For people who have developed Severe Use Disorders with chemicals consistent conscious effort is necessary. Many people are using alcohol and other drugs to manage unwanted emotions and need to have new plans to refuse to stay in this pattern of behavior. Often small decisions made throughout the day either protect you from taking a drink or drug or draw you closer to the actual event.
The best type of refusal skill centers around staying away from people who depend on chemicals and places where chemicals are available to use. Do not be guilty of setting yourself up to act irresponsibly. Remove yourself from dangerous situations and find alternative, safe habits to distract from using drugs.
The most important drug refusal skills revolve around the ability NOT to continue to practice abusing alcohol and other drugs as a way of coping with life's ups and downs. This skill may rest with our ability to change this old habit. Unfortunately, as much as 98 percent of what we do is the result of habit, not choice and whatever we do consistently we will become good at.
Refusing to use alcohol or other drugs for many people is nothing short of civil war. It demands that we literally go to war with ourselves, specifically with our own habits. Many people don't realize this about our drug use habits. When we practice this habit, we give it life. Whatever is alive will fight to the death to stay alive. Drug and alcohol use habits are living things. That habit exist independently in our subconscious and it is going to defend its space there and fight to stay alive, just as all living things do. Just saying "no" will become a real battle. No living habit dies easily. But if we accept the fact that not using drugs to manage our emotions is a battle, the challenge becomes pretty clear cut: a powerful habit is in our subconscious and wants to stay there. We must go to war to replace it with new, healthier habits through practice--good luck in your war!