The Challenges of Recovering from Heroin Addiction
Heroin addiction is widely known to be one of the most difficult forms of chemical dependency to overcome. For this reason, when one completes treatment to defeat this type of addiction, a great deal of celebration is warranted. However, once treatment is complete, it is important to know that the hard work is far from over.
After leaving an addiction treatment program, individuals in recovery from heroin addictions must commit themselves to their sobriety and adjust their lifestyles in order to support their new healthy initiatives. This can involve forming new social networks, living new daily routines, and honing the skills necessary to prevent falling into the grips of heroin abuse once more. Failing to make these sorts of adjustments can, however, cause a person to experience a relapse, which can be quite disheartening if one recently completed treatment or finished care some time ago.
If you are feeling as though you may relapse, or if you have recently relapsed, it is crucial to know that this type of circumstance has nothing to do with being flawed or means that you are not a strong person. It does, however, mean that you could be in need of some support, guidance, and encouragement at this time. For this reason, it is a good idea to seek out the resources you need to reaffirm your commitment to your sobriety once more.
Reasons Why Recovering Heroin Addicts Relapse
Throughout the course of a person’s care, the programming at an addiction treatment center will likely try to instill the skills needed to prevent relapse once this type of care is complete. From teaching recovery skills, coping skills, and the various ways in which one can avoid being tempted to use heroin once more, addiction programs do their best to help men and women feel prepared for life outside of treatment.
However, if one were to not learn the necessary skills or be prepared for handling temptations to use in the future, the following are more likely to cause a person to experience a heroin abuse relapse following the completion of treatment:
- Undue stress or another type of emotional turmoil
- Cravings for heroin
- Associating with individuals who are using heroin
- A lack of self-confidence as it relates to one’s ability to remain sober
- A lack of support and guidance
What is important to know, however, is that one can remain on the path of recovery and avoid heroin abuse relapse. By engaging in follow-up services following the completion of more intensive treatment, there is no reason why a person cannot live a heroin-free, happy, and healthy life.
How to Prevent Heroin Abuse Relapse
Despite the fact that no one who has grappled with a heroin addiction is absolved from ever experiencing a relapse, there remain some steps that one can take to prevent this type of circumstance.
Please consider doing the following:
- Seek out and engage in the services that were recommended to you by your treatment provider. You may have a thorough discharge plan or a short list of programs and/or services that may benefit you. Either way, if you have been provided with aftercare or follow-up recommendations, it is in your own best interest to begin them shortly after completing a higher level of care.
- If you have recently returned home from rehab and were not provided with recommendations for follow-up services, do your best to seek out the assistance of a knowledgeable addiction specialist or treatment center in your community. In doing so, you will be doing yourself a great service by giving yourself the support you need to maintain your sobriety.
- Talk with the people in your life about your treatment experience and share your plan for how you intend on remaining heroin-free. Your loved ones are the individuals who want you to succeed the most. Therefore, by sharing your recovery plan with them, they can help you in any way that you need and can continue to support you on your journey to improved health.
- Do not forget to practice your coping skills. While out of a treatment setting, you are likely to encounter situations or circumstances in which your willpower will be tested. However, by becoming skilled at handling such stressors and knowing your limits, you can tackle any situation or circumstance with the confidence needed to resist using heroin.
- Become a member of a support group or groups in your community. Similar to what you benefited from while in treatment, support groups can offer you the encouragement and guidance you need to uphold your sobriety promise to yourself. Within such groups, you will also develop a greater sense of belonging among others who know what it is like to struggle with addiction.
- If you have a sponsor, be sure to remain in contact with him or her. If you do not presently have a sponsor, look into connecting with one in your area. You can attend a local support group to learn more about obtaining a sponsor, or you can talk to your previous treatment provider to learn how you can go about acquiring one now that you are home.
- Adhering to a daily schedule or routine can help you resist the urge to use heroin, so try to fill your day with some sort of activity. You can pick up a hobby when you have free time or begin an exercise regimen. Whatever you choose, make sure that you are spending your time bettering yourself in some way or participating in an activity that rejuvenates you.
- Once you return home from treatment, you may find it hard to be in contact with certain people or engage in activities that you once did prior to going to treatment. If this is the case, and you fear that lapsing into old routines will compromise your sobriety, try your best to avoid being tempted to use heroin once more.
Finally, if you have recently completed rehab but are feeling as though you need more time to work on your recovery in a more structured treatment setting, do not feel as though re-engaging in a more intensive type of care is impossible. You always have the option to seek out the services that can help you live a healthier, heroin-free lifestyle. Therefore, if you find yourself struggling to live a sober life, feel free to contact a treatment center of your choosing to see if your present needs will be best met by a more intensive type of addiction rehab.
At Life Healing Center, we believe that individuals can tap into their inner strength and overcome heroin addictions and other such chemical dependency concerns once and for all. Our staff of dedicated professionals is fully committed to helping all who come for care succeed in their pursuits of healthier, more satisfying lives, and we believe that we can assist you in doing the same.
To learn more about our services and how we arm individuals with the skills needed to prevent heroin abuse relapse, give us a call today. We are here to help you heal in a lasting way.