Advice for Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It’s when Muslims all over the world get together and they fast from sunrise to sunset.
This guidance is for Muslims during Ramadan who have experienced issues with alcohol or other drugs.

Islamic teachings state that people exempt from fasting include those taking daily medication, where not taking medication would be detrimental to health. Those suffering from a chronic illness, where fasting can cause detriment to health are also exempt.

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Advice

Take time to rest, reflect and review and have a conversation with your worker so that there’s plenty of time to start Ramadan in a way where you just feel fully prepared.
If you are still using and you decide you would like to try and stop or cut down before the month starts it’s a good idea to try to reduce your use.

Before you begin, try and understand urges, triggers any cravings that happen, just to kind of see where you are with your tolerance levels.

You can speak to your doctor or your worker and put plans in place to feel better physically and psychologically.

Set realistic goals. Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember if you lapse you can reflect and start again.

Be around people who can motivate you ideally you want to set one or two small goals.
Recovery is a journey it can take months if not years and you might not be able to stop altogether in Ramadan.

Identify helpful people around you family members, neighbours, friends. Ramadan is a really social time and there’s lots of charity events that are happening. The key message is to keep yourself busy stay motivated and on track.

Quite often people that do use substances fear being judged and it’s just remembering that everybody is on their own journey, have people around you that can understand you.
Forward Leeds does provide support groups for people who want to attend.

Review some coping strategies with your worker. remember to Rest, Reflect and Review. Be aware of unhelpful and negative thoughts and learn to accept them without being hard on yourself.

Ramadan is a really blessed but can be a tiring month. Rest take it slow and think about what are the things you can do instead to divert your thoughts away from it again
Speak to your doctor and your worker around any medication that you’re taking and if it’s safe to reduce these, if that’s what you want to do.

There will be people who might not be feeling very sociable and quite isolated or feel lonely. It’s about reaching out to your support group.

Ramadan is for everyone and everybody has their own battles that they’re dealing with. If you relapse, don’t dwell on that, just get back on it and replace it with a good thought or a good deed.

Life is about dealing with the ups and downs but in a constructive way. Know that there is a reward in every step you take on this journey.