Advertising
Advertising

5 Effective Ways to Combat Substance Abuse

5 Effective Ways to Combat Substance Abuse

Although most people have to hit rock bottom in order to recognise that they are totally dependent on a substance to function, there are other easier routes to recognise addiction and substance abuse. These routes require serious self-assessment such as honestly acknowledging the fact that a certain substance helps you combat boredom, be more confident or function properly from day-to-day and without that substance, your anxieties, fears and loneliness come rushing.

Once you recognise – through self-awareness or hitting rock bottom – that you have an addiction problem, the next step is combating this scourge with the techniques outlined below.

1. Choosing the Cold Turkey Route

Going ‘cold turkey’ is the method of combating addiction by sequestering oneself from anything or the triggers that get you to seek calm through a substance. This technique involves considerable effort on your part such as moving to another town or a cabin in the woods where you have no acquaintances or dealers on hand to feed your addiction.

From personal experience, anyone addicted to hard drugs will find the cold turkey route to be highly effective but difficult. The difficulties stem from withdrawal symptoms – stooling, anxiety, agitation, paranoia and fear – which last for approximately 2 weeks. After the first 14 days, these symptoms subside and you can now proceed to functioning as a new being.

Advertising

2. Long-term Rehabilitation Works

Unlike what you see in the movies, the probability of a 21 day stay at a rehab centre keeping an individual of drugs is rather low due to the fact that addiction totally hijacks the brain. This is not to say that rehabilitation centres and the therapy that comes with them do not work but an extended stay in a long-term rehab facility is your best bet of tackling serious addiction problems.

During extended stays, you will be taken through the 12 steps program and also be provided with complimentary activities needed to wean the brain of the harmful endorphins substance abuse trigger.

3. Beat Addiction and Anxiety with Animal Therapy

Substance abuse and the addiction that comes with it creates an emotional void and physiology issues that lead to one becoming overtly attuned to only their needs. Animal therapy helps combat this physiological problems by giving you something else to think about aside oneself which is caring for or bonding with your favourite animal or pet.

Equine therapy has been highlighted as a viable option of curing addiction alongside other traditional means. And it involves close contact with horses were the patient acts as its primary care taker.

Advertising

4. Visualize your Triggers through Virtual Reality Therapy

For those who find comfort interacting with tech devices, the use of virtual reality headsets have proven to be an effective method of combating addiction. It is important to note that this method does not consist of replacing one addiction with another but involves working with a counsellor who employs the use of virtual drugs via VR headsets, to trigger a patients need for the release drugs/alcohol provides.

Once that need is triggered, the counsellor or therapist gets a front row seat in observing how one reacts to his or her triggers and this gives the therapist real-time information to help you combat your addictions.

    5. Align yourself through Yoga

    Substance abuse leads to out-dated or skewed behavioural patterns due to ones reliance on external factors to feel both physical and psychologically complete. To combat this reliance, it is important to work on reconnecting with your old self – the periods you functioned normally without a crutch – and this can be achieved through Yoga.

    Advertising

    Yoga combines three factors: breathe work, physical posturing and meditation with the goal of aligning your mind, body and spirit together in peace. This alignment helps realign the entire being to its default setting thereby helping addicts re-develop healthy behavioral patterns.

    It is important to note that every sufferer of addiction reacts to treatment in different ways. Therefore, going the extra mile to fight your addiction by combining two or more of these techniques is recommended to permanently kick any addiction. Also do not forget that a relapse isn’t the end of the world and with a solid support system built around you, you will ultimately end up beating your addictions.

