When Feelings Make You WANT to Use Opiates: What to Do to Avoid Relapse

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A return to drug abuse can be especially dangerous for those who have used and abused opiates in the past. Therefore, it is important to remember these dangers and to practice relapse prevention techniques in order to keep yourself safe.

If you have not attended a rehab program for your addiction––or if you need to return to treatment––call 800-442-6158 Who Answers? now. We will help you find a safe, beneficial program that will cater to your needs.

Understanding the Dangers of Relapse

Knowing the facts and the danger of this outcome can actually work to help you avoid the potential for relapse. Relapse, especially the use of opiates after attempting to recovery and going through treatment, can be extremely dangerous. One of the reasons for this is the act of withdrawing of detoxing from opioids and how it can affect one’s tolerance level. According to the National Library of Medicine, “Withdrawal reduces the person’s tolerance to the drug, so those who have just gone through withdrawal can overdose on a much smaller dose than they used to take.” Therefore, if someone who has recently gone through addiction treatment or detox relapses back to opioid abuse, they will actually be more likely to overdose than another individual.

Anyone who has withdrawn from opioids and is recovering from addiction is in a dangerous position if they relapse, no matter how long they have avoided using again. Many people who relapse believe it is a sign that their recovery has failed. Even though this is not true, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it can still be hard for someone to continue their recovery after a relapse.

Relapse Prevention Techniques

Avoid Relapse

Exercise can distract you from cravings and enhance your mood.

Sometimes, though, facts aren’t enough. You can know how dangerous it would be to return to your substance abuse and still want to do it anyway. This is why it is important to learn (both in treatment and through independent research) a number of prevention techniques that can help you avoid the possibility of relapse.

  • Knowing your triggers and avoiding them is an extremely important technique. You can learn this in addiction treatment, but you can also try to consider your triggers on your own. Do you notice any patterns when cravings start? Are there any places you go, people you are around, or things that make you feel stressed? Avoiding these can help you experience the desire to relapse less often.
  • Meditation is another relapse prevention option. According to a study from the medical journal Substance Abuse, meditation can be an excellent tool for this purpose, as it promotes mindfulness, an ability to recognize your thoughts and feelings without judgment and to better cope with them.
  • Exercise can be a similar activity that may help you prevent the desire for relapse. If you are starting to feel the desire to use, go for a walk, a bike ride, or get involved in another activity that will get your blood flowing.
  • Keeping a journal can allow you to get the feelings out without doing something dangerous. Sometimes, allowing our thoughts to bottle up is what causes us to make mistakes, but getting them out on paper can make them seem less urgent.
  • You may want to consider attending a 12-step or another type of support group program in your area. These meetings can be extremely helpful to those in recovery feeling the desire to relapse because they connect recovering addicts with one another and create a sense of community.

Managing Relapse Risks during the Holidays: When to Get Opiate Addiction Treatment Help

Do I Need to Seek Treatment?

Many people ask themselves if they need to revisit treatment when they begin feeling serious, dangerous cravings and having other thoughts that could lead to relapse. According to the NIDA, “Most patients need long-term or repeated care to stop using completely and recover their lives,” and over time, periodic return sessions (or booster sessions) back to treatment can be helpful as well. Your rehab program could possibly provide this option as a type of aftercare. If you believe you may benefit from seeking treatment again, you likely will.

Avoiding Opiate Relapse Through Rehab

Call 800-442-6158 Who Answers? today to find a rehab center where you can receive the care you need to avoid relapse. Even if you have been in recovery for years, it can never hurt to consider treatment as an option to help you avoid relapse and stay sober.

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