15 Ways To Overcome An Addiction

While most addictions begin with a voluntary action, no one uses a substance with the intention of becoming addicted. Most people can have a beer or accept a prescription for painkillers without incident. Tragically, others fall down a rabbit hole of addiction that can be difficult to get out of. This can have far-reaching effects on your physical and mental health, as well as your relationships and financial security.

The good news is that many people have overcome their addictions and gone on to lead full, productive lives free from drugs or alcohol. In this article, we will go over some things you can do to overcome your addiction and reduce your risk of relapse.

#1 Build Up Your Physical Strength

While addiction is largely a problem that affects the mind, it can be extremely hard on the body. Most substances come with elevated risks to your physical health, such as heart disease, liver or kidney malfunction, respiratory disorders, and long-term changes to the chemistry of the brain.

In addition, if you are overusing drugs or alcohol, you may unknowingly be neglecting other aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Your food intake may be lacking in both quality and quantity, you may have stopped going to the gym, and your sleep may be irregular and filled with nightmares.

One of the first things you should do once you have gone through the withdrawal phase of your recovery is take action to regain your physical health. Establish healthier eating patterns and engage in physical activity. Keep well hydrated and make sure you get enough sleep.

#2 Address Underlying Causes Of Your Addiction

Addiction rarely exists in a vacuum. For a lot of people, it is a symptom of an underlying problem, such as stress or trauma. If you stop using drugs or alcohol but don’t try to resolve the reasons you were using them in the first place, chances that you will suffer a relapse are high.

Addiction rehab programs exist for this very reason: to help you work through those challenges that led you to your addiction. This is done in a variety of ways, such as individual or group therapy, or therapies using creative media like music or art.

For some people, addressing the underlying causes may mean finding an alternative treatment for a condition that a medication was prescribed for. If you have become addicted to that medication, the original condition still needs to be treated. A doctor or addiction psychiatrist will be able to help you with that.

#3 Work On Mending Damaged Relationships

mending damaged relationships

It has been said that no man is an island, and it is true that people who isolate themselves have poorer mental health outcomes. It is increasingly recognized that addiction is not only about chemical dependencies – it is also about the environment. If you have strong connections with the people around you, your chances of long-term recovery are much higher.

Unfortunately, relationships can be damaged during a period of addiction, and your recovery may need to include family therapy that will help you rebuild bridges with the people you love.

#4 Make A Relapse Prevention Plan

In many of life’s situations, having a backup plan is a good idea. We save money in case an unexpected expense arises. We take out travel insurance in case we get sick while visiting another country. When we go out during the fall, we take a sweater in case we get cold.

Addiction recovery is no different. While you should always be planning for success, you need to know and understand the warning signs of an impending relapse, and as soon as those signs start appearing, you should have a plan that you can set in motion. This could include having a trusted friend stay with you, getting in touch with your therapist, or returning to rehab.

#5 Be Willing To Let Go Of Harmful Relationships

While positive relationships are an essential part of addiction recovery, harmful relationships can set you back. Many addictions are rooted in relationships that are toxic or abusive. Some addictions are perpetuated by situations in which the addicted person is pressured by others to use drugs or alcohol.

Relationships that can be a positive element in your life should be mended. But if a relationship has potential to cause harm and hinder your recovery, you may need to evaluate whether it’s time to let that relationship go.

#6 Participate In Rehab Aftercare Activities

If you participated in inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment and your facility offers an aftercare program, you can derive significant benefit from taking part in it. Many rehab centres report lower relapse rates in clients who make use of the aftercare services, which usually include things like a support line, educational sessions, and follow-up sessions to monitor post-rehab progress.

#7 Join A Support Group

join a support group

Human beings are social creatures who crave a sense of belonging. We instinctively seek out people who have been through similar challenges, so that we can feel less alone and more understood. Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are a fantastic resource for people with addictions to get together and share their stories. Not only can you benefit from learning about the experiences of others, you can help those who are at earlier stages in their recovery than you.

If Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are not your cup of tea, you may be able to join a group therapy program in your area. Online support groups are also becoming more mainstream than ever before, popular because of how accessible they are.

#8 Avoid Big Gaps In Your Time

Author Shelley Shepard Gray said that “idle hands make fretful minds”. If you are new to recovery, large swathes of time can be overwhelming to you. Unoccupied time can give you too much time to think. You may start rehashing traumatic events from the past or questioning your self-worth. Depression and anxiety can creep in, starting as a trickle and gradually becoming a flood. Ultimately, you may start to feel nostalgic for your days of using drugs or alcohol, and this can set you on a downward slope to physical relapse.

If you are not working, use the time to work towards a goal. Pursue a hobby that may have become neglected during your period of active drug use. Embark on a project that has been at the back of your mind, like writing a book or redecorating your house. Take a class in something you have always wanted to learn. Even if you lack the financial resources to pay for a class, there are many free online offerings.

#9 Be Aware Of Codependency In Yourself And Others

Codependent relationships are extremely common in people with addictions. In a relationship like this, one person makes extreme sacrifices to make the other person happy. The other person, for their part, is only too glad to be the recipient of all of the attention. Codependency can exist in any kind of relationship, be it between siblings, a parent and a child, friends, or intimate partners.

In many cases, it is the loved one who is codependent and going out of their way to please the person with the addiction. This provides a perfect environment for the addiction to continue.

Codependent relationships are not necessarily doomed, but it takes work on the part of both people to stop the codependent behaviour.

#10 Learn How To Love Yourself

It is a tragic reality that many people with addictions suffer from low self-esteem. Addiction is often a precursor to suicidal thoughts and behaviour. Relapse can intensify this feeling, leaving you feeling as if you have failed in your attempts at recovery.

No matter where you are in your addiction journey, you need to know that you matter, that your life is valuable. Instead of focusing on trying to get other people to love you, learn how to love yourself. Remind yourself daily – hourly if necessary – of the unique qualities that make you special.

#11 Keep A Journal

Journaling can bring you all kinds of benefits. Writing engages both sides of the brain – the logical and the emotional. This makes it a cathartic activity that can help you in your healing, and it can help you find solutions to challenges. It reduces stress and boosts creativity, and if you build up a collection of journal entries, you will be able to look back at them after a period of time and see how much progress you have made.

#12 Celebrate Your Sobriety Milestones

celebrate your sobriety milestones

Addiction recovery is hard work. It is a long process that may involve a lot of difficult self-reflection and tough decisions. And as is the case with many tough challenges, success should be rewarded. Whether you have maintained sobriety for a month, a year, or a decade, take a moment to congratulate yourself and reflect on how far you have come. Make yourself a sobriety birthday cake, enjoy a celebratory picnic with your closest loved ones, or buy yourself that book or pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on.

#13 Look For Natural Dopamine Boosts

Many substances result in elevated levels of dopamine, which make you feel good. Dopamine is a chemical released by the brain that feeds our sense of reward and motivation. That is the hook that results in a lot of people becoming addicted, and it is what makes it so difficult to quit. If you are early on in your recovery journey, you may struggle when it comes to finding a sober way to feel good. Fortunately, nature has provided us with ways to boost dopamine naturally. These include:

  • Boosting your protein intake
  • Doing exercise you enjoy, from yoga to going for a run
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Listening to music
  • Spending time in the sun (with proper sun protection)

#14 Don’t Give Up If You Suffer A Relapse

Relapse can happen to people who are doing everything right. You never know when some crisis will come along and knock you off your feet. Some people relapse after a stressful life event like job loss or the death of a loved one. Others simply become victims of their own self-sabotaging thoughts.

