Overcoming Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Guide

Drug addiction is more common than you may think. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, about 10% of US adults have a drug use disorder at some point in their lives. In other words, millions of US adults struggle with a substance use disorder in their lifetime. However, many are able to overcome their addiction and lead healthier, happier lives. In this article, you’ll learn step-by-step what it takes to overcome a substance use disorder and achieve life-long sobriety.

5 Steps to Substance Abuse Recovery

Although every addict’s recovery journey is different, below are the 5 steps you can expect to face along your substance abuse recovery journey. 


The first necessary step in every addict’s recovery journey is detoxification. Before you can even consider receiving addiction therapy and learning how to maintain sobriety, you must detox. This means you must stop using your addictive drug of choice. Depending on the severity of your addiction, your detoxification process may look different than others. Some recovering addicts quit “cold turkey” while other recovering addicts may be given medications to help subside their severe withdrawal symptoms.

While seeking professional addiction treatment is not an absolute to overcome addiction, it is highly recommended. Not only is overcoming addiction extremely difficult on your own but quitting can potentially lead to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

Overcoming Withdrawal Symptoms

During your detox, you will inevitably be faced with withdrawal symptoms as your body and brain begin to adjust and get used to not consuming any drugs or alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms can vary from physical symptoms like sweating or nausea to psychological symptoms like irritability, depressed mood, and more. 

As described above, the severity and duration of your withdrawal symptoms can vary significantly depending on a few factors like how long you have been abusing drugs, the type of drug you are addicted to, and more. While many recovering addicts are able to overcome withdrawal symptoms within about 1 week, if you are struggling with a severe drug addiction, you can experience withdrawal symptoms for up to 2 weeks. 

Learning Healthy Coping Strategies

Once you’ve successfully detoxed and overcome your withdrawal symptoms, you’ll begin to learn healthy coping strategies to maintain your sobriety long-term. This is why seeking professional addiction treatment is so important. You can receive various traditional and holistic therapy treatments at a drug rehab to help you maintain your sobriety long-term. This can include learning your unique triggers to discovering alternative therapies like breathwork or art therapy that can help you destress and provide relapse prevention. 

Reducing Your Risk of Relapsing

Relapsing is your biggest threat when it comes to overcoming your drug addiction. Substance abuse recovery is a life-long journey that involves many ups and downs. However, by being aware of your unique triggers and having a plan of coping strategies in place you can turn to when you have urges to abuse, can help you tremendously in reducing your risk of relapse. Likewise, having a supportive group of loved ones who can motivate and keep you accountable is another great way to reduce your risk of relapsing. 

Maintaining Life-Long Sobriety 

Addiction recovery is a life-long journey. Even after you receive addiction treatment and go back to your normal life and responsibilities, you’ll likely still experience triggers and urges to abuse drugs or alcohol. However, by leaning on loved ones for support, implementing your healthy coping strategies, and asking for help when you need to (i.e., joining a support group, seeking outpatient care, etc.), these are all effective ways to ensure you can maintain long-term sobriety and lead a healthier, happier life. 

Top-Rated Treatment

If you or someone is struggling with addiction– help is available! At Promont Recovery, we use a personalized care approach to best meet the substance abuse recovery needs of each and every patient. We understand how debilitating and isolating a disease addiction can be. That’s why the staff at our drug rehab in Bucks County help guide each client along their recovery journey so they can not just overcome their addiction but maintain their sobriety life-long so they can regain control over their life. We provide outpatient levels of care, and can refer out to partners for inpatient and drug detox in Philadelphia.

Ready to start your road to recovery?

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