    ~~~~~~~~~

    Image Credits:

    Advertising

    Virtual Reality

    Featured photo credit: Aral Tasher via stocksnap.io

    More by this author

    50% of Marriages Ends up in Divorce, Is It That Hard to Save a Marriage? Top 5 MP3 Music Downloader Apps 7 Effective and Readily-Available Herbal Remedies for Modern Ailments 6 Powerful Tips for Successful Contract Management How to Safely Browse the Deep Web

    Trending in Brain

    1 What Is Analysis Paralysis (And How to Overcome It) 2 How to Unleash the 4 Types of Creativity In You 3 What Are Creative Problem Solving Skills (And How To Improve Yours) 4 How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways 5 9 Types of Intelligence (And How to Know Your Type)

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Published on October 22, 2020

    What Is Analysis Paralysis (And How to Overcome It)

    What Is Analysis Paralysis (And How to Overcome It)

    Have you ever taken so long trying to solve a problem that you just ended up going around in circles? How about trying to make a major decision and just freezing up when the time to decide came?

    You might have found yourself gathering too much information, hoping it will help you make the best decision—even if it takes you too long to do so. This probably led to many missed opportunities, especially in situations where you needed to act on time.

    Nobody wants to make the wrong decision. However, delayed decision making can have a hugely negative impact on all aspects of your life—from your personal relationships to your career. Delaying important decisions can be the worst decision of all.

    At one point or another, people get stuck at a decision impasse they can’t seem to overcome. This is due to a mental blindspot called information bias, informally known as analysis paralysis.

    Analysis Paralysis and Stalled Decisions

    Information bias, or analysis paralysis, is our tendency to seek more information than is needed to make decisions and take action.[1] It is one of many cognitive biases that cause us to make mistakes during the decision-making process.

    A related cognitive bias is the status quo bias, which is our tendency to prefer that things stay the same and fear any changes.[2] Together with analysis paralysis, these two dangerous judgment errors pose a threat to our successful navigation through our rapidly-shifting world.

    Consider what happened to Lily, a consulting client of mine who’s a mid-level manager in the UX department of a large tech company. Lily had been there for 5 years and was thinking about switching to a startup after a couple tried to recruit her.

    Advertising

    However, she had been taking a lot of time making a decision. In fact, before she contacted me, she had already gathered information and talked to a lot of people for 7 months. Realistically, more information won’t sway her decision, but she kept trying to gather more information.

    And then, there was the technology company that came to me after their growth started to decline. The company had initially experienced rapid growth with a couple of innovative products. However, its growth started to decrease—unfortunate, but not unexpected.

    Essentially, the company’s growth followed the typical S-curve growth model, which starts as a slow and effortful start-up stage. This is followed by a rapid growth stage, then a slowdown in growth, often following market saturation or competitive pressure or other factors. This is the point where the company’s existing products reach maturity.

    However, even before a slowdown hits, forward-thinking companies would innovate and change things up proactively. This is so they could have new products ready to go that would maintain rapid growth.

    Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case with this particular tech company. Not only did they not address the potential decline but once the company’s growth stalled, the leaders dug their heels in and stayed the course. They kept on analyzing the market to find the cause of the problem.

    Worse, a couple of executives in the company proposed launching new products, but most of the leadership was cautious. They kept on asking for guarantees that the products would be a success, demanding more information even when additional information wasn’t relevant.

    Both Lily and the tech company remained paralyzed by too much information when they should already have taken action. While this situation isn’t unexpected, it is totally avoidable.

    Advertising

    As I told both parties when they consulted me, all they needed to do was to face analysis paralysis head-on and make a decision. But they had to follow the best decision-making process available first, didn’t they?

    8-Step Decision-Making Process to Avoid Analysis Paralysis

    I told Lily and the leaders at the tech company that we should never go with our gut if we want to avoid disasters in our personal and professional lives.[3] Instead, I advised them, as I advise you now, to follow data-driven, research-based approaches, such as the one I’ll outline below.

    From hiring a new employee, launching a new product, selecting a Zoom guest speaker for your annual video conference to deciding whether to apply for a higher-level position within your company, the following steps will help you fight analysis paralysis and make the best decisions possible.

