In April of 2021, over 100,000 people died from drug overdoses in the US. If you’re struggling with substance abuse recovery, know that you aren’t alone. Recovery isn’t easy, but there are things you can do that might help move you along.

Read on to learn more about recovery.

1. Learn to Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Setting goals may help with your recovery. It’s difficult to achieve goals that are too broad, undefined, or unrealistic. Instead, learn to set S.M.A.R.T. goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable 
  • Realistic
  • Timely


Set a targeted, achievable goal. If you want something big, break it down into smaller bits.


Set goals with progress points you can clearly see. You need to be able to see how far you’re coming.


Nothing wrong with aspiring to be a billionaire. However, you might want to start smaller.


Your goals need to be things you can actually do. Setting a goal around something you’re unable to achieve isn’t going to make it easier to get. It just makes things more frustrating.


Timing is everything. Make sure you have your priorities in order. Your long-term goals shouldn’t come before your short-term ones, for example.

2. Make a Habit of Keeping Yourself Busy

You create a habit when you repeat a behavior over and over again. Some are good, like washing your hands and brushing your teeth. Some habits are not so good. 

You need to learn to build good habits to override your bad ones. Look for something you enjoy and begin incorporating it into your day. After a while, performing that task will become habitual.

3. Remove Toxic Relationships

If you want your recovery to be successful, you need to surround yourself with good people and positive relationships. People you know who encourage you to do things you’re trying not to need to be kept at a distance – if not outright removed from your life.

The people you need around you are those who love you and put a premium on your health and wellbeing. It can be hard to break off relationships with some people, but in the end, it’s often necessary.

4. Watch for Triggers

There’s usually something that triggers substance abuse behaviors. Is it stress? A relationship? Maybe it’s boredom. 

No matter what, anything that’s pushing you toward abusing a substance is something you need to recognize and, if possible, remove from your life. Recovery is hard enough without frequently running into triggering situations.

Do You Need More Help With Substance Abuse Recovery?

Not everyone can recover from substance abuse on their own. Many people need to check themselves into a rehab facility where they can get the special attention they need. If this sounds like something you might want, check this ultimate guide.

There’s No Time Like Now

Recovery is a long, difficult road, but you make it if you try. These tips and many others can help you plot a course from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow. All you have to do then is walk the path.

As always, there are resources available for those who need substance abuse recovery help. If you’d like to learn more about substance abuse treatment, check out our health section.