Recovering from opiate addiction is painful and challenging. Once you get past the detox and withdrawal stage, the real hard work begins. Many people fail the recovery process. Actually, 90% of heroin addicts relapse during the first week of rehab. This means that they never made it into the recovery stage. WHY? Several factors cause relapse.
Here are just a few reasons why people relapse:
- They cannot stand the feeling of withdrawal from opiates
- They feel depressed and in a state of despair without opiates
- They do not address their brain chemicals which are depleted
- Rehab centers lack follow up and education for recovery
- Opiate chemicals are powerful and extremely controlling
- The addict truely does NOT want to recover
- Triggers cause relapse
These are just a few reasons why opiate addicts never make it into the recovery stage. Heroin addicts have worse relapse statistics than people who became addicted to their opiate pain medications legally prescribed. One reason may be that heroin users usually started taking drugs for recreational purposes, which means they chose to take the drug. This makes it very difficult for them to stop. Whereas, people who had legit physical pain situations and were prescribed opiate pain medications to help ease their pain…may never have seen the dangers of addiction.
Because genetics play a big role in addiction, those people who were prescribed pain medications were always at risk of addiction, but might not have been aware. As for these people, the chances of making it into recovery are more likely than those who started off taking heroin for purposes of recreation. Either way, both groups of people are essentially in the same boat. The chemical is basically the same and the effects of it on the human body are the same. The detox procedures are the same as well. The challenge of beating addiction is basically the same for heroin users and opiate pain medication users. The difference is in the pathway to addiction.
Two Groups of Opiate Addicts:
- Addict who became addicted to their legally prescribed pain medication
- Heroin users who became addicted while experimenting with the drug or for recreation
Addiction is addiction. Whether you are addicted to looking at facebook 100 times a day, or addicted to nicotine, or more severe addictions like opiates…the general idea of addiction remains the same. The difference is in how difficult it is to beat the particular addiction you face. How severe are the withdrawals? What are the success rates on beating various addictions. Knowledge is power, and awareness is prevention. No matter the addiction, people should be aware of the dangers. This site is designed to expose the dangers of opiate addiction and how to successfully recover from it. We use years of self experience and doctoral advice to make suggestions that will help people.
If the person is strong enough to make it through detox and withdrawal their work is not complete. The main challenge happens when they get home from rehab, their detox is complete and their withdrawal feelings are at minimal now. This stage of detox can take anywhere from a week to 2 months depending on what dosage the addict was on and how long the addict has been using opiate chemicals. Obviously, the stronger the opiate and the longer you are taking it…the more severe the detox and withdrawal stage will be. For example, if you have been taking oxycodone (vicodin) for 12 months at 10 pills a day, your detox and withdrawal will be mid-level severe. Whereas, if you have been on Fentanyl for 5 years at very high dosage, then you are looking at the most extreme withdrawal and detox period. Same with heroin,…although not as strong as Fentanyl, it requires extreme detox procedures and the worse kind of withdrawals that exist.
The point is that detox and withdrawal are relevant to the person. For example, if a heroin addict has been through withdrawal many times, then this next time they attempt to quite and go through withdrawals might not be as bad since they know what to expect. Believe me, all withdrawals are “bad”, but if this is not your first time detoxing, then it will be different than another person’s first time.
If you have never been through withdrawal, and you became addicted to heroin after smoking weed for the past year….then your first withdrawal experience is going to be harsher than harsh. You will be shocked at how bad feeling the withdrawals are. The withdrawal from strong opiate chemicals is like a living hell of death. Your entire body aches, your nose runs like you have a severe head-cold, you sweat followed by chills and goosebumps, you feel sick to your stomach nonstop, you cannot sleep, you cannot relax, your have anxiety of the worse kind, your legs twitch as your body cries out for the opiate drug that it has become so use to taking. The withdrawal itself is usually the main trigger for people to relapse. If you are feeling so terrible (like having the flu X 50), and what would make it all go away is a hit of heroin or 5 oxycontin pills,…then that is what people usually do. The proof is in the statistic that 90% of addicts relapse during the first week of detox. Withdrawal is one main reason why people relapse. Avoiding withdrawal at all costs, is another reason why so many people stay addicted to opiates for such a long period time. They are only making the detox and withdrawal phase all the more worse, but avoiding withdrawal in the first place becomes the addicts main goal.
Addressing the withdrawal stage and figuring out how to resolve this issue would be the best way to bring addicts into rehab the fastest. And, reduce the number of relapses after the person is already in rehab. This would then, make for a more successful recovery over the long-run. So, how do we address withdrawals? The best way to deal with withdrawal is medical treatment. Professional help is the only way a person should attempt to beat their opiate addiction. Stopping cold-turkey is dangerous and usually NOT successful.
We recommend people seek medical treatment from a reputable rehab center or addiction specialist. Furthermore, we recommend people ask their Doctor about Suboxone and Vivitrol. We have experience with suboxone, and this medication drastically reduced the feelings of withdrawal within the first day or two. This is the answer for all those addicts out their who are completely afraid to deal with withdrawal thus the reason why they keep using drugs. Check yourself into rehab with the support of your family and request suboxone medication. Suboxone will also help reduce your cravings to opiates over the long run. Suboxone and Vivitrol drastically help to reduce relapse.
