How Can I Quit?
If you sincerely want to stop using, we recommend that you seek professional help to find the way out of your addiction. If money is a problem there are links on the site to free counselling and rehabilitation services. Most users will try many times on their own to quit, and it is important that you don’t beat yourself up every time you start using again. You are still a valuable and important human being. It is just your behaviour that needs an adjustment. There are a few things however that you can do now.
Here are a few tips to try.
Crystal, like other stimulant drugs, can make you have intense memories about being high. In fact it is hard for the brain to tell the difference between the craving and the use. These memories and thoughts that get you thinking about using are called triggers. Much of the work of quitting is learning how to deal with triggers and cravings.
- Set small goals for yourself. They are easier to achieve. Don’t think in terms of months or “forever.” Think in terms of days, hours or even minutes. Not using for one day is much easier than not using for a whole month. Cold turkey just does not work for many people.
- Try cutting back your use in steps. Use twice a week instead of every day, twice a month instead of every weekend. You can also cut down how much you use. Use 1/4 gram instead of 1/2 or an 1/8 instead of 1/4. This will help your withdrawal symptoms as well.
- Get rid of your drugs and drug paraphernalia. This includes everything; spoons, bleach, mirrors, light bulbs, pipes, needles. Anything you use when you get high. If alcohol or porn is a trigger for you, get rid of that too! Don’t give up. This is hard and you want to get well.
- Throw out phone numbers that trigger thoughts about using. Change your phone number. Get rid of the pager. Make it hard to for your dealer and acquaintances to reach you. Make it hard for YOU to reach THEM.
- Be aware of your patterns around use. Like when, where, why and with whom do you use most often. Whenever you can, avoid these situations and substitute another activity. Go to a movie instead of a bar. Hang out with non-using friends.
- Avoid the places, people or events that may trigger your use. This doesn’t have to be forever – it will just seem that way at first.
- Schedule your day thoroughly. Boredom is your enemy. Try to keep yourself occupied all the time. Napping, shopping, videos, hobbies, and volunteering are great ways to keep busy. Exercise also speeds up the detox process, as does a sauna or deep tissue massage.
- Anticipate withdrawal symptoms. You will likely have severe mood swings, irregular sleep, deep depression, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, and feelings of hopelessness. These are very common and will ease up over time. This is why you may need a qualified physician, holistic doctor or therapist. They will help track these changes and perhaps prescribe anti-depressants or other meds to get you through the effects of a physical addiction. Be good to yourself! YOU ARE WORTH IT. Remember to eat nutritiously if possible. You likely need to gain a little weight back!
- Make a plan. You will need back-up to help you when you are tempted to use. Know what you are going to do. If you have a friend to call for help, have their number handy and with you at all times. If you are using a support group, keep a copy of your meeting schedule with you and post it around your house. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Others DO care.
- Watch your eating habits. Limit your intake of caffeine, sugar and white flour products like pastries and cookies. We all love sweets but you have likely been consuming so much of them that your sugar cravings will mimic a meth craving. Read labels. Sugar affects the same brain chemicals as meth. The highs and lows of sugar consumption may make you feel like you are “crashing” sort of like when you come down off crystal. Eat some protein instead and always have it available. Cheese, natural peanut butter, beans, burritos, burgers, and yogurt are all good.
- Try alternative therapies to ease withdrawal. Acupuncture, herbal remedies and nutritional supplements may help reduce cravings, balance your mood and regulate sleep. Health clinics and health food stores are good sources of information.
- Get a health check-up. Quitting or cutting back can be hard on your body. Your doctor or health clinic will make sure you do not have any untreated health problems.
- Explore your treatment options. If you find it too difficult to do on your own, you may need additional support to reach your goals. It is scary to make this decision alone and you don’t need any more stress so seek the help you need from a friend, physician or counsellor. You will do best talking to someone who is not judgmental and who can help speak or mediate for you.
Don’t get overwhelmed by everything on this list. These are just suggestions from other users who have quit successfully. Do what feels right for YOU and make changes where you can. Baby steps.
We have learned how to stop using and start living. And so can you. Good luck in your journey to recovery!