You need to set a quit date.
If you have any hope of successfully overcoming your addiction, your quit date is incredibly important. We thought it was the right time to talk about why it’s so important, how to do it and what you need to be thinking about in the process.
Our latest episode of Addiction Radio talks through setting a quite date. Here’s some of the key points:
Why Setting a Quit Date is Important
Setting a quit date is important because it shows that you are thinking critically and strategically about how you want to proceed in the recovery process.
When you don’t have plan or you just wing things then your chances for success greatly diminish.
By setting a date, you can take the time leading up to that date to properly prepare. There are many things to prepare for and to think about.
The date that you set will be a date that you will remember forever, this will be your anniversary date – sort of like getting married.
You commit to something different, commit to a new beginning and you will celebrate this every year for the rest of your life.
What to Think About When Setting a Quit Date
First, your quit date depends entirely on your physical dependence.
If your detox and withdrawal won’t be as bad you might be able to push through certain things. However, if you’re going to have a detox or withdrawal that puts you out for days it’s important to take that time and not try to push yourself through any situation really.
If you are detoxing from alcohol or barbiturates you’ll need to have a medically monitored detox and sometimes you don’t get a choice in that date – it might be chosen for you.
If you are detoxing from alcohol or barbiturates it might also be an option to taper down so your official quit date won’t be until you are safe to completely be off those substances. If you are detoxing from alcohol or barbiturates and you have a physical dependence please talk to your doctor.
If you are a binge drinker on the other hand and your body is used to going days without drinking alcohol, you can set your quit date but please be cautious and if you start to feel any sort of physical withdrawals, contact your doctor ASAP.
Things to Consider About Your Quit Date
When you’re looking at your calendar, think about important events that might be coming up.
Are you wanting to quit and have a good amount of sober time before that event?
Or if the event is in the near future you may want to think about waiting until it’s over.
Maybe it’s a family birthday or reunion, maybe you have a big project at work or school, a wedding,
Whatever it is, just don’t schedule your quit date on those dates or just right before because you don’t want to be withdrawing or going through detox during that time.
If those events are far out, try and set your quit date sooner than later – because you really don’t want to drag this out any longer than you have to.
What to do Before Your Quit Date
What do you do between now and your quit date?
For starters, think about who you can tell.
Think carefully about because you want to tell people who are supportive of you but also people who you know you don’t want to let down. The more you hype it up the better your chances. Don’t be cautious but rather confident and proud.
Don’t’ be afraid to ask for help.
Depending on who knows about your addiction, reach out – ask for a babysitter, ask for time off work, ask for someone to come check on you during this time. If you think you can’t do it alone, ask for company.
You’ll also want to get rid of things that will trigger you. Are there things around your house?
Have a plan on how you’re going to get rid of drugs or alcohol by your quit date – will you pour the alcohol down the drain? Flush the drugs, etc?
Stock up on healthy foods and snacks. The last thing you’ll want to do is go to the store and buy things while you’re withdrawing.
Stock up on entertainment – keep yourself busy with movies, books, and so on.
Ask someone to hold onto your money for a few days starting on your quit date. As the first few days are rough, eliminate anything that might cause you to want to relapse.
There’s lots of things to consider, plan and work on when setting a quit date that will be effective for you.
Listen to the podcast and let us know your thoughts and feelings on the subject!