101 Ways to Live Drug Free

  1. Exercise for at least thirty minutes every day in order to live healthier, be more active, and build your confidence.
  2. “A stressful, chaotic lifestyle” can help lead to drug abuse (NLM). Find healthy ways to deal with your stress.
  3. Find peace in those things you already have in life instead of wishing for the things that you do not.
  4. Avoid using short-term solutions for problems. It will make you less likely to abuse drugs as a quick fix for unhappiness or stress.
  5. Spend time outdoors, even when you don’t have to, to feel connected with nature.
  6. Take classes. Educate yourself. Never stop learning new things.
  7. Do not let the opinions of others be so important to your opinion of yourself. Many instances of drug abuse start with peer pressure.
  8. Suggest activities you know you will be comfortable with when going out with friends.
  9. Consider the needs of your children: those “who grow up seeing their parents using drugs may have a high risk of developing an addiction later in life for both environmental and genetic reasons” (NLM).
  10. When you feel down, compliment yourself. There is always something better that you can say instead of berating yourself.
  11. Learn the dangers of drug abuse and the specific health issues caused by different drugs.
  12. Remember that whatever happens to you today won’t seem quite as much like the end of the world tomorrow.
  13. Spend time with the people who build you up, not the ones who tear you down.
  14. Also make friends who are like-minded. It can be hard to stay drug free when your friends are not.
  15. Be aware of your surroundings and environment. If you live in a place where drug abuse and crime is prevalent and you can move, do so.
  16. Remove people from your life who do not respect your decision to live drug free.
  17. Remember to take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally and, if something is wrong, tend to the issue.
  18. “Neglecting to eat” is one of the symptoms of drug abuse. Making sure to exercise good nutrition is key to a healthy, drug free life.
  19. Don’t ever hesitate to ask for advice if you are confused, scared, or unsure of what to do next.
  20. Avoid places where you know that drugs and alcohol are available.
  21. Make regular doctors’ visits in order to stay healthy and to know what aspects of your well-being you may need to work on.
  22. If you are offered drugs, be polite but confident in your refusal of them. It causes both parties to be calmer and to justify their own behavior.
  23. Practice mindfulness by being aware of yourself in the present. “Studies suggest that mindfulness practices may help people manage stress… and reduce anxiety and depression” (NIH).
  24. Remember that drug abuse can lead to addiction, a chronic mental disorder that can cause relapse even years after treatment, meaning that some individuals will live with it for a long time.
  25. Whenever possible, try to cut down the amount of toxic or stressful people and issues you deal with that are not mandatory to your life.

