It’s tempting to think that quitting addictive behaviour always requires attending a treatment centre or taking a particular medication. However, there is evidence that alternative, “natural” methods can work. If you are – or know someone who is – suffering an addiction to alcohol or drugs, here are some ways that the bad habit could be kicked without specialist assistance.
Take up a new pastime, challenge or relationship
When someone regularly engages in addictive behaviour, this can consume a significant chunk of their time. For this reason, there is a danger that, if the addiction is simply removed, this leaves a large void which the person in recovery is tempted to fill again… with their old addiction.
It is clear, then, that this person could benefit from something new that consumes the time they might have otherwise ended up spending on the addiction. Whether that “something new” really is entirely fresh to them or something that they used to enjoy in their pre-addiction days, it will give their life a fresh meaning, as explained on the Harvard Health Publishing website.
Start physically exercising
Stress that an addiction sufferer experiences could melt away once they begin exercising – an activity which is great for relieving depression in a natural way. It can help ease clarity of thinking.
What also shouldn’t be overlooked is that, when the body is put through exercise, it releases psychoactive substances called endorphins. Through triggering the brain’s reward pathway, these substances can increase wellbeing.
Join a new community
There are various situations in which this can happen. Perhaps the individual beset by the addiction joins an exercise class where they meet many new people. Alternatively, they might start dating someone who doesn’t have the same addiction problem or know anyone else – besides their new partner – who does. In either of these situations, a whole new social circle could open up.
It would be especially crucial if none of the people in this circle are similarly addicted; this could certainly encourage the addiction sufferer to “start afresh” with a “clean slate”.
If necessary, repeatedly try again
Quitting an addiction naturally often requires repeat attempts before success is finally tasted. However, people attempting to quit naturally need to be patient – as, with each attempt, they will learn something new and so edge closer to ultimate success.
Research has even indicated that the probability of success changes with each attempt. The more someone tries to quit, the likelier they are to eventually succeed. This is undoubtedly heartening.
Still, professional help should be sought if this seems necessary
Naturally abandoning an addiction can be harder the more severe it is. The picture can also be complicated if the sufferer has other psychological disorders.
Hence, someone whose addiction – or anxiety, depression, or other mental health issue, should they also suffer any of these – is chronic is much likelier to succeed if they enlist professional assistance. Their rehabilitation could be in closer reach when they attend an addiction treatment centre.