Where did it start?

People use alcohol and other drugs for many reasons – it can be a way to cope, to self-medicate, or to just be social and have fun. For some people, their drug use may become a bigger part of their lives as they use more, and more often.

Some people may have started using drugs to cope if they had been facing tough situations in their everyday life. These reasons could include trauma, stress, anxiety, depression, discrimination, or feelings of inadequacy. Remember that there are support options available to you if you are struggling, and it is OK to reach out and ask for help. 

Take time to check that you are living the life you want, and keep an eye out for signs that drug use is affecting your life negatively.

Go back to the beginning

Think about how your relationship started with the drug which concerns you most and what it gave you. You could make a list, talk to someone, or write a story about it.
What did I enjoy doing before I started taking this drug?
What do I really like about this drug? What did it give me that I felt I needed?
What do I do when I’m using this drug?

Time to changePart of you may want to change, part will cling to the life you’ve got. Making space to step back and consider where you’re at is an incredible gift to yourself.

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Tips for making changes

  • Write down how drugs are affecting your life. The focus on how good things can be once you can overcome your addiction.

  • Decide on the reasons why you want to quit or cut down. It may be for your children, money or your health.

  • Seek support from friends and family. It is difficult to quit or cut down by yourself.

  • Don't rely on someone else to quit or cut down with you.

  • Stop spending time with people who use drugs, to avoid temptation.

  • Understand what triggers your drug use, so you can start avoiding them.

  • Take care of your body, eat healthy, exercise and freshen up where you are living.

  • Set manageable goals that you can stick to.

  • If you end up using drugs after you have quit, don't panic, address the issue straight away before it sprials out of control.

  • Boredom is the first step to relapse, so find ways to keep busy.

  • Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.

  • You always pass failure on your way to success.

  • Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer.

  • Our greatest battles are with our own minds.

  • Give yourself something to work towards - constantly.

  • Half the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.

  • Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

  • The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started.

  • Be gentle to all and stern with yourself.

  • There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.

  • There's more than one way to cut back or quit, take a look around at different recovery options.

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It just got to a point where I could see that I was going to end up in jail, and that scared the shit out of me. That was pretty bad. That’s what started me thinking about giving it up.