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An addiction to drugs or alcohol will quickly take over every aspect of an individual’s life. Many people feel as if they have full control over their substance abuse, but they will eventually become a slave to their addiction. Here is a look at four steps that can be taken to break the addiction, rebuild one’s life, and avoid relapsing.

Be Honest With Yourself

Many addicts will find that they can justify their substance abuse for years without realizing it. These “mental acrobatics” allow them to continue falling deeper into their addiction while doing more damage to their body. At some point, addicts must start being honest with themselves before any real changes can be made. Forcing rehabilitation on an individual has worked in the past, but relapses are incredibly common in these types of situations.

To truly overcome a substance dependency, a person must decide at a deep level how important meaningful change is to them personally, since the road to sobriety is difficult and usually not a straight line. You must be able to forgive yourself if you relapse, and continue trying and trying until you succeed.

Seek Out Professional Help

Depending on the severity of the addiction and the substance that is being abused, attempting to break the habit on one’s own can actually be extremely dangerous, especially with a heroin or opioid addiction. Those who are looking to make real changes in their life should speak with an addiction specialist before quitting.

Professional rehabilitation services are generally considered to be the most effective way to permanently beat an addiction. This includes options such as medical detoxing, inpatient programs, and outpatient support. These programs can merge the physical/medical side of addiction along with the social aspect that is key to getting out and staying out of substance abuse.

Devote Yourself to Lifelong Changes

Many people are surprised to find out that they cannot simply step out of a rehab facility and avoid temptations for the rest of their life. Rehabilitation should be seen as a lifelong process that will require constant diligence. People need to make major lifestyle changes such as parting ways with old friends, rebuilding damaged relationships, and potentially moving out of their current living situation.

Fix All Other Aspects of Your Life

Some of the stressors that addicts experience can push them right back to their substance of choice. This is why it is so important to start fixing any aspects of their life that could be plaguing them, including criminal charges. Addicts should immediately speak with a drug defense lawyer at specialty firms like if any charges have been filed against them. It is also important to focus on their physical health in order to undo the damage that has been done by the drugs or alcohol.

Substance abuse costs the country over $300 billion a year, but money is not the only thing that is being lost. An untreated addiction will eventually take everything from an individual including their health and happiness.