Addiction Treatment & Addiction Therapy Options

Addiction and Changing Your Ways

Addiction and Changing Your Ways

A trickle effect occurs with self-destructive behaviors: addiction is a self-destructive behavior that often results from other damaging behaviors and that also creates a plethora of other problems. For example, someone may practice unhealthy coping behaviors from the beginning, which only leads her to bottle up her emotions, isolate herself from friends and drown her feelings in alcohol. As she repeats these behaviors, she may develop an addiction, which means she must practice even more self-destructive tendencies to maintain her condition: she may lie to friends and family or avoid work and other important events to conceal her drug habits. In short, self-destructive behaviors are infectious

Just like self-destructive problems, constructive habits breed improvement. When someone becomes comfortable with healthy behaviors, he is more inclined to repeat these behaviors even at difficult times. In fact, many addicts are surprised to learn how simple lifestyle changes can impact their addiction recoveries. While breaking free from physical addiction may seem most challenging, the task of reducing the emotional and psychological desire for drugs is just as difficult, if not more so.

Many treatment methods in rehab help people jumpstart healthy behaviors. Addicts must first have solid foundations upon which they can build strong recoveries, so the beginnings of sobriety often stem from their attitudes, thought processes and feelings about themselves and the world. Most self-destructive behaviors stem from internalized negative beliefs and feelings—if someone does not believe she is good enough, intelligent enough or attractive enough, then she will feel unworthy of love. Feeling unworthy will create damaging behaviors, as people may unconsciously punish themselves, because they believe they deserve punishment. Unfortunately, instead of addressing and coping with these negative emotions head-on, it can be easier to avoid them with distracting, even harmful behaviors. Once someone begins running away from her problems by using drugs, then the process can become both habitual and instinctive[1].

If you recognize the factors that instigate drug abuse, then you have taken a big step toward long-term recovery. In other words, addicts must alter negative thoughts and emotions if they wish to take care of themselves. Addicts must believe that they are worthy of love, acceptance, good health and wellness if they are to avoid relapse for the long haul[2].

How to Change Your Self-destructive Behaviors

Behavioral change is tough. When people become familiar and comfortable with certain behaviors, it can take months or years for new behaviors to seem natural. In short, changing your ways may take time, but rehab offers several opportunities for addicts to learn how to adapt, such as the following helpful tips:

  • Be open to the future. No one cannot expect to lead a positive life if he thinks that most in life will hurt him. Put the past in the past to see the future as a fresh start.
  • Start tracking triggers of self-destructive tendencies. Write down what issues cause negative thinking and emotion. Learn to identify the problems that ignite fear and self-doubt. When you can recognize these triggers, then you can prepare yourself to cope with them rather than crumbling in the moment.
  • Manage triggers. If certain people or things will damage your recovering, then get rid of them, learn to avoid them or address them. If someone continually belittles you, then tell her to stop. Address the problems that damage your life, because you deserve better!
  • Have a plan. You must establish coping skills to utilize them in a painful situation. When you face times of stress, fear, anxiety or negativity, then you may crave a drink or drug, so you need other coping options. Feel free to experiment with different strategies and learn what works well for you. Breathing exercises are self-soothing and can help regulate emotions, which means you can calm down and avoid drugs.
  • Live healthy. Good health is physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, so, to be apt for behavior change, you must lead a healthy life in every way possible. Eat right, get enough sleep, engage in physical activity, maintain doctor visits and etc.

With these thoughts in mind, you can get and stay clean from drugs.

Put an End to Addiction

Are you ready to regain control over your life, to have structure and to function well? Do you want to repair the relationships your addiction damaged and return to a life of fulfillment? If you are ready to improve yourself, then end your addiction, as it wedges you away from the life you want. Ending drug abuse will be difficult, but recovery is the only way to get and stay well.

If you are ready to take the first step toward recovery, then know that people are ready right now to guide you. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline anytime to talk with an admissions coordinator about your needs for recovery. Our staff can offer credible advice, guidance and information; they can answer your questions and address your concerns about everything having to do with addiction and treatment. In short, call now for professional support.

[1] Mbanza, Alana. How to Overcome Self Destructive Behavior. Success Consciousness. Retrieved from

[2] Arnold, Kevin D., PhD. (2012, August 4) Building a Happy Life: 5 Ways to Change Your Self Defeating Habits. Psychology Today. Retreived from