Be prepared

  • Rally your support people to be there for you if you need them.
  • Take leave from work, limit visitors (support people are fine), and turn off the phone. You're likely to be tired and irritable so give yourself plenty of personal space and remember to rest as much as you can.
  • Practice lots of ways to manage cravings and stick a list on the wall of the ones that work for you.

Be kind to yourself

  • You might have trouble remembering or concentrating so write notes to yourself if you have to do something you can't avoid while you're getting through it.
  • Call on support people when you need to. It can be hard to do this alone.

Watch your mood

  • Watch for symptoms of depression and if symptoms hang around, become severe or you start to think about hurting yourself in any way get professional help straight away. 

Remember why you're stopping

  • Keep telling yourself why you want to stop using alcohol or drugs in the first place.
  • Read your 'things I don't like about when I use' reminder card.
  • Remind yourself of the benefits of not
  • Put a picture of yourself at your worst in a prominent place.
  • Do whatever you can to maintain your commitment so you can get through this.

Get specialist help if you need it

  • If you have problems with insomnia for more than a week or two, or you have ongoing feelings of anxiety, agitation or restlessness which is increasing your risk of using a substance again, pay a visit to your GP for support.
  • Consider on-going counselling to help you stay stopped. Withdrawal is just the first step on a long road, so go to the talk to someone page for treatment options if you'd like some support from alcohol and drug treatment specialists.