4 Steps To Addiction Recovery

Do you have loved one or friend who you suspect is abusing Heroin or Pain Pills  (Opiates or Opioids?  Do you know what to do?  Or, are you struggling with opiate addiction recovery yourself?  Either way, we provide you with the proper steps.  It is normal to not know what to do, who to call, where to go, or when to go.  We found ourselves in this exact same position.

I had been through withdrawal many many, times and I was sick and tired of being dependent and addicted to Fentanyl.  My troubles with physical chronic pain had developed an extra layer of complex and ruthless addiction on top of it.  My wife and I now had to peel back this addiction problem before we could yet again, focus on how to deal with remedies for my chronic pain.

I finally admitted that I had a problem and I was in big trouble with this addiction.  But, we didnt know what to do or where to go.  It is not posted on a billboard anywhere.  After all, addiction (especially heroin/opiate) is frowned upon and not a topic of normal conversation (elephant in the room).

Where would we begin?  My wife started looking on line for various rehab places.  There are numerous in every city and town.  I was not in a position to help vet the perfect rehabilitation center.  I was hurting in massive withdrawal having just ran out of my heavy strength Fentanyl prescription (for like the 10th time).  I just wanted the withdrawal feelings to go away. I wanted to be well on my way to Addiction Recovery.

We settled on CenterPointe Hospital in Saint Louis, Missouri.  My wife called and got an appointment for check-in that next day which was a Monday morning.  After barely making it through the night I was driven to my first rehab stint.

I knew I needed it, however I did not know what to expect.  I was afraid they would lock me up in a room and tie me to a bed in a psych ward.  Nothing like that happened.  This hospital turned out to be my redemption and path back to normalcy (drug-free).

Steps to addiction recovery








Do You Know Where To Start With Addiction Recovery?

STEP  1:

  • Locate a drug rehab center nearby:  Contact them and discuss your situation.  They handle this kind of thing every single day…so they will walk  you through the process and answer any questions/concerns.  
  • Whether its  YOU or a loved-one,…make the call and get set up to go into rehab.  If you are in serious trouble, very bad off mentally of physically you can opt for an over-night stay.  Otherwise, it will be out-patient.
  • Insurance: Ask the rehab center if they accept insurance and get all that squared away.  Many insurance plans do cover addiction rehabilitation services.  If you are without insurance, you will need to research and find a center that takes patients without insurance.  There will be costs involved, however this type of center is set up to make rehab feasible for people without insurance coverage (reasonably priced and payment plans).  *Note:  Without insurance, not all treatments may be available nor medicines like Suboxone/Vivitrol.  But, methadone is an alternative and low cost.  Either of these will help you with addiction recovery success.

STEP  2:

  • Scour your house and gather all forms of drugs or triggers.  Flush them all down the toilet.  You dont want to come home from rehab only to be tempted by that pill case with oxycontin in it.  Also, remove any weapons or guns from your house. Give them to a parent or neighbor for safe keeping.  Do not be offended by this, because it is normal protocol and the rehab center will ask you to do the same. Its for your own safety while you go through one of the most difficult times in your life.
  • Delete any drug dealer names and numbers from  your phone!  For obvious reasons, you do not want to receive a call from  your dealer tempting you to relapse.  Similarly, if you are dealing with prescription pain meds abuse, contact your doctor’s office and make them aware of the situation.  The doctor needs to know what is going on, so that you are not tempted to accept a normal refill of your opiate pain meds that have since dragged you down into a bottom-less hole.
  • Go into your rehab class with an open mind.  If you are in severe withdrawal (and many people will be who are getting checked into your class), let the leaders know this.  They will be very helpful and make sure they expedite doctor treatment such as withdrawal medications like suboxone or vivitrol.  They can also begin monitoring your blood pressure and make recommendations on diet and various other treatments.  It is best if you communicate with them.  They may be taking away your drugs, but they do care.  They would not be in this field as addiction counselors if they didnt care a lot.  Many counselors were once addicts or alcoholics themselves…so they know where you are coming from.  They can help you be victorious with your addiction recovery.

STEP 3:  

Complete rehab with all the steps and get checked out.  This is when your fight really begins.  Sure, the withdrawals were tough.  But, refusing on-going cravings, feeling depressed & despair, and being bored are just the beginning of a long, hard climb back to normalcy.  

You have to give yourself time and be smart about it.  Be patient.  You just conquered something that usually kills people.  You are alive for a reason so stay strong.  I once heard another addict in rehab say:  “Idle time is the devil’s workshop”.  

The point this man was making is that we all need to keep busy.  Look for opportunities to get involved in.  Check out our opportunities page to learn more.

Dont just leave rehab without any plan. This is where rehab centers lack.  They detox you, counsel you and then you are left to fend for yourself.  NO offense to them, because their work is honorable, but more must be done past the rehab detox stage.  

Recovery is the most important aspect in the ‘getting clean’ process.   You cannot just detox in rehab and go home and continue a sober life.  This is not realistic.  Statistics prove to us, that this is not practical—–> 90% of all heroin addicts relapse during the first week.  That is basically NO ONE succeeding with their addiction recovery.   addiction recovery

This Step 3 involves you becoming a strong fighter.  You have to fight the urge to use drugs again and stem the cravings.  You must do everything you can to avoid relapse.  Over time your body & mind will heal itself.  