It is important to understand that relapse does not mean your treatment has failed. Addiction is an illness, and like many illnesses, there can be setbacks during your recovery. If you suffer a relapse, identify what triggered it, learn from it, and continue with your recovery plan. Some people benefit from returning to rehab for a while, to reinforce what they have learned. Others are able to adjust elements of their lifestyle or alter their thinking with the help of a therapist. The most important thing is to not give up.

#15 Visualize Success

People tend to be most successful when they can visualize success. Create a picture in your mind of what your life will look like without cravings, and without all of the negative impacts of addiction. Imagine how you will handle stressful events without needing to use drugs or alcohol, and allow yourself to feel the sense of accomplishment that will come from that. Focus on what your outcome will be and how much better your life will be without the substance that you became addicted to.

At Thousand Islands Rehab Centre, we will help you build that resilience and develop the skills and tools to live a happy, productive life free from drugs or alcohol. With a customized addiction treatment program, you can create endless opportunities for yourself. Call us today for more information, or to reserve your spot.

Marijuana Addiction

Detoxing From Marijuana At Home

Whether you have become addicted to marijuana or another substance, the first step toward recovery is withdrawal. Once the drug is out of your system and all of the withdrawal symptoms are behind you, you can turn your focus to regaining your physical strength and delving into the root causes of your addiction.

The key thing is to get through withdrawal safely. For many substances, coming off a drug involves a lot more than simply ceasing your usage of it. It can entail withdrawal symptoms that are at best uncomfortable, and at worst fatal. This is why it is always a good idea to consult your doctor if you are considering quitting marijuana or any other substance. In some cases, you will be referred to a medical detox facility, where doctors can monitor your withdrawal and treat withdrawal symptoms as they arise.

The good news is that withdrawal from marijuana is generally not harmful or complicated as long as it is the only substance you have been using. The bad news is that use of other substances can create more intense withdrawal symptoms.

In this article, we will describe some common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal, and when it is safe to go through detox at home without professional help.

Is Marijuana Withdrawal Real?

An unintended effect of the normalization of marijuana for medical purposes is the misconception that “marijuana is good for you”. This notion is problematic for several reasons, one of which is that out of hundreds of strains of cannabis, only a few have applications as medical treatments. It also gives rise to the idea that since marijuana is not a harmful drug in the same way that heroin or cocaine are harmful drugs, withdrawal doesn’t happen.

Cannabis withdrawal is very real, though. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) cites that up to 47% of people who use marijuana regularly experience some form of withdrawal. Moreover, since the withdrawal symptoms include mood imbalances, some people may be thinking the cannabis is medicating their anxiety or depression when in actuality, it is alleviating withdrawal symptoms.

What Are The Symptoms Of Marijuana Withdrawal?

As with most substances, the withdrawal symptoms vary from one person to the next. Factors affecting the nature and intensity of withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Your age, weight, sex assigned at birth, and general state of health
  • How much marijuana you were using and with what frequency
  • Whether you are using other substances, including prescription medications

The more common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include the following:

  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Increased feelings of anxiety and/or depression
  • Cravings for marijuana
  • Decreased appetite that may be accompanied by nausea
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Restlessness

What Causes Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms?

what causes marijuana withdrawal symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms of some kind happen when you stop regular use of almost any substance, including everyday substances like caffeine or sugar. Using a substance like marijuana on a daily basis causes an artificial boost in certain chemicals released by the brain. These chemicals control things like how good we feel and how creative we are in any given moment.

If you stop using marijuana after prolonged regular use, your body is in a position of having to rely on natural production of these chemicals. The problem is that it takes time for the natural receptors to return to normal. You experience withdrawal symptoms as your body and mind struggle to adjust to the deprivation.

Is It Safe To Go Through Marijuana Detox At Home?

Withdrawal from some substances, such as alcohol and methamphetamine, can be extremely dangerous when there is no medical supervision. Fortunately, marijuana does not fall into this category. If you are not using any other substances, you will probably be able to go through detox at home.

