Can You Beat Addiction Alone?

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Whether you have financial issues, doubts about rehab, or just want to keep your recovery journey completely private, there are many reasons why you may want to beat addiction alone. Is it possible to stay sober with your own efforts?

We always hear that saying, “Two is better than one.” Indeed, the power of having a community when battling a struggle is often emphasized. However, some people want to solve their problems alone. Are you one of those people? Perhaps you’ve come to this post because you want to know how to stop drug addiction without rehab.

Overcoming Drug Addiction

The truth is, overcoming addiction is much more effective when you have a solid set of support to back you up. Having said that, there are some people who succeeded in overcoming drug addiction alone. This, however, presents some risks especially for those who have severe substance use disorder problems.

Below are some of the risks when trying to beat addiction alone:

Higher risk of a drug overdose

Drug overdose is more common for people who don’t have an accountability counselor or a support group during their recovery. This is because addiction relapse is so common, that a single, similar dose of a familiar drug can cause life-threatening effects in the body. Without a pillar of support to keep you away from relapsing, there’s a bigger chance you’ll encounter a drug overdose.

Lack of evidence-based treatment

Some people miss the point of attending rehab. It is easy to assume that this is an “invasion of privacy” or the thought of being stigmatized becomes a problem to them. However, the whole point of going to a high-quality rehab facility is to receive evidence-based treatment. What does this mean? This indicates that the approaches to beat addiction are based on multiple studies that show its effectiveness. Without proven studies, learning how to deal with addiction can feel like walking in a dark tunnel without a light to guide you.

These are just some of the potential problems you can encounter if you choose to be solo on your road to sobriety. It is understandable to have personal reasons why you want to be alone, but what is the best compromise to this dilemma?

Decide to make a change

The decision to make a change starts with you. Ultimately, no amount of treatment or rehab will be effective if you don’t commit to change. This applies even if you desire to beat addiction alone or with formal support. The best compromise to overcome addiction alone, safely and effectively, is to have your self-management approaches after undergoing a formal rehab. This will help you:

  • Know which techniques work for you
  • Understand how to avoid fatal withdrawal symptoms or overdose
  • Get support in the event that you may need it

Beating addiction alone after rehab may be the best way to suit your needs. Below is a comprehensive guide on how to overcome drug addiction in this manner.

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Step-By-Step Guide To Overcome Drug Addiction

Addiction Treatment Options

There are various treatment options you can choose from when going to rehab. When you receive an assessment, addiction specialists will also recommend what they think will be the best treatment option for you based on your unique background.

Some people who would like to get in touch with their spiritual side prefer 12-Step Rehab. Those who would like a more scientific or holistic approach would prefer Non-12-Step options. These can include:

  • Psychotherapies
  • SMART Recovery
  • Group therapies
  • Dual Diagnosis treatment

Either way, both of these options have studies that support their effectiveness toward addiction treatment. Going to rehab is the first step in getting these treatment options.

Support For Your Addiction Recovery

The next step is finding backup or emergency support for your addiction recovery. Even if you’re more inclined to recover from substance use disorder alone, it is still helpful to get some contact numbers or information about drug or alcohol addiction.

Below are some of the resources you can take note of:

Aside from visiting these resources for support, there will be a set of recommendations that will be provided to you as an aftercare program after drug or alcohol treatment. They will serve as your sources of support especially during the early stages of sobriety. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Local support groups
  • Continued counseling
  • Continued psychotherapies
  • Local spiritual groups or counseling
  • Relapse prevention guides
  • Nutrition and fitness guides

Healthy Ways To Cope With Stress

Stress is a primary trigger for substance use disorder. The more you experience stress, the more it is likely that you will give in to addiction cravings even after weeks or months of staying sober. Thus, it is better to be in a preventative state so that you can avoid being at the brink of a relapse. Below are some healthy ways to cope with stress.

Nutrition and exercise

Your physical health is closely tied to your mental health and addiction struggles. There are studies that show how eating healthy and exercising can help in battling cravings for alcohol and drugs. A general guide to nutrition and exercise include the following:

  • Eating less junk food and more whole foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meat, and whole grains
  • Exercising based on your level of health at least 2-3 times a week
  • Taking supplements for optimum brain and immune support
  • Drinking at least 8-12 glasses of water a day

This, of course, depends on the recommendations provided by your physician or nutritionist.

Meditation and journaling

Another great way to cope with stress is through “decompression” methods such as meditation and journaling. It is often said that the brain is like a sponge that can only absorb as much liquid, or stressors, for that matter. Meditation and journaling is a great outlet for people going through personal struggles during recovery.

Meditation is done by sitting in silence and being highly aware of your breathing, heart rate, and other bodily processes. This is said to help you relax and avoid being overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions. Journaling is done by writing down your current thoughts and feelings. This can help you process life events better and provide an emotional or mental release instead of taking drugs and alcohol.


Trying to beat addiction alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. Even if you do not wish to join drug or alcohol addiction support groups, there are ways to socialize and reduce stress in your life. Having good company matters to avoid substance use disorder triggers, and below are some suggestions on the types of socialization you can engage in:

  • Joining clubs: Art, sports, cooking, writing, book reading, music, etc.
  • Group exercise classes: Zumba, pilates, barre, martial arts, etc.
  • Volunteer work: Community soup kitchen, Salvation Army, church ministries, etc.

These healthy opportunities to socialize help you to focus less on your internal mental state–which can be toxic when you dwell on them too much.

Keep Drug Triggers And Cravings In Check

One of the techniques taught in rehab to prepare you for the actual challenges in staying sober is knowing how to manage triggers and cravings.

The main principle in order to stay away from triggers and cravings are to:

  • Change your environment: Some triggers and cravings are due to the brain associating a certain object, person, or location for substance use. By simply being proactive and changing your environment, you can avoid negative thoughts of using drugs or alcohol.
  • Find replacements: Cravings are caused by an unmet physiological need, but oftentimes, it is not necessarily the drug or alcohol. You can find healthier replacements such as immersing yourself in nature, eating nutritious food, or pursuing a hobby that interests you.
  • Be accountable: Accountability is also key to avoiding triggers and cravings. If you feel like you’re on the verge of giving in to a relapse, message a trusted friend, family, counselor, or even a crisis line to help you out.

Build A Meaningful, Drug-Free Life

Having an addiction-free life is more effective when you have a source of motivation for doing so. These reasons can range from person to person, but it often involves personal growth, health, restoring relationships or a combination of all of these.

Whatever your strongest motivation is, keep a tangible reminder of it. Your personal reason to stay sober can be in the form of a picture, a letter, or a memento that reminds you to keep going.

Beating Addiction Is Best With Help

The main takeaway in this post is that overcoming addiction is done best with support. Understanding how to get help for addiction means you’re on your way to receiving the best resources and services you need for a drug-free life.




Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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