While Americans continue wrestling with a opiate epidemic, we are reminded just how devastating heroin can be to an entire community. The drug is simply unwavering in the destruction it leaves in its path. For the unfortunate individual who falls prey to heroin addiction, there is going to be an uphill battle trying to get past the addiction.
It’s always inspiring to see a heroin addict who is able to get themselves into rehab. During their time there, they get an opportunity to detox and get much-needed therapy. The detox process can be particularly challenging. Without professional help, the potential withdrawal symptoms present some significant threats to one’s health. We are talking about withdrawal symptoms like:
- Tremors, convulsions, hallucinations and nightmares
- Significant breathing problems
- Issues with both heart-rate and blood pressure
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- Psych issues like suicidal ideologies, depression and anxiety
- Sleeping issues
Upon entering rehab, most heroin patients go through a medically-monitored detox program. Doctors use these types of detox programs to make sure patient remain safe during the detox process.
After detox, it’s time to work through issues in therapy. This is the time patients get an opportunity to look at the reasons they feel compelled to medicate themselves. Many times, significant emotional or psychological issues are exposed as the basis of the addiction. It takes hard work in both group and individual counseling to work through the causes and develop better coping skills to prevent relapses.
Therein lies the problem with heroin addiction. No matter how much work the patient does in rehab, they still need to figure how how to stay clean on the outside. The numbers tell a troubling story because heroin addicts lead the way when it comes to relapsing. The number of people who fall into a cycle of relapse and back to rehab is alarming.
How Can Someone Quit Using Heroin After Several Relapses?
If someone finds themselves having trouble getting past their heroin addiction, the first thing they need to do is stay calm, set shame aside and know get back into rehab. No matter how many relapses a person goes through, addiction treatment is still the only viable solution. It becomes a challenge for the addiction treatment professionals to come up with a better treatment plan to help prevent more relapses. With that said, the patient still has to enter rehab as a committed participant.
Obviously, treatment isn’t the only thing that needs to be changed. Once on the outside, the recovering addict needs to make at least some of the following changes:
- Get deeply involved in a 12-Step program
- Make Lifestyle Changes
- Focus on positive activities
- Create a relapse prevention plan
The easiest place to find support is with AA or NA. 12-Step programs have been lending sobriety support to millions of people for well over 70 years. There’s nothing more powerful than one recovering addict helping another. If you have already been attending meetings, you might want to consider adding a few to your schedule.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Your habits, good and bad, are usually dictated by your lifestyle. If you are struggling to get past your heroin addiction, you might need to make major changes like where you live, where you work and the people you have around you. You should also consider things like eating and exercise programs to promote better health. You must do what’s necessary to eliminate triggers and temptation.
Focus on Positive Activities
Many times, relapses are caused by some form of negativity in the recovering addict’s life. You need to build your life around positive activities like playing sports or finding new hobbies. A new love relationship could have a positive effect on your outlook. A full, happy life leaves little time for drug abuse.
Create a Relapse Prevention Plan
A relapse prevention plan includes all the steps you need to take when a relapse seems imminent. You should know where your support people are and what resources are available when needed. If you feel a little shaky, a little outpatient therapy prior to relapsing might be all it takes to stop a full on relapse.
If you need additional help after a relapse, we would like to suggest you start by staying calm and not getting down on yourself. Relapses happen. You should gather yourself and contact us at 844-639-8371. We will do everything in our power to get you back into recovery.