Substance abusers and their families often do not understand the complexity of the issue and what it requires to overcome addiction. As a result, repeated attempts to stop using substances usually ends in frustration on the part of family members, and the downward spiral into deeper distress on the part of the addicted person. On the positive side, the fact that many people overcome addiction is proof that this is an attainable goal. Anyone who wants to overcome substance abuse should consider the following four serious tips for beating addiction.

Admit You Have a Problem

First, the substance abuser must recognize that he or she has a problem. However, it is not enough to recognize it—an individual must own it and take responsibility. Many substance abusers will admit that using is a problem, but that admission often comes with blaming people or circumstances for the problem.

For example, a substance abuser might attribute his or her drinking or drug use to "hanging with the wrong crowd," but being with this "crowd" is a conscious choice. Owning the problem means that a substance abuser will not only admit that there is a problem, but also that he or she is ultimately the one who must make the choice to change self-defeating behavior.

Choose Your Environment Wisely

Second, once the journey toward treatment begins, a substance abuser who is serious about recovery will avoid playing at the same "playgrounds" with the same "playmates." In many cases it only takes one contact with an old substance-abusing pal to regress to old habits. After participating in a treatment program to become clean or sober, a substance abuser must face the fact that he or she is still an addict and that the safety net of a treatment program is gone, and they must be extremely judicious about who they keep in their lives.

Oftentimes abusers will get criminal records that can sap their resolve to stay sober. If you have recently been arrested on drug-related charges, Druyon Law and similar specialty firms can help you resolve your legal issues and help you stay on the right path.

Find Great Supporters

Third, a recovering substance abuser should look for support to overcome addiction. Joining a support group with like-minded people or sponsors working to beat addiction can be key to staying on track. Personal experience helps a sponsor spot signs that a friend is about to relapse, allowing the sponsor to intervene. Along with a support group, individual counseling or therapy can be beneficial in helping an addicted person work through some underlying issues that may contribute to substance abuse.

Solve the Enablers

Fourth, families must stop enabling their substance-abusing loved ones. Overcoming addiction requires family members to practice tough love. This means not giving in to episodes of blame and guilt trips initiated by the substance-abusing family member. Enabling also includes doing for an individual what they can do for themselves. Families need to be reminded that an important element in recovery is that the addicted person takes responsibility for his or her own actions.

If you find yourself struggling to kick your habits, don’t despair. True persistence is the best indicator of whether or not you will ultimately overcome your substance abuse. Even if you fail, you must press forward and use the resources available.

Author's Bio: 

A professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.