    Live Drug Free

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  26. Take into consideration “that most youths do not use drugs,” according to the NCJRS.
  27. Make a list of things you have fun doing that don’t involve drugs. Keep your list and pick activities from it when necessary.
  28. Write in a journal or blog as much as possible to externalize your feelings and keep them from staying bottled up.
  29. Take pains to monitor yourself, your feelings, and your needs. Be aware of yourself and which issues are most important to you.
  30. Seek treatment when a compulsion, a feeling, or an addiction goes beyond your control.
  31. Choose treatments that emphasize therapy when applicable.
  32. Remember that not all drugs and medications are harmful or addictive but that they can all have side effects you must be aware of. ” Any drug use involves risk” (NCJRS).
  33. Have confidence that your decision not to do drugs is the right choice for you.
  34. It is all right to be friendly, helpful, and accommodating toward others, but always remember that you must look out for your own well-being too.
  35. Get plenty of sleep. Not having enough sleep can affect your judgment and your emotions.
  36. Remember that being on drugs alters your mental and emotional state. You are not yourself when you are high.
  37. Set aside me time that doesn’t involve stress or pleasing anyone else. During this time, do the thing you want to do most that is healthy and kind to you.
  38. Be aware of your personal risks associated with drug abuse. For example, “a person’s genes” can be a factor in their possible abuse risk (NLM).
  39. Don’t avoid your problems by pretending they don’t exist. It will just make things worse in the long run.
  40. Remind yourself of all the people who want you to be happy, healthy, and safe, states which could be compromised by your drug use.
  41. Don’t experiment with drug abuse; this can often lead to addiction and other issues.
  42. When you catch yourself being to critical, remember to talk to yourself as if you were your best friend.
  43. Having a stable home life can help you avoid drug abuse.
  44. Read information that does not “glamorize or instill inappropriate fear about drugs.” Most things are not in black and white but shades of gray.
  45. Help others. Positive actions toward other people are beneficial to both them and you.
  46. Take pride in your work. Even if you are not currently happy in your job, find something about it that you do well and take pride in it.
  47. Make achievable goals for yourself that you can work toward. Even if the end result is something amazing or monumental, take each little goal leading up to it one at a time.
  48. Always drink plenty of water to keep healthy.
  49. Don’t put too much stock in why other people do what they do. Focus on yourself and your needs, and make sure you are taking actions that are beneficial to you and those you love.
  50. Try and accept the issues in your life that you can’t change.
  51. Attend support group meetings as a supplement to formal drug addiction treatment. You will meet other individuals who are dealing with the same issues you are.
  52. “Many drug-addicted individuals also have other mental disorders” so make sure to seek treatment for issues like bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD, etc (NIDA).
  53. Don’t try to quit cold turkey. It can often lead to intense withdrawal syndromes and relapse. Attend detox or drug addiction treatment instead.
  54. Remember, though, that “medically assisted detoxification is not in itself ‘treatment’––it is only the first step in the treatment process.”
  55. Don’t suffer in silence about your psychological distress or social issues. Talk to someone you can trust instead of turning to drugs.
  56. Remind yourself that relapsing or abusing drugs for the first time does not mean you have failed in your drug free pledge, just that you have to keep going.
  57. Tell yourself (and believe) that you deserve a second chance.
  58. Accept the mistakes of your past that you cannot change, apologize for any wrongs you have done those you care about, and move on.
  59. Choose a treatment facility or substance use disorder program that meets your specific needs and not just the ones that pertain to your drug abuse.
  60. Make changes whenever necessary to your treatment plan. These must be “assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure that it meets [your] changing needs.”
  61. Choose a treatment type or facility that is “readily available,” not one that you know you will never be able to attend because of distance, cost, etc.
  62. Give yourself a realistic treatment plan, and do not take on abstinence or treatment goals that are beyond your current point in your recovery.
  63. Realize that you’re human––relapse may occur but do not give up on your treatment or yourself.
  64. Make sure whatever treatment option you choose that you are comfortable. Do not choose a facility or program that you are uneasy about.
  65. Attend family and relationship counseling to work on the relationships that experienced issues due to your drug use.
  66. Use therapy in order to change your outlook toward drug use. If you can change your attitude and your perspective, you can actively change your behavior.
  67. Consider low-cost or free treatment. Drug addiction can take a toll on a person’s financial situation, and your treatment does not need to cost you as well.
  68. If school, work, or other stressors were major factors in your decision to do drugs, take time away from these responsibilities if at all possible.
  69. Get to know your nurses, doctors, and therapists on staff at your treatment facility. They want to help you recover and see you live a drug free life too.
  70. Admitting to and recognizing your drug abuse problem is the first step to your eventual recovery.
  71. Talk to others in group therapy, but remember to listen as well.
  72. Be kind to yourself during rehab because it is a very difficult time.
  73. Learn to recognize when you made excuses for your drug abuse, and choose to stop doing so.
  74. Ask a friend to stay with you, especially if you are going through withdrawal.
  75. Attend treatment for as long as necessary.
  76. Make the necessary changes to your life that you know you must after you recover from abuse.
  77. Congratulate yourself for milestones; reward yourself for specific amounts of time sober or other moments of significance with abstinence-friendly prizes.
  78. Do whatever you must (attend support groups, teach abstinence to youths, etc.) to be mindful of the fact that your recovery is an ongoing process.
  79. Be wary that stopping your drug use does not manifest in another unhealthy way like extreme weight loss/gain, untreated depression, etc.
  80. Keep in touch with the friends you make during treatment.
  81. Consider the things about sober life you’d neglected or missed out on while abusing drugs.
  82. Always try to be honest with yourself about how you feel. Denial is one of the common practices of drug abusers.
  83. Be honest with others as well, and they will not have a reason to doubt you.
  84. If you will be homeless or jobless after rehab, ask to be admitted to a halfway house that can help get you back on your feet.
  85. Sober living houses are also beneficial for helping to reintegrate former addicts stay clean as “alcohol and drug free living environments” (NCBI).
  86. When you are ready to return home from treatment, have someone remove all drugs and paraphernalia as well as those items which may become triggers.
  87. Remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day, a blank slate, and a completely new opportunity to be who you want to be.
  88. When you are struggling, think about where you were one year ago or one month or one week.
  89. Appreciate the people who helped you, recognize what they did for you, and thank them.
  90. If you feel yourself becoming stressed, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and count to ten. It is an old trick, but it works.
  91. Keep your home clean and your things uncluttered. You will feel more organized and less frazzled.
  92. Anticipate and neutralize problems before they come up.
  93. Treat yourself every once in a while to take out, a new outfit, or a movie, for absolutely no reason at all.
  94. Try and make new friends, especially if you feel lonely after rehab.
  95. Enjoy your physical and mental health being restored.
  96. Be candid when asked about how you made your decision to be drug free or how you stopped abusing drugs. It will reinforce your decision and might help someone else as well.
  97. Take on a new responsibility like plants or a pet. It will remind you that there are others in the world who need you and depend on you.
  98. Do something every day that make you laugh. Watch funny movies, play games with friends, or do whatever tickles your funny bone.
  99. Attend clubs, sports programs, and other activities where you can meet people and improve your skills.
  100. Try to spend time with other people when you can, but make sure that you can comfortably spend time alone.
  101. Note that “drug addiction is a preventable disease” (NIDA). The best way to live drug free is to refrain from drugs from the start. 
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