Navigating how to address opioid addiction can be challenging and confusing, and it’s tough to know where to begin. The steps outlined here can provide you with small, manageable actions you can take to address your addiction, seek out treatment and sobriety and remain sober.
1. Recognize that you are struggling with an addiction
The very first step in recovery is facing the fact that you have an addiction. It can be easy to brush off signs of addiction, by denying that there is a problem, downplaying the severity of your addiction or convincing yourself that you could stop drinking or using drugs whenever you wanted to. You will be ready to fully embrace and commit yourself to addiction treatment once you are ready to admit to yourself and others that you are struggling with an addiction.
2. Stay away from triggers and temptations
Think about the places, people and things that may trigger you to use again; make a concerted effort to avoid them. If you often find yourself at a particular bar down the street until the late hours of the night, try to change your route so you don’t have to pass by it anymore. Try to refrain from even stopping in to say hello to old friends; remove as many temptations as possible that might pressure you to use again.
Similarly, examine your friendships and relationships. Do you have friends or family members with whom you use substances when you are together? Do you have your “regular” friends and family, and then those with whom you use with but don’t otherwise spend time together?
Spending time with others who are struggling with addiction can enable and tempt you to continue using, especially if it was something you used to do together. If you think maintaining these relationships will ultimately be detrimental to your recovery, it is okay and healthy to remove yourself from these situations.
3. Find a hobby that brings you joy
Hobbies are a great way to keep your hands and your mind occupied while doing something fun and learning new skills as you work through recovery. Your options are endless, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Playing an instrument
- Listening to music
- Building do-it-yourself electronics projects
- Creative writing
- Volunteering at an animal shelter or food bank
- Playing sports like soccer, basketball, softball or ultimate frisbee
- Reading, and even participating in a book club
- Trying local restaurants
- Practicing yoga
- Computer programming
- Learning a new language
4. Research how to stop opioid addiction in a safe and compassionate way
Although it may seem counterintuitive, quitting opioids cold turkey is not the safest way to begin recovery. Addictions are physical dependencies as much as they are disorders of the brain. When the body becomes addicted to substances like opioids that affect the central nervous system and neurotransmitter activity in the brain, it requires a certain amount of those substances in order to function “properly.” If the body suddenly stops receiving an intake of opioids, for example, after a long period of addiction, uncomfortable and potentially dangerous withdrawal syndromes can begin within hours. Before you make any decisions regarding reducing or quitting your substance use, speak with a physician or addiction specialist who can help you detox in a safe way.
5. Remember that you are worthy and deserving of an addiction-free life
You may have made mistakes in your past. You may be feeling guilt over your addiction. You may not believe that you are capable of completely conquering your addiction. None of this precludes you from being worthy of a healthy, abundant and sober life. Recovery affords you opportunities for making amends with yourself and with your loved ones, learning from your mistakes and learning to love yourself in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.
Pyramid Healthcare is committed to empowering you through recovery and providing the tools you need to achieve sobriety. Reach out today at 888-694-9996 for professional help in addressing and treating your addiction.
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