Substance misuse

Next steps for substance misuse

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What next steps can you take to make a change?

When it comes to substance misuse, the journey to wellbeing can be complex. It can involve a lot of different steps and approaches. What counts is making the decision to change, and the courage to keep going.

The first step is recognising that your relationship with substances is having a negative impact on your life or those around you.

This can feel challenging and you might feel conflicted – because the reality is the substance has been helping you in some way. It’s important to acknowledge that.

However, deciding to reduce or stop your use comes from recognising the downsides or disadvantages are more important to you than the benefits of using the substance.

Below are some ‘next steps’ you can take, once you’ve decided to reduce or stop your use.

  • Understand your triggers
  • Create an action plan for managing triggers
  • Make it easier to stop or avoid use

Some substances can create physical and psychological dependence after regular use that will lead to withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them.

It’s important to consult with a doctor before stopping use of some substances including heavy alcohol consumption, opiates, antidepressants and benzodiazepines.

Remember, these are just a few small steps you can take to avoid using substances the next time you want to. Keep reading for long term strategies that work to stop or minimise your use.

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