Tolerance is both a physical and psychological process. The more times the behavior is repeated, the less sensitivity you have to it, and the more you need to get the same effect. Drugs, such as alcohol and opiates, work on specific parts of the brain, creating physical tolerance. Addiction affects the frontal cortex of your brain and alters your impulse control and judgment.

However, some people who quit an addiction find that certain withdrawal symptoms seem to go on and on. This is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), and it can continue for weeks, months, or even years in some cases. Medications can be utilized to treat symptoms of withdrawal, help people remain in treatment, and prevent relapse. The type of medication a doctor prescribes depends on the type of addiction that is being treated. For example, there are different medications available to treat opioid, nicotine, and alcohol addiction. There are many different treatments that can help you during the process of overcoming an addiction, including medical and psychological approaches.

You are now being directed to the COVID-19 Screening Tool

Relapse is common, but it can also be dangerous and even fatal in the case of some substances. The risk of dying from an overdose is extremely high if you have been through withdrawal because your tolerance of the drug will be much lower than it was before you quit. Make sure you have someone with you if you decide to use again. Other ways to prepare include deciding what approach you plan to use to overcome your addiction and getting the resources that you need to be successful.

  • “We’d like to find a way to train people to improve their ability to maintain these behavioral changes,” Poldrack says.
  • How long you decide to fast will depend on your level of use, Dr. Lembke said.
  • However, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains, relapse does not mean that treatment has failed.
  • The other important aspect of avoiding replacement addictions is to address any underlying mental health problems.
  • Millions of readers rely on for free, evidence-based resources to understand and navigate mental health challenges.
  • Detox programs typically take about 7 days to flush the substance from the body, but it can take additional weeks, and even months, for the cravings to subside.

The more people you can turn to for encouragement, guidance, and a listening ear, the better your chances for recovery. Our therapists offer evidence-based therapies, including eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and others. The good news is that you can quit, although it will be a difficult journey.

Substitute Behaviors

Therefore, we treat the person, not just the addiction. Sign up to get an email every time a new column comes out. Get professional help from BetterHelp’s network of 30,000 licensed therapists.

When your life is filled with rewarding activities and a sense of purpose, your addiction will lose its appeal. When experiencing a craving, many people have a tendency to remember only the positive effects of the drug and forget the negative consequences. Therefore, you may find it helpful to remind yourself that you really won’t feel better if you use and that you stand to lose a lot. Sometimes it is helpful to have these consequences listed on a small card that you keep with you. Surround yourself with people who support your sobriety, not those who tempt you to slip back into old, destructive habits.

How to Overcome Addiction

Forest is a beautifully designed app that brings gamification to productivity and results in real trees being planted based on your personal phone use habits. A couple of years ago, because of his many professional activities, he realized that “all of [his] time and energy was spent on work.” It was unhealthy and he needed to put work in perspective. Try support groups like Overeaters Anonymous or book an appointment with a psychologist or psychiatrist who specializes in food addiction. Most people with addiction attempt to quit several times before they succeed in the long run. Adding hunger and restrictions to the mix is likely to make things harder. Food addiction is thought to involve the same neurotransmitters and areas of the brain as drug addiction.