I’m looking for advice around my drug use
When we start to use drugs or any substances more regularly it can start to impact on other areas of our life; things like relationships, work, and finances.
If you’re noticing drugs are causing problems for you, it might be a good time to think about cutting down or even taking a break.
Ultimately, we use drugs because we like the effect, whether we use with others or on our own. Breaking or changing a habit can be difficult but it is possible.
Withdrawal from a physical dependence on alcohol is extremely dangerous and can even be fatal. If you are, or think you might be physically dependant on alcohol, speak to a medical professional first before making any significant changes.
Symptoms of withdrawal
If you experience any of the following symptoms after making changes:
Speak to a medical professional or call NHS 111.
If you experience a seizure or begin to see or hear things that others cannot, seek emergency medical attention (999) immediately.
Getting an accurate picture of how much you are currently using is a very useful first step.
You may be able to work this out from your buying habits.
If you are unsure, keeping a diary of your substance use for around a week should do the trick.
Make sure you write down:
- What you had and how much
- Where you were
- What time it was
- How you felt both before and after
What’s the plan?
Now you know how much you’re using, it’s time to think about what your goal is.
Try to keep goals manageable (you don’t need to do it all at once) and specific.
‘I want to smoke less’ or ‘I don’t want hangovers’ may be difficult to target to keep track of.
‘I want to have 2 drug free days a week’ or ‘I will aim to not smoke or use before 7pm each day’ are better.
Set your intention – “My goal is…”
At this point you might find it useful to give us a call – Project 6 is here to offer non-judgmental support and advice, whatever your goal.
We run a range of services, this includes 1:1 support, group work and both therapeutic and social activities to help you gain a better understanding of your drug use and develop alternative coping strategies.
Feeling strong cravings for a particular drug after making changes is completely normal.
A craving might mean you can’t stop thinking about smoking or using, make you feel anxious or irritable and they may feel like they are getting more intense.
It’s important to remember a craving by itself won’t hurt you, and although uncomfortable, they will pass on their own.
Distraction is often the best technique; most cravings will last about 20 minutes. Once you notice it starting, go and start a new activity; wash up, go for a walk, listen to music, play a game on your phone.
Try to notice when the feeling has gone, the more you do it the more you’ll believe in your ability to manage cravings.
Bumps in the road
Each day will be different and it’s probably not always going to be plain sailing.
If you use, don’t beat yourself up. Treat it as an opportunity to learn, ‘how was I feeling when I used?’, ‘What happened that made me feel that way?’.
Telling someone else your goals can be powerful way of helping you maintain motivation. Don’t be afraid to share when things get tough as well.
Get more support – the fact you’ve already started to thing about making changes is amazing. We are here if you want some extra support. Whatever your goal or motivation, speak to us, see how we can help.
Looking after you
If you’re feeling well in yourself, you will feel more able keep on track with your goal.
Eating – Drug use can impact on appetite and regularity of meals. It may sound obvious but eating regularly throughout the day can make a big difference to how you’re feeling. Try to have balanced meals where possible but a little sweet treat every now may help with cravings.
Sleep – Sleep can be a tricky one if you rely on substances to help get yourself off at night. Getting to sleep this way is not as restful as drifting off naturally. You wake feeling more tired which will start to negatively impact on your mood and decisions you make tomorrow.
Set a routine and stick to it. Try not to fall into the habit of both going to bed and getting up later and avoid resorting to sleeping tablets.