Who Can You Count On?


Kicking bad habits like smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and eating junk food can help boost your brain and reduce your risk for cognitive decline. But old habits die hard, right? Substances are powerful, especially when used as coping mechanisms.

After a hard day, it can be easy to turn to alcohol, cigarettes, or a drive-through. It’s a quick fix that makes you feel better right away. But you know it’s not good for you.

Substances might be WHAT you can count on. Have you ever thought about WHO you can count on? Take a minute to write a list of people you can count on to support you emotionally. Can you count on 3 people? Get in touch with each of them and let them know you’re looking to kick a bad habit and you need their support. Next time you feel like you want to rely on your old habit to cope with the struggles of your day, reach out to your support person. Call, text, or video chat. Maybe you need to talk about your day, or maybe you just need to hear the friendly voice of someone who cares for you.

Statistically speaking, you’re more likely to be successful at changing your habit (and building your brain health in the process) if you enroll your friends and family in these changes and feel well-supported.


  • Kirchner, J. E., Zubritsky, C., Cody, M., Coakley, E., Chen, H., Ware, J. H., … Levkoff, S. (2007). Alcohol consumption among older adults in primary care. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 22(1), 92–97. doi: 10.1007/s11606-006-0017-z
  • Stevens, E., Jason, L. A., Ram, D., & Light, J. (2015). Investigating Social Support and Network Relationships in Substance Use Disorder Recovery. Substance Abuse: Official Publication of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse, 36(4), 396–399. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2014.965870