Everyone has wishes, but the dreams that cause people to hopefully throw coins in a fountain are far removed from the wishes of an addict. If you are a heroin user, you aren’t alone in wishing. The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes, “The number of people using heroin for the first time is unacceptably high, with 156,000 people starting heroin use in 2012, nearly double the number of people in 2006 (90,000).” When your wishes are less about how to get drugs and more about how to get off of them, you should keep a few things in mind.
It Won’t Be Easy
For heroin users, the relationship with their addiction is complicated. It’s generally part of an extremely close relationship with the drug and one that continues for years. Often, heroin is like a member of the family. There are many bad times, but there are also fond reminiscences, kind memories.
Even when you want to quit and leave the relationship behind, there is a part of you that you know will miss the good times and you wonder whether you will be able to get along without it. Some addicts can’t even admit that they are quitting heroin for good because they can’t face never feeling its effects again.
But, that doesn’t mean that recovery from heroin addiction is impossible. On the contrary, not only is recovery possible, it is something you are capable of doing, even if you aren’t sure that you can. Of course, it isn’t easy. But, finding a great treatment facility and a program that work for you can start you down the right path. Give us a call at 800-584-3274.
You Can’t Do It Alone
Rehabilitation is tough. For heroin addicts, the detox that must happen before treatment even begins in earnest is deeply painful both emotionally and physically. Undertaking that challenge without a system of support in place can set an addict up to fail.
One of the best ways to make it through detox is to undergo it at a facility. People who attempt to do it on their own often relapse rather than face the discomfort and those who succeed independently may be so drained that they can’t fully undergo a rehabilitation treatment. Getting the support of trained staff is immeasurably helpful.
It is important to note “[M]edically assisted detoxification is not in itself ‘treatment’—it is only the first step in the treatment process. Patients who go through medically assisted withdrawal but do not receive any further treatment show drug abuse patterns similar to those who were never treated.”
Another important support outside of your center’s staff is friends and family. Often, gaining support from these people can be hard because addiction has taken its toll on them as well as on you. Relationships may have fractured or become so dysfunctional that it feels like there is no way to get back to the love you once had for another. This is why treatment center’s offer family counselling.
The book Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy identifies two purposes of family therapy: “First, it seeks to use the family’s strengths and resources to help find or develop ways to live without substances of abuse. Second, it ameliorates [improves] the impact of chemical dependency on both the IP [identified patient] and the family.”
You Need the Right Facility
There are many treatment centers, ranging from state-funded to luxury centers. And, in each tier of the hierarchy there are dozens of approaches to addiction treatment and recovery.
It is important that you find a facility that is available to treat you as soon as you are ready to begin the process towards sobriety. A waiting list isn’t a good idea, given how hard it is to work up to seeking help. But, just because a facility has openings doesn’t mean it is the right one for you.
You need to do research. If you can’t get the time and focus to do the research ask for help from friends, family, or social services. For help, you are welcome to call us at 800-584-3274. The recovery community is a great place to determine which treatment center is right for you. Look for an insider at a support meeting or through family and friends. You will want someone who has maintained their sobriety for at least a year. If the internet is available, search for treatment centers in your area and check Google reviews.
Stopping using heroin is an important first step, but a lot of addicts have an easier time quitting than they do maintaining it. To have the best chance at maintaining sobriety, be sure to use some of the same tools that will help you through your treatment from the beginning. Remember how hard you fought to get through detox and treatment. Work to continue growing your support network. Make the most of your rehab center. Be sure that you know there will be highs and lows, but also know that you have the power to fight through them and to recover.