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How Do I Abstain From Using Drugs?

Q:

Good morning, Dr Kadiri.

I am a 20-year-old student at a Nigerian university. Some people think I take drugs, probably because of my size, even though they’ve never seen me take any substance. This was not true until recently.

Anytime I’m with friends, and they are abusing drugs and alcohol, they offer it to me. Sometimes, I take a little to avoid my ego from being trampled upon, but most times I refuse or leave before they offer.

It takes the strength of a horse to restrain myself from taking it because I know what this does to them, but my curiosity runs wild to know this feeling again. What can I do to stay away from abusing drugs? – Tolu, Lagos

A:

Good day, Tolu and thank you for speaking out. Illegal drug abuse can create changes in the brain, causing powerful cravings and a compulsion to use that make sobriety seem impossible. But staying away from it is never out of reach, no matter how hopeless or difficult your situation seems. With the right mindset, activities and support, change is possible.

You can follow these steps to help stop you from abusing drugs.

Stay away from friends or family members that use drugs

Smoking. Photo: Pexels

Surround yourself with people who support your sobriety, not those who tempt you to use it every now and then.

Stay away from bars and clubs

Partying. Photo: Culture

Don’t tempt yourself by going to places that will bring you close to drugs. If your friends call you out to hang out with them, make sure it is not to a place where the use of drugs is allowed.

Be honest about your status on drugs

When you go for any medical procedure, let the doctor know your status on drug use. This way, they can find a provider who will work with you in prescribing minimum medication or alternatives. Don’t be ashamed or humiliated about previous drug use or be denied pain medication.

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