Behavioral changes need to be adopted early in the detox process.
Like with most chronic illness, a full cure for opiate de-addiction requires considerable discipline, will power and constant monitoring. Above everything else, it requires a huge change in behavioral patterns. Relapses are very common among people attempting to overcome opiate addiction, as there is no dearth of temptation. For a wholesome, drug-free life, patients must be determined to avoid making the same mistakes that led to their addiction in the first place.
Some helpful tips for lowering the risk of a relapse:
- Do not tempt fate
Patients can start doing the small things right to stay clear of their old patterns. For instance, they need to keep themselves out of places where they could be exposed to drug use. This could mean avoiding parties and pubs where they know drugs are likely to be consumed, or cutting out people who are still using. Instead, they could form a new peer group of ex-users who are all attempting to overcome their struggle with addiction. They could provide the moral and emotional support, which is essential during the early days of deaddiction.
- Attempt to manage stress better
Stress is one of the top reasons patients start using again. When they are worried about finances, relationships, or work, they will be sorely tempted to revert to drug use. They need to develop relaxation techniques they can fall back on at times when the urge to use comes on. Being aware of emotional triggers and ways to control them is a skill they can to develop over time. However, this is not as easy as it sounds and will require the help of a therapist or a licensed physician experienced in effective strategies for relapse prevention.
- Build a strong support system
The biggest strength of most recovering addicts is the love and support of their dear ones. Even when they are placed in the path of temptation, such as a party thrown by family members, the presence of a group of people who are aware of and support the patient in his/her fight against addiction can help him/her get through the event without capitulating to temptation. Turn to family, peer groups, the community, or a spiritual guide to help you shun chemical escapes. The fight against addiction is a difficult one, so it helps to have a constant external reminder that a drug fix can only offer temporary release.
Although some people are predisposed to addiction, with self discipline and frequent encouragement, it is possible to control one’s social environment and lead a life of sobriety and good health.