheapest way a person can have fun, it often costs you nothing but your time. The simple act of giving back is very personally rewarding, and can become a pillar in someone's life. Volunteering also gives you the opportunity to meet new people, a lot of whom are also in recovery.
  • Take Classes- A lot of people in recovery state that drugs or alcohol kept them from pursuing higher education. Well, sobriety is the second chance to pursue that goal. Go back to college or attend some local community classes. It is never too late to go back to school, and oftentimes first time students, or returning students, qualify for grants and student loans. You can also take classes to improve a hobby, such as creative writing classes, cooking, or photography and gardening. Going back to school or taking classes is easily one of the best ways to live without drugs or alcohol.
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  • Attend a Self-Help Group- Self-help groups are usually offered for free around the community. For those in recovery these often include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Though they may not sound like fun at first, these are the preferred choices for those who are successful in their recovery. This is because they offer sober and social interactions. They often have sober activities outside of the group as well, such as barbecues or dances. This gives you the opportunity to meet new people and develop a good support system, which is important for long-term sobriety.
  • Meditation- To some, meditation is an important part of living life without drugs and alcohol. Meditation has been known to produce important changes to the structure and the function of the brain, helping to repair damage that may have been caused by the use of alcohol or drugs. It has also been shown to reduce stress and improve overall mental and physical health. It can also help to reduce depression and anxiety, which are common triggers for relapse. Meditation also increases spiritual awareness which can be extremely beneficial when learning how to live without drugs or alcohol.
  • These are just a few of the most common ways that others in recovery have found useful for their sobriety. There is life without drugs or alcohol, even though it may not feel like it to some. If you are someone you know is struggling with an addiction please do not hesitate to ask for help! We sincerely hope that you found this list useful and wish you the best in your recovery!

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    Can Remote Drug Rehab Work?

    In the world today, it seems as though uncertainty and fear linger behind every corner, as the Coronavirus, also commonly known as Covid-19, has caused extreme panic and unrest across the globe. Since being brought to mainstream media attention somewhere back in the beginning of this year, the Coronavirus has forced nations to shut down, forcing businesses and government agencies to close their doors to the public in an attempt to flatten the curve. Due to the fact that the virus has a high-exposure rate and can live on surfaces for a long time, only essential businesses were allowed to remain open. This has caused many widespread consequences that are being felt across the world.

    One of the biggest impacts that Covid-19 has caused in the United States alone is a high percentage of relapse rates among people in addiction recovery from drugs and/or alcohol. A higher rate of relapse could lead to an increase in drug overdose deaths. The increase in drug and alcohol use could be due to a number of reasons, such as: high unemployment rates, forced isolation due to city shut downs and self-quarantining, free federal aid, closure of outpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, no access to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings, etc. Unfortunately, due to the nature of coronavirus, people are being forced to self-isolate and are being cut off from the peer-support life line that helps to keep them sober.

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    While drug and alcohol rehab facilities have been forced to make some difficult decisions, they have also come up with some revolutionary ways to remain a valuable source to those in recovery that need it. One way that rehab facilities have come up with in order to serve those still in need during this time of social distancing is by offering remote rehab. Remote rehab is typically an outpatient program designed to fit the individuals specific needs with the use of digital technologies, such as Zoom, Skype or Facetime. This is great for anyone who still needs rehab treatment during the time we are unable to leave our homes. Here are some additional benefits to remote drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs;

    Increased Level of Privacy with Remote Outpatient Drug & Alcohol Rehab

    In today's modern world, where Facebook and social media are key, it seems like nothing is ever kept a secret anymore. Well, remote drug rehab can help save you the trouble, or potential embarrassment, of someone seeing you while at a drug or alcohol treatment center or facility. Being able to attend a counseling session, with a licensed therapist one-on-one, on the internet through your computer, tablet, or phone provides an increased sense of privacy as you do not have to leave the comfort of your own home. Who knows, you never know who you will see and sometimes it’s better to avoid a situation where you have to explain yourself at all.

    More Flexibility with Personalized Addiction Treatment

    A lot of times, outpatient programs require their participants to attend class at a certain time of time, usually one to two times per week, and sometimes even more. This schedule can be hard to fit in with a busy everyday life. We have all probably been there before and have felt the stress that comes along with having to meet a very demanding schedule. An added benefit with remote alcohol or drug programs is the added flexibility. The majority of remote drug and alcohol programs allow you to select an available appointment that best fits your needs, instead of giving you a set time where you are supposed to be somewhere. This is also really great for those who have their kids at home because of public school closure due to the virus.

    Added Comfortability with Stay-At-Home Addiction Counseling

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    Along with more privacy and more flexibility, is the increased comfort that remote drug rehab can provide. Long gone are the days where we have to worry about what outfit to wear to our next class, appointment, or meeting. Instead, it has become easier than ever to do the things that we need all while never changing out of our favorite pair of sweatpants. Attending outpatient treatment remotely allows you to get the help that you need all in the comfort of your own home while also wearing your favorite pajama pants, or perhaps none at all. Of course, this is not to say that we do not have to have a professional appearance, but the standards are way lower when both parties are communicating from an online platform, instead of in-person, with a room full of peers.

    Guaranteed One-on-One Time With an Addiction Specialist

    The majority of outpatient alcohol or drug addiction programs require that you meet a couple times a week with a group of peers who are also on the road to recovery. While this is great, that can sometimes mean that you don't necessarily get the one-on-one feedback that you would like. The great thing with remote drug and alcohol rehab is that you are guaranteed to get more one-on-one time with your counselor or addiction treatment specialist. This can be especially useful during a time where daily life is changing drastically for everyone. A little extra time with someone who truly understands what you are going through can really make all the difference.

