Heroin addiction’s recovery journey is defined by optimism. Battling through withdrawal management, different types of therapy, relapse prevention and sometimes relapse itself is no easy feat. It gives hope that addiction treatment programs actually work, and it’s such a great relief. The life after heroin requires even more determination, discipline and positivity. It’s a journey of building an intimate relationship with self and making healthy choices.
Often, feelings of guilt, shame, and fear can find ways back into your mind. But it’s worth knowing that you fought one of the hardest battles and won. What lies ahead is easier than where you came from. So, here’s how you can make your life even better…
Test for Infectious Diseases
Heroin users risks include exposure contradicting infectious diseases such as HIV, and Hepatitis B and C. Sharing of instruments during use makes it easy to get infections passed on. There is also the aspect of risky sexual behavior when high that predisposes users to such infections.
So it’s a good idea to check regularly and ensure you were not exposed, even if you were tested for these infections when commencing treatment. If you were, it helps a lot to know and start early treatment. You also get to learn how to cope with it much earlier.
Diet Changes in Recovery
Your body has endured damage after a period of abuse.
Starving, poor eating habits, and cravings are some of the things it had to contend with. The truth remains, we are what we eat. A proper diet brings a healthier life.
To get rid of the effects of detox and heavy chemicals, a good diet – namely fruits and greens, gives you the best shot.
To rebuild your immunity and the nervous system damaged during use, there are of alpha foods that will get you back on track.
Besides, a proper diet keeps your body functioning well and able to fight off stress and other attacks.
Alternative Medicine Use
To avoid triggering any cravings, it’s mindful to avoid intake of any opiates.
Most painkillers are made from opiates, a category which includes heroin. Avoid these painkillers with addictive tendencies.
Instead, opt for more natural ways of relieving pain such as exercise, massage, acupuncture and chiropractic care or even meditation.
If you must take drugs after heroin, there are less addictive options. Ask for over-the-counter Acetaminophen, Serotonin, Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors and Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).
These are efficient pain relievers with very low risks of addiction.
Mental Health Wellness
We might need a boot camp for this.
You see, this is a bigger problem than addiction itself. Yes, bigger than addiction.
All problems begin here. When your mental wellbeing is disrupted the coping mechanisms can lead you anywhere – suicide, substance addiction, sex addiction and other vile things.
The desire to cope can demand so much of you. You don’t have to give in. Admit it that you are vulnerable and need help.
Don’t shy away from seeking professional counseling or therapy. And you may even want to continue with support groups started during treatment. They are beneficial if they allow you to let out negative energy.
Engage in different forms of exercises to help you breathe and release your cares. Reconnect with your hobbies to help you direct free time and relieve stress during hard days. If you do not have a hobby yet, seek one out.
Ensure any co-occurring mental illnesses like anxiety and depression are well treated or under control.
Even after recovery, these disorders could trigger a relapse. Understanding your mental health helps you pick up on those early signs.
Build a Support System
After recovery, you may need to rebuild some of your relationships damaged during addiction.
Family provides solid and the first line of support for recovery after heroin is no longer controlling your life. Let your family and friends know your resolve to total recovery and to respect your decisions.
If you aren’t attached to a sponsor, try to find one. A sponsor makes you accountable and is available for difficult decisions. Remain open and truthful to your progress and point out any problems as you go.
Always ask for help when you feel overwhelmed and doubtful about ‘staying sober.’
People can only help if you let them.
Practice Self-Care: Give Thee Some Love
You are your best cheerleader. But you also have the power to talk yourself down to nothing.
Yes, a lot of time and money was wasted in addiction, and you may seem to not be catching up. These feelings are normal and will come from time to time.
People who have not battled addiction have their own struggles and regrets as well. Don’t focus on what was lost. Instead, celebrate the big win in overcoming addiction.
Embrace your new journey. Be kind to yourself as you navigate new and unpredictable sobriety paths after addiction to heroin end.
You can heal yourself through positive thoughts of self-appreciation and forgiveness. Look forward to the future and know you are the best person for what you set out for.
New Life Skills
You will need new skills to get back on track. These skills will enable you to generate income, to interact with the community, and to make an impact on the lives of others.
Most treatment programs equip their clients with these skills. For others, you may need to enroll for them separately.
Such as anger management, community work, and stress management can be tackled.
Keep improving yourself with new abilities that can make you more productive. You could try new exercise routines, new sports, or speaking skills to help educate others on the effects of heroin use. A new skill will get you fresh networks and help utilize your time.
There is a new life to be tapped into and explored after addiction. Look at it as a chance to be reborn. It’s not smooth sailing. There will be days of stigma, shame and doubt, but a story of overcoming heroin addiction beats them all.
Focus on getting better every day in the various aspects of your life.