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5 ways to break the cycle of addiction

Breaking the cycle of addiction can be incredibly tough. We’ve been there and we can tell you from experience that it is possible and the results can be life-changing. Which is why we’ve compiled these five tips on how you too can break your addiction cycle, with a little help from Port of Call.

1. Talk about your addiction

You may have heard the phrase: “The first step of recovery is admitting you have a problem.” What you might not have realised is that this is the basic premise of the first step in the 12-Steps programme of recovery that was pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous, but has become synonymous with many other addiction support groups, including Narcotics Anonymous. What you probably are familiar with, however, is that talking about your addiction can be one of the hardest things to do.

How to help someone with addiction

Overcoming your fears, guilt and embarrassment to discuss your issues with family, friends or other confidantes is vital if you’re to gain the support you most likely need to achieve sobriety. Sometimes, you might prefer to speak to a complete stranger. That’s where Port of Call comes in. Our professional advisers can offer you discreet, confidential and impartial advice, and help you to access the most appropriate addiction treatment for you.

2. Stage an intervention

If you’re reading this on a loved one’s behalf (maybe you’re worried about your partner, spouse, child or friend) then you might be feeling a million miles away from just hearing your loved one admit their drug or alcohol addiction. Why? A small word, with big consequences: denial. Denial can often be the biggest barrier for any addict to overcome. Until they realise, or are ready to realise, that they are powerless to their addiction and that their life has become unmanageable, your loved one’s cycle of addiction will be near impossible to break.

Port of Call offers support to families about how to help someone with an addiction. An intervention can be a powerful tool to show an addict the broad-ranging impact of their addictions and to encourage them to reach out for help and seek rehabilitation. Interventions are normally facilitated by a counsellor, or interventionist, and are actively supported by family, friends and anyone else who might be committed to the welfare of the addicted person. We can organise every aspect of your intervention programme.

3. Find appropriate addiction treatment

By ‘appropriate’ we mean treatment that will work best for you. As we always say, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to drug or alcohol addiction. We are each individuals, and our individual stories of addiction, although similar in some ways, cannot be treated by a blanket approach. Now, just as talking about your addiction can be extremely difficult, posing an immovable barrier for many, thereafter the next stumbling block is actually finding your preferred treatment option.

Knowing where to look for help for addictions can be the initial challenge. None of us set out to become addicts and therefore aren’t equipped with the knowledge of where or how to access addiction treatment. Then there is the issue that a quick internet search throws up; the sheer amount of options available. At Port of Call, we’ve set out to tackle both these hurdles. Our website offers a wealth of information about treatment options and our Rehab Directory even lets you research various rehab options. Furthermore, our advisers are trained to listen to your situation and guide you towards the best treatment options for you.

4. Structured detox and rehab

By now, we would hope that you’ve successfully reached out and spoken to whoever you feel comfortable talking about your addiction with, you’ve looked at treatment options and taken advice about what type of options are suitable for you and your situation. Having spoken to Port of Call at this stage, our advisers will have given you their impartial recommendation about which treatment could help and may well have booked your place in either a structured detox programme and/or private drug or alcohol rehab centre.

Detox removes toxins from the body and is usually the first step towards treating addiction. Sudden withdrawal can be life-threatening, which is why a gradual detox should therefore be carried out in a medically supervised environment. Sustained abstinence cannot be achieved through detox alone. Rehabilitation is also a pivotal part of the recovery process and can include treatments such as individual counselling, group work, cognitive behavioural therapy, education, and relapse prevention.

5. Keep talking about your addiction

Recovery from addiction is an ongoing, lifelong experience. That’s why, just as it’s important to initially talk about these issues, it’s also important to continue talking about them on a regular basis. Addiction groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, are offer excellent ongoing support. Whereby, talking about your journey to recovery can not only be therapeutic for you, but it can also be an inspiration for others going through similar experiences.

Once your rehab treatment has ended you don’t have to go it alone. If needs be, Port of Call can arrange regular aftercare counselling sessions, that are local and convenient to you. Our BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) registered counsellors are highly experienced in offering aftercare counselling for people with addictions. They will help you to manage any risks to your recovery and provide structured relapse prevention strategies.

Make us your first Port of Call. If you, or a loved one, are dealing with addiction, we can help you to access appropriate local addiction help. Take the first step today by speaking to one of our advisers for free on 08000029010.

About the author: Alex Molyneux

Alex is our admissions team leader. Over the last 5 years he has spoken with more than 10,000 people via our helpline and has organised over 1,000 detox and rehabilitation placements.

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