Once you complete detox and get through the worse of the withdrawal, you should now be on suboxone or vivitrol. Vivitrol is more advanced addiction treatment medication and we highly suggest the addict get on vivitrol. It is one shot injection per month and it will keep you from relapsing. Even while on Vivitrol and into the recovery stage,…the addict is NOT ‘out of the woods’. They might be sent home with a Vivitrol or suboxone prescription, but their recovery is not yet successful. A long fight ahead remains for the addict while in the recovery stage.
How long your recovery stage lasts depends on the addict. Aside from an addiction specialist who can be very helpful, after rehab the addict is pretty much on their own at beating their addiction. This can take months to many, many years. Doctors say it takes at least 12 months of ‘being clean’ before the mind does not automatically think about wanting/craving opiates. We believe this timeframe can be much longer. If you have been an addict for 5 years or more, you are going to need to fight this addiction for at least 5 years in our opinion. The hardest part about beating your opiate addiction is the recovery. Its very difficult to fight cravings, and its hard to deal with constant ‘triggers’ around you. What are triggers?
Examples of ‘Triggers’:
- Your past drug dealer calls you while you are in recovery. (Tip: Erase their phone numbers while in detox)
- A bad situation happens like death of patent, which makes you want to use opiates
- You break up with a GF or BF and want to get high
- You run into past drug friends (tip: cut all ties with past drug friends)
- Scenery triggers (tip: Avoid going to the same places you use to go while using)
- You feel depressed every day because your brain chemicals are depleted
There are many different triggers. Half of the battle is knowing that these triggers exist and doing all you can do to avoid them. One of the greatest reasons why people relapse during the recovery period is because they simply do not feel well physically or mentally. They feel depressed and in a state of despair every day. The reason for this is because while they were using opiates they were draining their brains good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. These brain chemicals are released to make us feel good and feel the normal pleasures of life. With an imbalance, a person is going to fee depressed.
We stress that one of the most important elements during the recovery phase is addressing the brain chemicals. When a person takes an opiate for a long period of time, essentially they are replacing the brains duty to release chemicals called neuro-transmitters. The brain will stop producing these neurotransmitter brain chemicals since your body is getting them from the opiate drug itself. The brain stops naturally producing dopamine, serotonin, GABA and Aceyt. Therefore, when you STOP taking opiates,…your brain does not just automatically start producing brain chemicals in a normal balances way (like most normal peoples brains do). Instead, your brain gets depleted of these very important good chemicals (neurotransmitters). This is exactly why opiate addicts get depressed for long periods of time after detox. They feel despair most of the day. They never feel pleasure like what normal person feels when they win an aware, plan a vacation, get a new job, meet a new GF/BF, etc. The excitement of some pleasurable events does nothing for the opiate addict like it would for a non-opiate drug user. This is a major problem and the main reason why people even relapse years into their recovery. The depletion of these good brain chemicals must be addressed during the recovery stage.
Our page on Neuro-Transmitters will provide the most details. There, you can take a question/answer test that will help you in determining which of the 4 main brain chemicals you might be depleted in. After knowing that, you can take specific natural supplements which will be pre-cursers for your brain to produce the right balance of chemical again. These supplements sort of jump-start your brain again into releasing a natural amount of neuro-transmitter chemicals. This is NOT a scam or theory. This is real and it works. I was grateful enough to be educated about my brain chemicals from my alternative medicine primary care physician. He set me up with the BRAIN ASSESSMENT TEST (that we provide in this site) and directed me on which supplement to begin taking. I know that I avoided a long period of feeling depressed by taking these supplement boosters. They worked for me. After the amount of Fentanyl drugs that I was on for nearly 8 years straight, I should have been in a 24 hour state of despair with clinical depression. Dont get me wrong, I did have feelings of depression. But, for the most part, within a few months of taking these supplements, I was feeling normal and good again. Because I was feeling pleasure and a sense of stability, I was never tempted to relapse. I wanted nothing to do with opiates ever again after the most harsh of times with the withdrawals I went through. My withdrawals were so bad that I nearly took my life to put an end to them. Faith and God helped me to survive and NEVER GIVE UP. Then, as far as recovery which lasted many years for me,…the supplement boosters did the job and helped to drastically heal my brain. My brain chemicals became balances again within just a month or two after completing detox.
After my Brain Assessment Test, it was clear that I basically had NO dopamine and NO serotonin. If the test can be trusted, which it can,…those results were a major eye-open for me. I quickly got on the supplement boosters that are known to boost dopamine and serotonin. This helped me tremendously. We want to help you too.
Read these two pages linked below:
*Take the TEST on the first page and figure out which brain chemicals you are depleted in. Is it a mild, moderate or severe depletion. This depletion is going to be the reason why you may not feel good mentally or physically. Do you ever feel pleasure like a normal person does? If not, this is probably why. The good news is that you can fix this. It is not permanent damage to your brain like alcoholism does. Your brain will heal over time and begin to produce the right amount of brain chemicals, but this can take many years. In the meantime, how long can you go feeling depressed? How long can you go with never feeling any pleasure in life? For most people, not that long. They end up relapsing just to feel normal and good. These supplement boosters are the smartest way that you can avoid relapse and get your brain feeling normal and good again.