An Internet search for life after opiate addiction provides an expansive choice of articles about the addiction and withdrawal symptoms. Other articles extol the benefits of professional treatment. Of course, this is valuable information to gain. However, few articles explore the daily struggles or successes a recovering addict experiences after rehab. It’s possible we could learn a great deal about recovery by talking to someone who has recently been through treatment and is now living a sober life.
Recovering From Opiate Addiction
The most delicate stage of recovery is the detox stage. During this time, the user goes through a series of withdrawal symptoms that tests their courage and tempts them to relapse. After successfully completing detox, the next five days are a range of emotions from anxiety to depression. In addition to these challenging stages, a recovering addict will also experience:
- despair, hopelessness
- trouble concentrating
When these symptoms appear, many addicts relapse due to the need to feel normal again. They mistakenly believe the drug will solve all these problems.
Being Sober is Supposed to Be Better, Isn’t It?
When an opiate addict enters rehab, he or she hopes to emerge from treatment as a sober, happy, healthy person. Sooner or later, problems arise when daily stress and responsibilities must be confronted without any assistance from the drug of choice. Although rehab classes provided an abundance of training and preparation, reality always seems harder. At this stage of life after opiate addiction, the individual discovers that they have little or no patience. Everything must be resolved or granted immediately. Furthermore, they are unable to make plans. Also, he or she feels no motivation to accomplish anything. This period in the recovery process is likely to end in relapse.
Being sober means being somewhat normal. Unfortunately, many addicts view normal life as boring and stupid. To put it another way, they enjoyed the adrenaline high of being outside the law and not getting caught. Best of all, buying and selling drugs didn’t require them to punch a time clock. For these reasons, a recovering addict often experiences difficulty adjusting to a routine or has trouble interacting with others. At this stage, the person begins to wonder if being sober is as wonderful as everyone said.
Learning to Let Go of Narcissistic Behavior
One common trait most addicts share is their ability to make everything all about them. They complain that nobody understands. Nobody cares. Nobody listens. This selfish behavior is known as narcissism, and an addict is skilled in this behavior pattern.
Unfortunately, some addicts develop a grandiose sense of self and display it by bragging about having quit opiates. Moreover, they feel superior to others because they accomplished the difficult feat of overcoming an addiction. Although this may be true, the air of superiority could become a problem among friends and family. Eventually, everyone will avoid the person.
Recovering addicts must face a range of daily obstacles in their quest to remain sober. However, it is important that they avoid alienating the very people they depend on for support. It is important to note that loneliness is one of the triggers that sends an addict in search of their drug of choice.
Is There Help After Rehab?
Most rehabilitation programs offer what is known as an aftercare program. This type of program is designed to provide ongoing support and guidance as the former addict adjusts to sobriety. Also, other services are available to help the individual gain employment, find housing, or obtain transportation.
Life after opiate addiction can seem like an uphill, never-ending battle. However, thousands of people have reached their goal and are now living sober, productive lives. All in all, life as a recovered addict is worth the effort. If you are ready to begin treatment for opiate addiction, call us today. We can help you choose the best program for your needs.