5 Ways the 12 Steps of NA Help You Create a Drug-Free Lifestyle
Stopping drug use is one thing. Staying drug-free is a whole different ballgame.
Interestingly enough, many who successfully complete detox expect to be able to maintain continued abstinence. In actuality, addiction’s hold on your thoughts and behaviors will likely persist for months or even years after completing drug detox. Under these conditions, an unexpected relapse episode is all but guaranteed.
Creating a drug-free lifestyle requires a day-by-day effort and a proven plan. The 12 Steps of NA offer those in recovery with a solid plan for managing the day-to-day challenges that addiction recovery brings.
5 Ways the 12 Steps of NA Help Create a Drug-Free Lifestyle
1. The Importance of Having a Plan
After abusing drugs for months or years on end, a person gradually settles into a daily routine. Not only are a person’s behaviors focused on getting and using the drug, but also his or her thinking patterns and emotional needs.
According to the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, building a drug-free lifestyle in the face of an ingrained, addiction-based lifestyle requires a solid plan that can undo addiction’s effects and develop healthy, daily living practices in the process. This is exactly what the 12 Steps of NA is designed to do.
2. Developing a Drug-Free Mindset
As physically draining as chronic drug addiction can be, the actual addiction problem develops inside a person’s psychological makeup, altering his or her belief systems and overall perspective on self and others. These belief systems work to drive continued drug use at all costs.
The 12 Step plan enables you to identify addiction’s destructive influences in your life and develop the type of mindset that makes a drug-free lifestyle possible.
3. Healthy Relationships
Many people starting out in recovery have little to no experience in forming or maintaining healthy relationships in their lives. According to American Psychiatric Press, for this reason, much of the 12 Steps of NA centers on developing healthy relationship building skills through interactions had through the support group process, as well as within one’s personal life.
4. Support System in Place
A drug-free lifestyle requires the type of support system that encourages drug-free thinking and behavior, just as the addiction lifestyle creates its own “support system” of like-minded drug users. The 12 Step program approach comes with a built-in support system made up of group members who share similar experiences, challenges and goals for living a drug-free life.
While the support group aspect of the 12 Steps of NA acts as a guiding force in your recovery efforts, having a sponsor provides the day-to-day personal support and guidance needed to overcome drug-using urges.
Sponsorship provides you with the opportunity to benefit from the experiences of someone who’s been where you are now. A sponsor is someone who’s always there to listen while at the same time keeping you focused on your desire to live a drug-free life.