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4 Ways to Find Meaning in a Life Without Drugs  

by | Feb 4, 2018 | Addiction Treatment | 0 comments

One of the most important parts of drug addiction recovery is finding new meaning in life, which gives you something to focus on and new, healthier goals to work toward.

This can be more difficult than it seems if drugs have played a central role in your life for a number of years, but there are several ways you can discover a sense of renewed purpose. When you do find new meaning, you’ll be much less likely to turn back to drugs during or after treatment.

Preventing Relapses

Having new interests and goals to focus on helps lower your risk of relapses, which occur when you start using drugs again.

This can happen when you’re feeling stressed or when certain people, places or events act as triggers that cause you to turn back to drugs. Relapses are a big setback during or after recovery, although it doesn’t mean you’ve failed.

Relapse rates for those who struggle with substance abuse are similar to relapse rates for those with chronic illnesses, such as high blood pressure and asthma.

For example, relapse rates for drug addiction are roughly 40 to 60 percent, compared to high blood pressure and asthma relapse rates of roughly 50 to 70 percent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

You can help prevent relapses from happening by finding ways to get new meaning from life.

Support Groups

Reaching out to others helps you build social connections with other people who are in a similar situation. It also provides you with emotional support when you need it most.

Joining support groups for drug addiction helps you understand the importance of positive social interactions in your life, which have probably suffered due to your addiction.

Forming these positive connections with others and being able to draw on their support can help you discover a new purpose in life, such as helping others. You might even be inspired to lead support groups for drug addiction once you’ve fully recovered.

Counseling

Attending counseling sessions for drug addiction is another way for you to connect with others and find meaning. Your counselor can help you find ways to replace your addiction with healthier interests and pursuits.

If you’re concerned about relapses, your counselor will provide you with the guidance you need to overcome these temptations. With your counselor’s help, you’ll be able to come up with meaningful goals for yourself both during and after recovery that will help you stay away from drugs.

New Hobbies

Finding new interests and activities to spend time on gives you a way to focus your energy and thoughts on something other than drugs. These hobbies can be ones you’ve always wanted to try, or they can be ones you’ve pursued in the past before addiction took over.

You can come up with ideas for hobbies by thinking about your interests, then looking for ways to learn more about them. For example, you can start a hobby in photography, cooking, gardening or something else that interests you by signing up for local classes or workshops or reading books on the subject.

Volunteering

Helping others can give you a strong sense of purpose in life while also boosting your sense of self-worth, which makes you less likely to go back to using drugs. Look for volunteer opportunities in your area, and keep in mind that there are all kinds of ways you can help.

Depending on your skills and interests, you could help by building houses for the less fortunate, walking dogs at your local animal shelter or passing out food at a local soup kitchen.

By reaching out to others, getting professional guidance, forming new hobbies and giving to others, you can help build a new life that provides you with a greater sense of purpose than you had before.


Sources:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1526775/
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/basics/coping-support/con-20020970
  3. http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/addiction-science/relapse/relapse-rates-drug-addiction-are-similar-to-those-other-well-characterized-chronic-ill