The most successful at-home detox efforts are well planned. Here are some things you should take into consideration:

  • Stock up on a good source of hydration, such as sports drinks. You may not feel like eating during your withdrawal, but you have to stay hydrated. Sipping on a sports drink that contains electrolytes can help with your fluid intake if you are experiencing nausea or abdominal pain.
  • Don’t go through this alone. Even though cannabis withdrawal symptoms are relatively benign, you may experience mood swings or anxiety that seem overwhelming. Having a trusted friend or family member with you can help get you through those moments.
  • Plan some activities. Withdrawal often comes with feelings of restlessness, and this can be hard to bear, especially when combined with cravings. You may be able to alleviate this by going for walks or keeping your hands busy.
  • Make a plan to manage your cravings. If you are making a concerted effort to quit marijuana, the last thing you need is for your friendly neighbourhood dealer to pop around for a cup of coffee. This is another reason it’s beneficial to have a trusted loved one with you: they can screen any visitors or calls for you, and they can help ensure that you do not get your hands on any marijuana.
  • Be prepared to seek medical attention if needed. Marijuana does not produce medically harmful withdrawal symptoms, but if you are taking other substances, your withdrawal may be complicated. Even a legitimate prescription medication can make your body or mind behave differently if you are in a state of withdrawal.

Marijuana Detox And Rehab In A Beautiful Location

At Thousand Islands Rehab Centre, we provide everything you will need for a safe detox and a comprehensive addiction recovery. People start using marijuana for all kinds of reasons. In younger people in particular, marijuana use can be a sign of a troubled home or school life, and getting away from that environment can be hugely beneficial to healing. We will put together a marijuana addiction treatment plan that is customized to your needs and circumstances. With perseverance and determination on your part and compassion on ours, you can recover from a marijuana addiction and go on to lead a happy, fulfilling life.

Addiction Treatment

Available Treatments For Marijuana Use Disorders

There is a common misconception that marijuana is not addictive, and that therefore, marijuana addiction treatment is not necessary. The reality, however, is that regular use of marijuana can lead to addiction, especially in people who start using it during or before early adolescence.

Several factors play into the addictive nature of marijuana. One of these is the fact that it is easier than ever before to chemically enhance cannabis. This results in marijuana that in some cases is up to 200 times stronger than the weed from days gone by. An increasing body of research is showing that the effects of marijuana are amplified in young people whose brains are still growing and changing.

Another factor to consider is that marijuana is frequently used in conjunction with other substances, such as alcohol, heroin, or Ecstasy. This can create a dependency not on one substance, but on a combination.

The good news is that marijuana use disorders are highly treatable. In this article, we will talk about different ways in which you can recover, and the pros and cons of each.


The first step in any addiction treatment program is getting the substance out of your system in a way that is safe. Marijuana withdrawal is generally safe and does not require medically supervised detox. However, if you have been using marijuana with another substance, such as alcohol, you need to be more careful. Some substances can produce withdrawal symptoms that are potentially harmful, and your safest option is to check into a detox facility where medical professionals can deal with withdrawal symptoms as they arise.

Inpatient Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Inpatient rehab is generally the most effective way to treat most substance use disorders, including marijuana addiction. During your treatment, you will be on-site at the treatment facility 24/7 for several weeks. You will follow a schedule that is laid out in your treatment plan, and you will have everything you need to get you through your early recovery. Meals and accommodation are provided, all of your therapy and medical appointments are right there, and a variety of recreational options will be provided for your down-time.


The biggest advantage of inpatient marijuana addiction treatment is that you can put yourself at a distance from all of the challenges of the real world, which allows you to focus on your recovery without distraction. You don’t have to worry about your troubled relationships, your toxic work environment, or making sure you pay the bills on time. Your only job is to focus on your rehab.

