Building a Resilient Lifestyle: Habits to Safeguard Against Addiction
We all know the dangers of addiction, and it isn’t uncommon to be at least a little wary of its risks. However, we can’t be afraid of everything, and knowing the dangers of addiction can help one build a safe sense of cautiousness as well as some relief in that they don’t need to be afraid of everything.
How Addiction Starts
Addiction, while incredibly powerful and definitely scary in some ways, often comes from humble beginnings. Anything has the capability to be addictive, though some things are much easier to hook you than others. It starts with use. Say you need medication for an injury, or when you’re out with friends and decide to start drinking.
Normally, when we consume things that we may need, our brains feel rewarded with a bit of dopamine being released into our system. However, when it comes to addictive substances, they’re often chemically constructed in a way that nearly overwhelms our systems with the amount of sudden dopamine. This can feel great for the first time, but it would be only natural to want that feeling again. Once you get it again, you become hooked on chasing that feeling again. Your tolerance would build, consumption would increase, and this is where addiction starts. There are some addictive substances that work faster than others, with sugar being addictive but not hooking an individual as strongly or quickly as something like Fentanyl.
Anything can be addictive, admittedly. It’s entirely dependent on context and substance. If you eat food to cope with unpleasant feelings, it may build a dependence and thus an addiction. Similarly, if you shop your sad feelings away, this is another addictive habit that can become just as severe as anything else. If a substance or activity becomes your “getaway” that you eventually must actively hunt to stay levelheaded, that’s dependent behavior. However, it isn’t just a straight path toward a full-blown addiction. There are always ways to stop before things get too far, even if it seems like you’ve gone as far as someone can.
First, is the often preached and most popular method: practicing moderation. Now, it’s worth noting that this does not apply to every substance in the beginning stages. For example, the only “moderated” amount of fentanyl and other hard drugs one should take is basically none. However, if one were to be in the guts of severe addiction and could possibly face medical issues if going cold turkey without their addictive substance, cutting down on use and keeping it to moderation is still a viable option.
However, exclusively in terms of avoiding addiction before it gets to that point, it’s never a bad idea to be careful with consumption. If you’re going out to drink with friends, don’t go overboard. Similarly, it isn’t a bad thing to want a sweet snack every now and then, just don’t eat too much junk food! If you want to buy something to make you feel better one day out of the blue, it won’t be an automatic rush towards addiction. To tell people that they should avoid sugary food, shopping or drinking is a tall order not many can handle, so it’s never a bad idea to at the very least ask that they do it responsibly.
To identify any problematic behavior that may sprout or lead to addiction when engaging in moderated behavior, there are a few signs to look out for. Building tolerance, the desire to do something even outside of appropriate contexts, obsessive thinking, and uncontrollable overindulgence are just a few factors to keep an eye out for.
Every bad habit has an alternative out there. While it may not feel great at first for some, it’s a long-term investment that you will only feel happier with. The first example that may come to mind is junk food. There are plenty of delicious alternatives to popular guilty pleasure snacks without pesky addictive chemicals mixed in. Even things like soda have alternatives in the suddenly popular sparkling water industry.
Your body may reject these alternatives at first, but it’s vital to know that it isn’t the substances themselves causing these reactions, it’s the desire for the original addictive substance. In fact, studies show that of a group of around 3,000 who claimed to have switched from soda to sparkling or seltzer water, 2,500 found themselves to be completely satisfied with the change.
Finally, if you wanted to be safe, there’s no better option than addiction treatment alternatives. Specifically for prevention and stability, a sober companion can be a great investment if you were in fear of developing an addiction at a certain location or in a certain time frame. If you were planning to go to a bar with some friends or on a trip to a place that may have some foods that’ll lead to overeating, a sober companion can keep your head straight and priorities intact.
Sober companions are just a taste of a broader industry, often paired with things like an addictions coach or therapy, and can really change the game. A fantastic place to look if the idea at all intrigues you is The Addictions Coach, run by Cali Estes. She’s an individual known worldwide as The Addictions Coach for her expertise in all things addiction treatment alternatives. Even through her vast knowledge, she isn’t afraid to hire others to fill in any gaps that may be left.
The company itself offers coaching for all sorts of addictions, such as food addiction, and technology addiction, as well as the more expected vices such as drinking or drugs. They even go as far as to have different styles of counseling, with a Christian Counseling service available as well.
Now, while these services are invaluable and should definitely be looked into further if you are at all interested if you haven’t gotten to that level of concern yet, there’s no harm in keeping it in your back pocket for now. You can never be too safe with addiction, but it’s never a bad thing to move at your own pace.