Making the decision to stop using can be a challenge. People use for different reasons: habit, social pressures, and/or psychological or physical dependence. Quitting is a very personal experience and the same methods don’t work for everyone. Maybe you have quit before and have slipped back. This program is designed to support your choice to quit.
The following are some issues to consider as you make your decision. From here, the program will continue with support and suggestions to assist you through the next 30 days. As you begin you will click on the day to the Left.
- Evaluate the risks and benefits of continued use. Are you ready to sacrifice immediate gratification for more long-term benefits and goals?
- Overcome stubbornness. You need to be willing to admit that using is causing problems for you, or you will continue to fall back.
- Get rid of any paraphernalia that you currently possess.
- To counter this point: Over the next few weeks, you will be required to exert a tremendous amount of self discipline. Self discipline is a skill that can be taught, worked on, and improved. For more reading on improving your self discipline skills, click here.
- Make a commitment to quitting. Make your decision public with people who will support and respect you and your confidentiality.
- To counter this point: For long term success, you need to be doing this for YOU. Not your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend..etc. You need to be accountable to yourself, and WANT to quit.
- Drop any identity that you maintained for yourself as a user. The more you value yourself, the less likely you are to make excuses for using.
- Avoid the people, places, and playthings; that might trigger your use. If you find yourself in a risky environment, be prepared to respond assertively, don’t make excuses. Be bigger than the temptation.
- Have confidence that you can deal effectively with the situations you face and that you can accomplish the goals that you pursue.
Make a list of the reasons you might want to continue use and why you want to quit. – Weigh both sides.
|Why I Might Want to Continue||Why I Want to Quit|
Hopefully your list has helped you to make your decision and stick to it. Your “Why I Want to Quit” list can act as a motivator through some of the withdrawal symptoms and cravings you could experience. Keep in mind it does get easier. I promise.
It is important to be aware of situations, including certain people that might trigger use. Take the time to consider those activities or situations and make a plan for yourself to avoid those people/situations and commit to stay on track should you find yourself in those situations. You are stronger than the cravings!
Situations or Activities When I am Likely to get High
You may experience withdrawal and cravings. This is your body’s sign of recovering. Take it one day at a time and it will pass. Tell yourself that you just have to get through the next 5 minutes. Set a timer for 5 minutes, and focus on getting through those 5 minutes.
The symptoms will be gone when the drug out of your system. Depending on number of years and frequency of use, the time it takes will be different for different people.
Withdrawal/Physical Symptoms of Quitting
|Perspiration (sweating)||Irritability||Disrupted sleep cycle|
|Weight loss (decreased appetite)||Aggression (in different degrees)|
|Increased body temperature||Loss of motivation|
- Spend more time in places and activities where it is impossible to get high.
- Try to avoid people you got high with.
- This may be the hardest thing of all. I had to separate myself from those people for at least 10 days. It’s OK to be selfish in this time.
- Do more things in your home and after class that are not connected with getting high.
Change Your Daily Patterns (this may not be possible for everyone, and certainly wasn’t for me):
- Change morning patterns. (Get up at a different time. Change the order of events like showering, brushing your teeth, walking the dog, eating breakfast, and reading the newspaper. Turn on a different radio station.)
- Change school and work patterns. (Change where you sit in class, where you hang your coat, organizing your desk, opening mail, making calls, watering plants.)
- Change driving patterns. (Take a new route to work or class, try a different radio station, and change the radio volume, open or close windows.)
- Change study patterns. (Study in the library)
Avoid Getting Hungry or Tired:
- Get at least your normal amount of sleep (yes your sleep is going to suck for about a week, but unfortunately, it is part of the healing process.)
- Eat three meals a day. (Don’t cut down to one or two meals.) Have a few nutritional snacks throughout the day. Buy a green’s supplement (see here) and commit to drinking a protein shake with greens mixed in EVERY SINGLE DAY. The nutrients will give you the energy you need to win this battle.
Stay Busy. Fill time to help change thinking patterns.
• Visit a friend who doesn’t use.
• Fix something around your house, apartment, or dorm.
• Clean your room.
• Start a hobby.
• Take a course that is fun, like Latin dance or an art class.
• Go to a movie (unless you used to use before going to a movie).
• Wrap yourself in a good book.
• Knit or sew.
• Work on a crossword or jigsaw puzzle.
• Play a video game.
• Study more!
Seven Practical Tips for Managing Urges:
- Leave the scene of an urge. When possible, get away from a situation that triggers an urge. A short walk or change of scenery can do wonders. Even 15 minutes. Remember to reduce your temptation before you become overwhelmed.
- Use deep breathing. Take a deep breath through your mouth. Hold the air in your lungs for five to seven seconds. Breathe out slowly. Repeat until the urge passes.
- Get a fidget spinner. Put something in your mouth. Try sugarless gum, sugarless candy, diet beverage, toothpicks, pen or pencil, coffee stirrers or straw.
- Water out urges. Shower or bathe twice daily. Have a shower or bath when you feel that you are going to crack. Drink a glass of water. Drown the urge and flush toxins out.
- Get active. Try brisk walking or sports that speed up your breathing and heart rates.
- Relax. When you’re feeling frustrated, worried or anxious, think calming thoughts, or use a relaxation CD. Mindify is a great app on the phone.
- Avoid Boredom. You may be used to getting high to pass the time. Plan your day or activities to cut down on idle time. Stay active through different physical activities and keep your hands busy.
Social events can be very risky. Avoid them for the first few weeks while you are trying to quit. Avoid drinking alcohol and seek out other non users. Mentally prepare yourself for social situations and review your reasons for quitting and the benefits you will reap. Be selfish. This is about YOU and NOT your friends.
Identify situations that will be difficult for you (triggers) and solutions for dealing with them.*
|Trigger:||Strategy for Coping|
*My Commitment to Stop Using
I hereby commit to, and accept responsibility for achieving the goals that I have initialed below. These goals are designed to prepare me to stop using. In addition, they show my motivation, confidence, and commitment to the quitting process. I understand that a slip can occur and I must not use it as an excuse to return to use.
- I will follow the helpful hints and keep in mind what I am experiencing is normal.
- I will begin to increase my physical activities.
I commit to: ____________________________________________________________________
- I will throw away all of my paraphernalia. (No holding on to anything for old time sake).
- I will avoid places where there are temptations to get high, such as bars and time with friends who get high.
- I will drink an extra two glasses of water each day.
- I will reward myself for accomplishing these goals by:
MY QUIT DATE IS: _________________________________
Today’s date ___________________________