How to change bad habits with drugs and alcohol

Saying no to drugs and alcohol is not always easy

How do you start to change your habits toward drugs and alcohol?

If you are worried that you are developing a dependence toward drugs and or alcohol then it is time to make a change. Some people are more predisposed to forming addictions to substances and without dedication, perseverance, and reflection it is easy to form unhealthy relationships with substances.

In order to stop negative habits from turning into dependence or addiction, it is best to address the issue early on. Speaking to a loved one about your worries can help by getting it in the open and making them aware of the issue. It is also often good to seek help from a professional as soon as possible as therapists and mental health experts can provide structured ways for changing bad habits.

What are some tips to help people start to change their habits?

  1. Stop engaging with people who exacerbate bad habits
  2. Change activities where substance use is involved/intended
  3. Take up new interests
  4. Speak to loved ones about concerns relating to substance abuse
  5. Set goals to wind down and eventually stop using drugs and alcohol
  6. Be aware of the risks of continued substance abuse

How many people in the UK have a dual diagnosis?

Diagnosing a co-occurring disorder

The link between mental health and addiction has long been proven, but how many people with mental health disorders also have a problem with drugs and alcohol?

What is a dual diagnosis?

The NHS and other clinical bodies use the term dual diagnosis (used interchangeably with the co-occurring disorder) to describe anyone who suffers from a mental health condition and a substance use disorder, or vice versa.

What mental health conditions are commonly linked with addiction?

Any mental health condition can lead to substance abuse, but some are more commonly recognised than others. Some of the most frequently treated conditions that have a link with addiction include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

How many people suffer from dual diagnoses?

UK studies have reported dual diagnosis rates of 20–37% across all mental health settings and 6–15% in addiction settings. Rates vary by gender, ethnicity, and location, though evidence suggests that the number of people diagnosed with a severe mental health disorder or illness and a substance use disorder has risen in recent years.