Other advantages include the following:

  • You don’t have access to marijuana, or to the real-world triggers for using it
  • You are living among people who have their own journeys, but understand the challenges of addiction
  • You have access to physical and mental health support whenever you need it
  • You will have a set schedule to follow, and this can benefit those in need of structure
  • All of your addiction treatment sessions are right there, which sets you up for early success


One of the biggest barriers to inpatient rehab for many people is the expense. Marijuana addiction treatment in a private inpatient facility will set you back several thousand dollars a month. While this may seem a lot, it is important to remember that it includes everything: accommodation, meals, all therapy sessions, and some recreational options. In addition, you may be able to claim some or all of the cost from your medical insurance company or take advantage of financing plans.

Money is not the only potential problem, though. Not everyone is in a position of being able to step out of their lives for weeks at a time. Some people have to show up at work, bring in an income, and manage the home. You may not have a trusted person who can take care of children or pets for a few weeks, and mortgages and bills don’t just go away.

The transition back to the real world can also be a challenge. While it’s highly beneficial to leave your problems behind while you go to rehab, those same problems may still be there when you get out. Without proper planning, returning to your life can be difficult.

Outpatient Marijuana Addiction Treatment

outpatient marijuana addiction treatment

The challenges of inpatient rehab shouldn’t stop you from getting help, though, and there are some excellent outpatient programs available for people with marijuana use disorders. With this kind of treatment, you continue with your daily life while attending treatment sessions at the appropriate intervals. If you have high motivation to recover and a solid support system of friends and family members, you can achieve great success with an outpatient program.


From a practical standpoint, outpatient rehab is more manageable for many people than inpatient rehab. Here are some of the advantages:

  • It costs less than inpatient rehab
  • You continue to live at home and participate in your usual daily activities
  • You can practice the tools and skills you learn in the real world immediately
  • You may be able to taper off your sessions gradually, unlike inpatient rehab which has a definite end date
  • As challenges arise in your life, you can bring them to your treatment sessions and get guidance on dealing with them


Outpatient rehab is logistically easier than inpatient rehab, but it does not have the same effectiveness. Some disadvantages of this kind of marijuana addiction treatment are as follows:

  • If you are not highly motivated to recover, you may find it easy to bail on your sessions
  • The stresses and challenges of your everyday life may be a distraction to your recovery
  • If you start to experience cravings, you can access marijuana easily
  • If your personal relationships are troubled, this can indicate a weak support system, and this makes outpatient recovery more difficult

A Compassionate Approach To Treating Marijuana Use Disorders

All human beings are unique, and no two addiction stories are alike. No matter what led you to addiction and what your circumstances are, Thousand Islands Rehab Centre can provide you with a personalized marijuana addiction treatment program that addresses your specific needs. We follow a holistic approach that recognizes you not as a “drug addict”, but as a person with a debilitating condition and, above all, the potential to heal and lead a full and happy life. For more information, contact us today.

Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana Addiction Recovery: What Is The Process?

Many people believe that marijuana is not addictive. The increasing use of cannabis to manage medical conditions perpetuates this misconception. After all, if something is being used as medicine, how bad can it be?

A key point to remember is that there are hundreds of strains of marijuana, with new ones being created all the time. Each strain has its own unique properties and effects, and only a few of them can be used for medical purposes.

In addition, any substance, legal or otherwise, has potential to be overused. Marijuana is the second most commonly used substance in Canada, second only to alcohol. Regular use over a prolonged period of time can result in addiction, especially if such usage begins in early adolescence. Not only does youth increase the risk of addiction, it can result in more severe and long-lasting effects.

It is generally agreed among professionals that many people who use marijuana for non-medical purposes also use other substances, such as alcohol. Any time two substances are combined, there is a risk of chemical interactions that can range from uncomfortable to harmful.

Marijuana use disorders can develop over time without you or your loved ones noticing. This is especially true in a post-legalization world in which marijuana has a higher degree of social acceptance. It is important to monitor yourself for signs of addiction, so you can get help as early as possible.