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    These are just a few of the ways that remote drug and alcohol rehab can benefit you, even more so in a time where the only way to stay connected is online. It is important to remember that even though you may feel like it, you are not alone! While relapse can be a part of recovery, that doesn't mean that it has to be. At More Than Rehab, we are still here to help those who are struggling and we are all in this together! Most importantly, we hope that you and your family are staying safe and we wish you well. If you, or someone you know, has been struggling with sobriety because of COVID-19, or any other reason, please do not hesitate in asking for help! Just because it feels like the world outside has shut down, that does not mean that we are not here to help those who need it!

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    Colleges and Drugs: What are the Popular Drugs to Look Out for in 2020?

    For those who have been lucky enough to attend college, they know that it can be a very exciting experience. For some, the experience is mainly focused around the academic aspect and the desire to further their education. For others, while academia may still be a factor, the experience is more about what college itself has to offer; individual freedom, and the chance to make decisions without constant parental guidance, the opportunity to expand one’s social circle, and it is often a setting where experimentation with drugs or alcohol is common for a variety of different reasons, either for fun, to celebrate, for social reasons, or perhaps even to deal with the stress. Whatever the reason may be, it is no secret that for the majority of college students, college experience tends to be a place for experimentation, especially when it comes to alcohol and drugs.

    What kinds of drugs do college students typically use on Texas campuses?

    A recent study found that nearly 23 percent of college students reported using an illicit drug sometime within the past 30 days and more than 75 percent say it is very easy to buy drugs on campus. While this has always been an issue, it may be of even more concern today. In the year of 2020, as the coronavirus, the pandemic  also commonly known as covid-19, has caused a shift in the way college campuses are currently being operated. With classes being shut down and having been moved to only online, students are finding themselves with more free time than ever. However, it is unclear how this may impact data as far as drug use among college students is concerned, but young adults will likely continue to seek-out and use drugs.

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    Here are some of the most popular drugs on college campuses to look out for in the United States during the year of 2020:

    Alcohol

    The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that alcohol is the substance that most people abuse in college, with 4 out of 5 college students drinking alcohol. To make matters worse, the majority of the college population are between the ages of 18 to 22, where 21 is the legal drinking age. More so, around half of the college students who drink also participate in binge drinking, which is where they consume four or more alcoholic beverages per hour.

    Cocaine

    Although the use of cocaine peaked around the mid 1980’s, it is still commonly found on college campuses. Cocaine is a highly addictive and illegal stimulant. College students reportedly use the drug at parties and clubs. While it is sometimes used by itself, the majority of college students say they combine it with other drugs like alcohol and marijuana at social gatherings. One study showed that 69 percent of users reported abusing the drug after entry into college.

    Adderall and Ritalin

    Adderall and Ritalin are both prescription medications often used for the treatment of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). They have become the “study drug” of choice as both are known to have stimulating properties. College students are twice as likely to abuse prescription stimulants due to related workload stress. According to the 2017 results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, around 60% of young adults used prescription stimulants obtained from friends for non-medical purposes.

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    Marijuana or Synthetic Marijuana

    Some other commonly abused drugs by college students are marijuana and synthetic marijuana. Many students report using these substances in order to relieve the stress associated with college life. It is often abused at parties or other social events. It is estimated that nearly 38 percent of college students use marijuana, according to Monitoring the Future, a survey that is used to measure adolescent drug and alcohol activity. Synthetic marijuana is also a commonly used substance among college students who want to achieve the same effects as marijuana without the legal risk, as synthetic marijuana strains are made in order to circumvent detection from law enforcement agencies.

     

    Xanax & Benzodiazepines

    Xanax, also known as alprazolam, is a benzodiazepine commonly prescribed for the treatment of anxiety. Since it is widely prescribed and widely used, it has become easily obtainable through illicit channels. College students are more likely to abuse anti-anxiety medications to deal with stress from college life. It is also commonly combined with other substances such as alcohol, or barbiturates and has been known to cause blackouts, leading to its us as a date-rape drug on college campuses as well.

     

    Psychedelics

    Psychedelics, such as mushrooms, LSD, or acid, are another group of substances that are commonly abused by people attending college. Psychedelics are hallucinogens, and can cause extreme hallucinations, leading people to lose their sense of reality. The effects of psychedelics are often unpredictable, and can last anywhere from 2-48 hours. This combination can cause people to act erratically, resulting in things like paranoia and psychosis. Use among college students is popular as the report trying to escape from their everyday life, which can oftentimes be stressful.

     

    Ecstasy

    Along with the rise of raves and EDM culture, is the use of ecstasy, or “molly” among college kids. In part due to the increased popularity of the rave culture is the increased use of ecstasy, or other MDMA related drugs, among college students. Many report using the drug where alcohol is common, such as at parties, bars, festivals, and raves. The euphoric feeling often associated with the substance is what leads students to using it in social settings. However, it can result in things like paranoia, dehydration, and it can even turn fatal in certain situations.

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    Drug use among college students is not a new problem.

    These are just a few of the most commonly abused drugs by college students in Texas. Due to things like social experimentation, peer pressure, stress and childhood trauma, many college students turn to drugs or alcohol. If you or someone you know may be struggling with a substance use disorder, please do not hesitate to reach out for help! Many have been where you are before and they have gotten the help necessary to get back on track. College is a very rewarding experience, but we also know that it can be very stressful. There is no shame in asking for help! Call us anytime. We are here to help you.

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