Overcoming addiction can be an enormous challenge, and very few who struggle with it succeed on their own. That’s because there is no simple path to recovery. As much as some want to believe it’s possible to “just power through” or “give it up cold turkey,” that’s far easier said than done. Even the strongest-willed person can find himself or herself powerless in the grip of chemical dependency because of the way it effectively rewires the brain. Untangling the jumble of impulses and relearning how to live without alcohol or drugs takes time and effort. It’s a difficult process of trial and error that can test the best of us.

Getting sober may seem like a Herculean task at first, but breaking it down into smaller, more manageable goals can make all the difference to the success of your treatment. The first and hardest step, of course, is to acknowledge that you have a problem with alcohol or drugs and need professional help to overcome it. Next, you’ll want to explore all the treatment options available to you and find the method that best fits your needs.

Because many of us have a hard time dealing with stress in healthy ways, you will need to learn coping strategies aimed at helping you control your impulse to drink or use drugs. Along your journey, it’s crucial to establish a strong support network of people you can count on to be positive influences and lend their support to your recovery effort. Through it, all, knowing how to avoid temptation and maintain a positive outlook will be essential.

If you or someone in your life is struggling with addiction, you should know that recovery is difficult but definitely not impossible. Adopting a good strategy as you get started can make the road to recovery easier. For more details on how you can put yourself in a better position for success, see the accompanying checklist.

Author bio: Jacinta Hainline is the Owner of Integrity Interlock, a company that specializes in Breath Alcohol Interlock Devices or otherwise known as ignition interlock systems. They serve the residents of Wisconsin and help people with court-required interlocks back on the road. 

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Checklist created by Integrity Interlock, a provider of the Draeger interlock device

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