    1. Identify the Need to Launch a Decision-Making Process

    This is particularly important when there’s no explicit crisis that cries out for a change or decision to be made. Such recognition is also applicable when your natural intuitions are keeping you from acknowledging the need for a tough decision.

    Remember that the best decision-makers take the initiative to recognize the need for decisions before they become an emergency. They also don’t let gut reactions cloud their decision-making capacity.

    2. Gather Relevant Information From a Wide Variety of Informed Perspectives

    Listen especially to opinions you disagree with. Contradicting perspectives empower you to distance yourself from the comfortable reliance on your gut instincts, which can sometimes be harmful to decision-making. Opposing ideas also help you recognize any potential bias blind spots, and this allows you to come up with solutions that you may not have otherwise.

    3. Paint a Clear Vision of Your Desired Outcome

    Using the data gleaned from step 2, decide which goals you want to reach. Paint a clear vision of the desired outcome of your decision-making process. You should also recognize that what seems to be a one-time decision may turn out to be a symptom of an underlying issue with current processes and practices. Make addressing these root problems part of the outcome you want to achieve.

    Advertising

    4. Make a Decision-Making Process Criteria

    Make a decision-making process criteria to weigh the various options of how you’d like to get to your desired outcome. As much as possible, develop these criteria before you start to consider choices. Our intuitions bias our decision-making criteria to encourage certain outcomes that fit our instincts. As a result, you get overall worse decisions if you don’t develop criteria before starting to look at options.

    5. Generate Several Viable Options

    We tend to fall into the trap of generating insufficient options to make the best decisions, and this can lead to analysis paralysis. To prevent this, you should generate many more options than you usually would. Generate several viable options that can help you achieve your decision-making process goals. Go for 5 attractive options as the minimum.

    Keep in mind that this is a brainstorming step, so don’t judge options no matter how far fetched they might seem. In my consulting and coaching experience, the optimal choice often involves elements drawn from out-of-the-box options.

    6. Weigh These Options and Pick the Best One

    When weighing your options, beware of going with your initial preferences. Try to see your preferred choice in a harsh light. Also, do your best to separate each option from the person who proposed it. This minimizes the impact of personalities, relationships, and internal politics on the decision itself.

    7. Implement the Option You Chose

    For implementing the decision, you need to minimize risks and maximize rewards, since your goal is to get a decision outcome that’s as good as possible.

    First, imagine that the decision completely failed. Then, brainstorm about all the problems that led to this failure. Next, consider how you might solve these problems, and integrate the solutions into your implementation plan.

    Next, imagine that the decision absolutely succeeded. Brainstorm all the reasons for success and consider how you can bring these reasons into life. Then, integrate what you learned into implementing the decisions.

    Advertising

    Finally, develop clear metrics of success that you can measure throughout the implementation process. This will enable you to check if you’re meeting the goals you identified in step 3. It will also help guide your goal-setting process—something to keep in mind when you use this decision-making technique again in the future.

    8. Set a Reminder to Use the Process for Future Decisions

    Regularly check if it’s time to employ the decision-making process once again. As discussed in the first step, there may be times when there’s no explicit crisis that cries out for a change, even though underlying issues might already be signaling that it’s time for a tough decision.

    Setting a reminder—perhaps a visual one such as a note on your desk, or even just a scheduled alert on your phone—will ensure that you can catch decision-making cues before they’re due.

    While Lily and the tech company initially had to fight off a lot of discomforts when using the process, they were ultimately rewarded with sound decisions they were immensely satisfied with.

    This battle-tested method will do the same for you. It will certainly propel your decision-making and, at the same time, help you thwart analysis paralysis and avoid decision disasters.

    Conclusion

    Nobody wants to make the wrong decision, but you also don’t want to take too long and miss opportunities. By using a data-driven and research-based approach to decision making, you can nip analysis paralysis in the bud and make the best decisions.

    More Tips to Overcome Analysis Paralysis

    Featured photo credit: Muhmed El-Bank via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next