Giving up opiates can be tough both physically and mentally. This is why most attempts to do it end in failure, although many of the people trying to quit do eventually find their way into sobriety. If you want to give yourself the best chance for breaking free of prescription opiate addiction, you need to have a strategy. Below are just some of the things you may want to consider.
You probably know a few individuals who have gone cold turkey and quit, and you may even have done this yourself at some stage in the past, but this is not the way forward for quitting prescription opiate addiction. The problem is that you are more likely to give into cravings when you go it alone. A supervised detox means you can be kept comfortable, greatly boosting the likelihood that you are going to be able to make it beyond the early recovery stage.
One of the worst things you can do is preparing for a relapse while you are trying to quit. You need to get rid of your supply and to stop spending time with those who continue to abuse these substances. If you burn your bridges back to opiate addiction, it means you will be better motivated to push forward toward a much better way of living. Letting go of the option of relapse will mean that this process will be a whole lot easier for you.
If you join a 12-step group, you will be advised to take sobriety ‘one day at a time’. This is very wise advice that will make things easier for you, but it does not mean that you should continue to leave the door open for relapse. It matters not how long you stay free of addiction; it only takes one more pill to get you back to where you were. Completely give up on the idea of abusing these substances in the future, as you will then have a much better chance of becoming free.
The reason you fell into prescription drug addiction was that you stopped being honest with yourself. This is not something you deliberately set out to do, but it is just part of the process of addiction. This type of substance abuse leads to denial, meaning you have to believe in all sorts of illogical stuff to justify the behaviour. If you are serious about recovery, you need to commit to a far more honest way of living. This means being more objective about your thoughts and always being alert for the signs of denial.
Millions of people fall into the trap of addiction because it is such an easy trap to fall into. You did not become addicted to prescription opiates because you are a bad person or because you lack intelligence – it is something that could happen to anyone given the right conditions. It is good that you want to make amends for any past wrongdoings, but the most important thing you have to do is stay free of drugs and live a better life. Feeling ashamed does not help anyone else, and certainly not you; in fact, it is often just the denial trying to give you a justification for relapse.
The individuals who succeed in rehab programmes are those who have become willing to do whatever it takes. These individuals no longer see addiction as an option and they become fully committed to changing their life. If you enter recovery with a list of things you are not prepared to consider, this list is probably the reason why you will fail. This is not to say that you have to become a robot just doing whatever others tell you to do. What it does mean is that you only dismiss an option because you are convinced it is not going to work – not because it sounds hard or does not fit in with your current worldview.