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When quitting drugs, or when helping someone else to quit, there are a number of components to consider. The most important place to start is at the beginning, though, and that’s what this post is about.

In most cases, the major prerequisite to quitting drugs is wanting to quit drugs. To that end, here are three concrete things that can be done to ensure that process of quitting (yes, it’s a process!) keeps moving along.

A young man wearing a jacket from The North Face stands in a field of brown grass and looks out at the mountains beyond.Decide you want to be different. The need to decide to quit is mentioned so often that it’s almost become a cliche — but it’s spoken about so much because it’s true. You can’t expect to just wake up one day wanting to quit, though. It’s important to spend some time thinking about what quitting might look like and how to get there. Helpguide.org lists some good ways to progress through this process of thinking about quitting:

  • Keep track of your drug and alcohol use, including when and how much you use or drink. Having this info on paper can help you understand how much these addictions are playing in your life.
  • List the pros and cons of quitting. How much does using cost you? How much would quitting cost? What are the benefits of using and of quitting?
  • Consider the things that are important in your life — your family, your job, your health, your home. How are these (or how might they be) affected by drug or alcohol use?
  • Ask someone you trust — a spouse, counselor, pastor, child or friend — how they feel about your using drugs or alcohol.
  • Ask yourself if there’s anything preventing you from changing. What could help you make the change?

A man and a woman, both wearing blue, hug outdoors with trees and grass in the background.Find people to support you. Quitting drugs often requires the support of family or friends who can help you through the process. What does that look like? One article recently noted that kicking drugs or alcohol doesn’t necessarily require “tough love,” and you don’t always need to hit “rock bottom” before you can get help. What you need is someone to walk through this with you — maybe a pastor, a family member, a therapist or a drug rehab specialist.

To be successful in overcoming addiction, the article says, you need people in your corner who “don’t know the meaning of the word quit, and [whose] determination is truly evidence that ‘tough love’ doesn’t mean giving up, and ‘rock bottom’ doesn’t have to end in tragedy because someone wasn’t willing to keep fighting for the afflicted.”

NOTE: If you’re a family member or friend of someone who needs to quit drugs, check out this info on family interventions.

Look into professional help and accountability. Often, successfully deciding to quit drugs or alcohol means gathering others to hold you accountable. Drugs and alcohol can have such a powerful hold on your brain and body that you need people to help you avoid making bad choices.

When faced with a debilitating disease such as alcohol or drug dependency, sometimes the best way to get better is to spend time away, in an environment that allows you to focus on healing. There are people in Whatcom County and throughout the Pacific Northwest who’ve made it their life’s work to help people get out of the holes that drugs and alcohol have put them in. Here are a few options in or near Whatcom County for drug and alcohol rehab.

Speaking of accountability, Bostec also offers drug testing for this purpose. Come in to the office or buy portable tests for your home to provide an extra layer of accountability on drug use. And of course, please feel free to reach out to Bostec if you’d like to talk more about quitting and how that might work.

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