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Fighting Drug Abuse on a Budget

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Beating addiction is a daunting thing to plan, especially if you’re short on money. Luckily, there are many free and low-cost resources that can help you get on the right path. You’ll also be able to learn coping skills online for free. The ability to cope will be a key factor in beating cravings that stem from stress and anxiety.

Try to take advantage of these free resources as much and as often as you can.

Low-Cost & Free Rehab

Learn about Types of Programs: Know the terminology for different treatment approaches, from outpatient, residential, detox, and more.

Choosing a Drug Treatment Program: Look for these credentials, aftercare services and statistics that indicate you’ll be successful at a particular program.

How Can I Enter Rehab?: Don’t let a lack of funding discourage you from seeking help. These resources can help you find a treatment center that’s free.

Free Rehab Programs: Learn which programs are worth pursuing and which have long waiting lists. Your best bet may be faith-based programs.

Free Inpatient Drug Rehab: Call this toll free number to get more personalized assistance in finding a free drug rehab.

Drug Rehab on the Cheap: This resource offers excellent advice about enlisting the help of friends and/or family to help you navigate the rehab system.

Low-Cost Treatment: These specific treatment centers located throughout the country are considered low-cost, with some costing as little as $300 per month. 

Mental Health Counseling

6 Ways to Get Cheap Mental Health Care: Use these tips to find local resources and learn how to apply for disability benefits that may cover your treatment.

When You Can’t Afford Therapy: Here is more guidance about checking your insurance benefits, asking for discounted services, and even turning to self-help books.

 Medicaid Services: If you qualify for Medicaid, mental health therapy (and sometimes even drug addiction treatment) may be included as free services.

Find a Support Group Program

Narcotics Anonymous: Search here for an NA group that holds meetings near you.

NA Online: If you can’t make it to a meeting location or need help in the middle of the night, check out this online chat group for NA members.

SMART Recovery: This free online addiction support group focuses on self-management and empowerment.

Learning to Cope with Stress

Best and Worst Ways to Cope: Learn what to avoid and what simple, no-cost moves can reduce stress and anxiety.

Healthy ways to Cope: Some of the symptoms of stress may surprise you. Keep an eye out for early warning signs and learn these free, healthy ways to handle it all.

Relaxation Techniques: Use these detailed, step-by-step techniques to try different, free approaches to relax.

Meditation 101: Here are different types of meditation you can try. For beginners, sometimes the most helpful is guided meditation. All you need is your mind, a quiet space, and possibly some access to YouTube or downloaded MP3s.

Online Learning Resources

Tools for Recovery: These suggestions help you get your mind in the right place to ensure success.

Reasons People Fail to Recover: Know the common pit falls that can ruin your chance of recovery. Avoiding these mistakes will help immensely on your journey.

Recovery Forums: Create an anonymous username and post 24/7 to chat with people in recovery who can support you in tough times.

Useful Tips for Fighting Drug Addiction on a Budget

Get Help from Someone Close

Find a friend or family member who you can trust to help you navigate this process. Insurance, mental health community centers, government assistance, and other resources can become overwhelming. Having a loved one on your side will help you stick with it until you find the most affordable options no matter how many phone numbers you have to call.

Avoid Old Places

One of the hardest parts of recovery is avoiding triggers. These triggers are reminders of a past life that needs to be let go and forgotten.

Luckily, this tactic of avoiding triggers almost always costs no money.

Old places, like bars, hang-outs, etc., can be strong triggers for cravings, anxiety and depression. If you can afford to and feel the need, it may even be helpful to move. A home where you’ve engaged in addictive behavior can make a fresh start more difficult.

Avoid Old Faces

Make the most of your recovery efforts by taking this free step toward improving your chances of success.

Any friends or family that encouraged your addiction must be cut loose. This includes fellow addicts. Many times, it seems like a good idea to get clean together with an addicted friend, but this increases your chance of relapse. When one of the two friends relapses, it instantly creates a high risk for the other. Most people must be clean for a long time before they can tolerate being around others who might relapse.

Instead, try to stick with mentors who have been successfully in recovery for at least a few years.

Avoid High Risk Situations

The common acronym for these situations is HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired).

When you feel hungry, angry, lonely or tired, your risk of anxiety, stress and depression goes up. These feelings are strong triggers for relapse.

To avoid these situations, you’ll want to start by keep snacks on hand wherever you are. “Hangry” can be a real thing. Hunger makes us irritable and short-tempered. Cheap snacks that boost your blood sugar and are full of fiber, like raisins, can curb your hunger until your next meal.

Prevent anger by avoiding confrontation and people with whom you frequently argue. Use the free stress relieving tips above to work on count-to-10 and other methods of relaxing from a state of anger.

Keep positive family and friends around and become involved in your community to keep loneliness at bay. These activities may also give you a much needed sense of purpose and a self-esteem boost. Volunteer or join recreational clubs and groups for hobbies you enjoy. You may even want to get a part-time job to keep you focused on a schedule and make a few extra bucks on the side.

Join Narcotics Anonymous

NA is free and provides group therapy, mentors, and helpful literature. If you’re nervous about attending your first meeting, it may help if you participate in their online forums first. You can also read this PDF that describes what your first meeting will be like.

Learning to Relax for Free

There are hundreds of ways you can defeat the anxiety and stress that come with detox and long-term recovery. Be careful to not replace one bad habit with another. For example, you’ll want to avoid gambling like card playing or fantasy sports.

Here are a few new ways you can try to relax.

Finding an Inexpensive Hobby or Craft

Needle pointing and cross stitching, for instance, are an inexpensive craft hobby. You may even decide to pick up knitting or crocheting to donate or sell items to help out your budget.

Think of any interests you’ve had in the past and pick them up again with a fresh new mindset. Other hobbies may include local pick-up sports, attending a low-cost yoga or kickboxing class at a community center, painting or learning an instrument.

Practice Meditation

This is a skill that may take a long time to develop. It helps your patience in both the short term and long term. You’ll also learn the mindfulness and induced sense of peace that can get you through rock bottom moments. You can draw on these calm experiences anywhere at any time.

There are plenty of free ways to learn meditation. YouTube has hundreds of free guided meditation videos. There are also apps for iOS and Android, like Headspace. Local Buddhist centers may also be able to help you learn how to meditate and calm your mind.

Exercise

Going for a quick walk in the fresh can rejuvenate your mind. There really is something about sunshine and a pumping heart that increases your feel-good endorphins.

If you love animals, consider volunteering to walk dogs at a local shelter. You may even want to post ads to make a little bit of money walking your neighbors’ dogs.

There are tons of free and low-cost phone apps and web-based programs that can help you get started on an exercise regimen. Even if you’re short on time, you can find “7 minute” exercise routines that work all of your core muscle groups and are free since they don’t require any equipment.

Pamper Yourself

Here are some free or low-cost ways to pamper yourself and keep your mind peaceful during recovery.

  • Take a hot bubble bath
  • Get a discounted hair cut at a local beauty college
  • Get a new perspective by rearranging your furniture
  • Search Groupon for deals on a massage
  • Lay out in the sun (with sunscreen, of course)
  • Host a pizza and movie night with supportive friends
  • Set a budget to buy a new outfit from a discount or thrift store
  • Paint your room a refreshing new color
  • Find a plant or flower to keep as home décor

Think of healthy ways to feel good about yourself and then find coupons to make it happen on your budget.

Most of all, don’t forget to seek professional help. There are free and low-cost resources available if you take the time to look.

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