Opium and its derivatives, opiates such as heroin, morphine, codeine or Vicodin, are commonly misused around the world. The substance is highly addictive, and it is not recommended that addiction be faced alone. Facing an opium addiction can be stressful, scary, and extremely uncomfortable. Fortunately those struggling with opiate addiction are not alone. Many struggle with opiate addiction and many different options have been developed for a healthy, strong recovery and rehabilitation. Depending on your personal situation and needs, many centers offer treatments that include medications, 12-step programs similar to the well-known AA or NA, or even a combination of the two. Though most treatments last between 30-90 days, the psychological struggle can last much longer.
There are two phases of withdrawal, the initial physical detox and later, the emotional and psychological withdrawal. To understand the commitment it will take in order to heal yourself, we have listed the top five biggest challenges to opium recovery.
- Physical detox: During this stage that depending on the individual, can last from a few weeks to a month. During this time the most common side effects include hot and cold sweats, muscle aches, pains and twitching, severe abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Emotional detox: This stage will occur after the initial physical detox stage and can last awhile-usually two full years, though it is different with each patient. This includes mood swings, depression, insomnia, anxiety, low motivation, energy and concentration. This time frame will be a rollercoaster of emotions but with the proper dedication and support you will succeed.
- Finding Support: During addiction we put our families, friends and others in uncomfortable and sometimes unsafe positions. We test the strength of our relationships without realizing it and those relationships may be challenged during your recovery. What is necessary for a successful journey is being honest with yourself and others, remaining conscious of your needs, being openly communicative with your support groups and asking for help when you need it. It will be trying for you during the two-year period as well as for your support group, but they want you to succeed.
- Finding the right recovery method: Not all methods are created equal and sometimes relapse occurs. Trying different options to best fit your needs may be necessary. Though you may feel like you are starting over again, it is just one step closer to being rid of your addiction.
- Maintenance: Addiction is a life-long struggle, though with time it does get easier. Throughout the first two years of rehabilitation one must remind themselves constantly that they can free themselves from dependency. It is best to not let feelings of guilt or failure take away the progress that has been made – as it is much easier to focus on the negative things than the positive.
As daunting as rehabilitation may seem, you are stronger than you think. In order to take control over your life again ask someone for help, call our hotline, or go into your local clinic. There are people out there who want to help you if you want to help yourself.