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How To Stop Addiction To Drugs, Alcohol, And Cigarettes
by Miriam Kinai
06/08/10
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There are 4 steps to overcoming any addiction. These are summarized by the mnemonic STOP

S Set a date to stop.

T Think about why you want to overcome the addiction and write down your reasons.

O Omit the people and places that encourage you to use addictive substances from your diary.

P Put obstacles between you and using the addictive substances.


The first step is to set a date to stop using drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. Know that today is the best day. So commit to breaking free from the bondage of addiction right now.


The second step is to think about why you want to break the addiction and then write down your reasons. If you are addicted to cigarettes, do you want to stop smoking to avoid developing cancer of the lips, mouth, throat, larynx, lungs, esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, colon, kidneys, bladder and cervix? If you are addicted to alcohol, do you want to stop drinking to avert developing liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and pancreatitis? If you are addicted to drugs, do you want to break the addiction to circumvent cannabinoid impaired concentration, stimulant induced strokes and depressant induced drowsiness? Carry the card with your reasons wherever you go so that you can refer to it when you are tempted to feed the addiction.


The third step is to delete the people and places that encourage you to use drugs, alcohol and cigarettes from your diary. To identify the people, ask yourself, “Who do I drink or chew or smoke or sniff or inject or ingest the addictive substances with?” Name them and then stop spending time with them. The next question you should ask yourself is, “Where do I drink or chew or smoke or sniff or inject or ingest the addictive substances? Pinpoint the places and stop passing by them.


The fourth step is to put obstacles between you and the drugs, alcohol and cigarettes so as to make it harder for you to use them. To do so, ask yourself, “Why do I drink or chew or smoke or sniff or inject or ingest the addictive substances?” Answer this question with brutal honesty so that you can deal with the emotions or trigger situations that tempt and tie you to the addiction.


Adapted from Managing Stress for Teens by Dr. Miriam Kinai. © 2009.

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