In order to overcome substance abuse the first step is a desire to change. Whether this desire to change is brought about by an intervention and the realization that you are hurting those who care about you the most or you feel you have finally reached rock bottom and you want to improve your life does not matter. Some individuals who were very successful in their recovery efforts had to be talked into or coerced into entering substance abuse treatment in the first place. In many cases you may try to justify the substance abuse or you tell yourself that there is no problem. You may honestly believe that you can stop any time you want, but you may not be willing to test this theory.
Start keeping track of the alcohol or drugs that you use. Write down every time you have a drink, take a toke, or use in some other way. In addition right down all of the factors that led to this decision. Were you under a lot of stress? What emotions were you feeling? What were your thoughts right before you used? This type of journal can help you realize that you need substance abuse treatment, and it can also help you prevent a relapse once you do seek help. The relapse triggers are clearly identified in the journal and they can help you understand what to avoid so you do not go back to your old ways again. Once you have a desire to change then your motivation can help you succeed in these goals, and give you a substance free future.