I know I need to quit, but I’m not sure how. What should I do?

The first thing you must do in order to kick your drug habit is to admit you have a problem and surround yourself with others who can help you through the quitting process. Those important in your recovery include:

  • Your healthcare team
    It is important that your healthcare team knows about your drug use and what you are doing to quit. Your doctors and nurses can provide you with insight and encouragement while monitoring your cancer treatment and your overall health. Your healthcare team can also put you in touch with therapists or counselors who can help you through the quitting process and help you deal with the feelings or emotions that led to the drug use.
  • Parents and family
    It can be scary to admit to your parents and family that you have a drug problem. Your family wants you to be well and you need to tell them the things you need from them in order to get better—emotionally and otherwise. Your parents and family, along with your healthcare team, can also help you decided on the right substance abuse treatment plan.
  • Friends
    Friends can be a great source of support during tough times. While you are getting your cancer treatment and quitting drugs, it is important to lean on trustworthy friends who can really support you and encourage you to do the right things. Having the “right” friends around you may mean you might have to not speak to friends whom you did drugs with or may not encourage you to do the right thing.

When it comes to treatment programs for drug use, there are a lot of different types of programs. In most cases, programs are decided based on the type of substance used. In your case, the right program for you may also be determined by your cancer treatment. Detoxification (if needed, based on the substance abused) and long-term follow-up management are important features of successful treatment. Long-term follow-up management usually includes formalized group meetings and developmentally age-appropriate psychosocial support systems, as well as continued medical supervision. Individual and family psychotherapy are often recommended to address the developmental, psychosocial, and family issues that may have contributed to and resulted from the development of a substance abuse disorder.