Depending on how long  you have used opiates will depend on how long it takes for your brain to balance out the good chemicals like dopamine & serotonin.  With the help of our Doctor, we were advised to take The Braverman Test.  This test you can take on this site right here.  It is basically a list of specialized questions used to determine which of the 4 brain chemicals you are depleted of from opiate usage.  

Its really fascinating.  I was skeptical at first, but then after taking certain supplements for months consistently, I was truely feeling better.  I was less depressed, had little feelings of despair and began to feel the normal pleasures of life.  This was the supplements working in my brain to help release a balance of good chemicals.  

We have a supplement list on this site RIGHT HERE to help you with this. We cannot encourage you enough to take the bull by the horns and tackle this addiction problem once and for all.

STEP 4: 

At this point, you have detoxed and conquered rehabilitation.  You were released and sent home with your own plan to fight for your life against a relapse.  You then have to take action and do The Braverman Test to find out which brain chemicals you are depleted of.  Usually this is dopamine and serotonin.

 I basically had NO dopamine when I first tested. This was the reason I felt despair 24 hours a day.  I felt no pleasure.  I could have won the lottery and it would have felt ‘blahhhh’ to me.  This is not your fault.  You are not clinically depressed.  You simply had the opiates providing your dopamine and serotonin for you instead of your brain releasing it naturally.  

This happens with all addicts and alcoholics.  The good news is that this is not permanent damage to  your brain  (unlike alcohol which does destroys your synapses).  You can take the above supplements and jump-start your brain to naturally start producing and releasing a balanced mix of good chemicals (dopamine & serotonin).  

These supplements will speed up the healing process in your brain and eventually begin to replace the affects that the opiates had on your body & mind.

The 90% of addicts who relapsed in the first week had no clue about their brain chemicals and how they were depleted while using.  Unfortunately, rehab does not normally educate people about this.  They are more focused on the detox step and getting you through withdrawal.  

I was informed about all this when I decided that I was NOT going to be a victim of relapse.  I went to a good alternative medicine Doctor, told him my story and he directed me to The Braverman Test and all that is associated with it.  My Doctor ‘nursed’ me back to good health.  You might want to do the same….seek the help of a good doctor or addiction specialist.  Steps to addiction recovery

Lastly, you need to have FAITH  during this long lasting Step 4.  Look, you do not need to be Mr. Religion or go to church twice a week or cite some kind of religious traditions…to have Faith.

But, you really do need to make a conscience effort to lay your cares down to God.  Start from scratch.  Begin with simple prayers every day such as this:  “God, I put my faith in You, that You will help give me the strength to fight this addiction”.  

Thats it!  Its not difficult or time consuming.  All you have to do is pray sincerely and have Faith.  God WILL help you, but you have to ask.  You stand a much better chance at defeating addiction and avoiding relapse if you put GOD in the mix.  

I speak from experience.  It was God’s help that saved my life.  When I was rock-bottom with nothing left, beaten and battered from years of chronic pain, surgeries, opiate abuse and withdrawals…I pleaded with God to help me.  

All the energy that I had was barely enough to speak outloud:  “God, please help me,..this is all the faith I have left”.  And, He did.  He pulled me up along with my precious wife and family.  Its not that I turned on God or didnt believe in his existence.  It wasn’t even that I was lacking Faith.  I was just totally discouraged, beat down and exhausted.  

I felt hopeless that my chronic pain would never get fixed.  I was tired of having surgery after surgery and PT session after PT session (We counted over a 6 year period, I attended over 400 physical therapy sessions…now you know why I was sick and tired of it all.  Mostly the pain.)  

If you only grasp one thought from this Post, choose to have Faith in God.  You have nothing to lose and all to gain.  God made you and created all that exists on earth.  He certainly has the power to come to your rescue.  But, you must do your part and ask for help and seek Him first.  I would be happy to Pray for you if you send me your name.

Start your rehabilitation with drive & determination to succeed with your Addiction Recovery.

Steps to Addiction Recovery 





Matt & His Wife Sking Post-Rehab.   There is life during Recovery!


Steps to Addiction Recovery

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  1. I have gone through addiction recovery for meth. It sounds like it was not as bad as opiates, but it still was hard. Thanks for your great information and posts as it applies to many different addictions. Addiction Recovery is not just about drugs. there are other addictive habits that people need to recover from.

  2. Addiction Recovery is not an easy task. Many people fail. Actually 9 out of every 10 people who enter drug rehab end up relapsing during the first week. Those numbers must be decreased with better detox and recovery methods. More must be done to fight and improve addiction recovery.

  3. So proud of you Matt! As your wife through all of this I’ll be the first to say it’s NOT easy!! I hope you touch at least one person out there with this website to let them know that hope is out there and they CAN get out of addiction and back to a happy healthy life! I love you so much, probably more now than ever before. I don’t see a recovering addict, I see a strong man that pulled himself out of hell and is now a better man for it! Proud of you! Every day we all have choices to make and you are making the right ones a day at a time! Love, Kim

    1. Thank you of course. I could not have done it without you. Family support is key to successful recovery. Period.

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