It is critical to note that in Canada, it is still illegal to use marijuana if you are below the age specified by the province or territory you live in. This restriction exists for a reason: cannabis use by adolescents can be extremely harmful.

Signs Of Marijuana Use Disorder

There are some simple questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you have become addicted to marijuana. If you can answer “yes” to five or six of these, it may be time to seek help.

  • Do you habitually use marijuana for no reason?
  • Do you use marijuana immediately upon waking up in the mornings?
  • Does your life revolve around using marijuana?
  • Do you worry about finding a supply of marijuana?
  • Do you frequently use marijuana by yourself?
  • Do you use weed as an escape from problems?
  • Have you tried unsuccessfully to quit cannabis use?
  • Has using marijuana ever resulted in problems with memory, concentration, or motivation?
  • Have your loved ones expressed concern about your marijuana use?
  • If you don’t have marijuana, do you substitute another substance, such as alcohol?

Taking a marijuana addiction quiz may help you identify whether you have a problem. It is important to know that these quizzes are not diagnostic tools, they are guidelines.

Phases Of Marijuana Addiction Recovery

Your addiction recovery process depends on several factors, the biggest one being the kind of treatment program you choose. Some people simply stop using marijuana and rely on the support of family, friends and support groups. Others choose inpatient or outpatient rehab, and each facility has its own way of doing things.

In general, for those who do decide to seek marijuana addiction treatment, recovery happens in phases.


The good news is that marijuana is one of the easiest substances to withdraw from. Most withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable at worst, and none of them are known to be dangerous. The bad news is that withdrawing from marijuana may mean simultaneously withdrawing from another substance, such as alcohol or heroin. These substances can come with harmful withdrawal effects, which can be amplified or complicated by the withdrawal from marijuana.

If you are considering stopping use of any substance, even one with an image of being “harmless”, it is a good idea to do so under the supervision of a doctor. This ensures that you are safe and comfortable, and that withdrawal complications are managed as they arise.


Once you have safely withdrawn from marijuana and any other substances, you can turn your focus to rehab. Most marijuana addiction treatment facilities will put together a customized treatment program that takes your unique needs and circumstances into account. The rehab phase may include the following elements:

  • Rebuilding your physical strength through nutrition and exercise programs
  • Exploring the underlying causes of the addiction, such as trauma or stress
  • Repairing relationships that were damaged during the period of addiction, and learning better communication and conflict resolution skills
  • Training in life skills like time management and goal setting, that will help you function effectively in your “real life”.
  • Calming practices such as yoga, mindfulness, and meditation



When you are approaching the end of your rehab program, you will need to start planning how to manage your transition back to your regular life. This is something you will do with your addiction treatment team, and it will cover things like:

  • Referrals to therapists in your area so you can continue the work you started in rehab
  • Sourcing in-person and online support groups
  • Putting together a relapse prevention plan
  • Establishing boundaries between you and anyone you will be living with or having regular close contact with
  • Putting together a daily schedule, so you don’t find yourself grappling with overwhelming swathes of empty time


Your addiction treatment does not stop the day you pack your bags and leave the facility. Recovery is an ongoing process that can be punctuated with setbacks, challenges and triumphs. It is increasingly obvious that people who receive some form of aftercare have better chances of achieving long-term recovery, free from relapse. Your aftercare program may include a 24/7 support line, follow-up appointments to monitor progress, and education and training sessions to help you and your loved ones better understand addiction and why it happens.

Where To Go For Marijuana Addiction Treatment

At Thousand Islands Rehab Centre, we believe that addiction recovery is always possible. No matter where you are in your addiction journey, we are ready to welcome you to our safe, non-judgmental environment that is conducive to true healing. We will work with you to put together a treatment program customized to your needs and circumstances, and we will be there through the whole process, from your initial detox right through to aftercare. To find out more, or to book your spot, contact us today.