By: JC Recovery
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A Life worth Living without Opiates
Those who abuse prescription painkillers don’t usually choose to become addicted. This happens over days and weeks of misuse, as the person’s body becomes dependent on the pills and the person gradually loses control. Recovering from a prescription painkiller addiction can take weeks or months, and it requires dedication and endurance as the person goes through detox and therapy. Some may wonder, is it all worth it? Is sobriety worth all the pain, struggle, and time? The answer is yes, and anyone who doubts if their life will really be better without opiate addiction should take a step back and consider the life they’ve been living with opiates and compare that to a renewed life without them.
Living with Opiate Addiction Means Living in Uncertainty and Shame
A life with prescription painkiller addiction is full of uncertainty, shame, and conflict, and the cost can be immense. The addict is constantly embarrassed about their addiction, they feel shame, and they regret their past decisions and actions. Many feel forced to lie and fake symptoms to friends, family, and doctors in order to get their hands on more medication. They feel they have disappointed loved ones. Some even turn to illegal activity like stealing or forging prescriptions or buying pills on the black market. The uncertainty of whether they will get caught or not is taxing to the person’s psyche and many opiate addicts live in a state of anxiety about not having enough drugs or getting caught in their lies.
Living with Opiate Addiction is Costly
Opiate addiction is costly, especially when we consider all the different areas of the person’s life. It costs money to support this habit because prescription opiates are not cheap. Lost wages in the form of sick days from work or even unemployment add to the financial burden of prescription opiate abuse. The person’s health is also impacted by addiction, and the toll prescription painkillers take on the body should not be underestimated. Costs for healthcare add strain to an already stressful situation.
Finally, there is the emotional and spiritual cost of opiate addiction. The relationships that are strained cause stress and conflict and lead to unhappiness and depression. The person’s spiritual health will suffer, as they distance themselves from God and their only source of true hope.
Recovery Means Healing and New Life
Recovering from opiate addiction puts a stop to all of these negative consequences, and allows the person to live a renewed life. A life without opiate addiction is a life worth living because with a little help and some hard work, the person can find meaning, happiness, and hope. Once a person gets help for opiate addiction, they will find that the anxiety, discord, and shame slowly resolve. Broken relationships can be repaired. Money can be spent more wisely, on things you want rather than feeling forced to support the addiction. Health will improve. Recovery from opiate addiction means the person is once again in control of their life and can spend time doing things they enjoy or are interesting to them. They can meet new people, take up a new hobby, or spend quality time with loved ones.
Getting through the Difficult Times
Of course, just because a person commits to stopping their opiate addiction does not mean their life will instantly change for the better. There will still be struggles and there will still be difficult days ahead. One of the biggest challenges someone in recovery faces is dealing with triggers and temptations to use. Even with successful detox and treatment stages of recovery, when the person returns home, all the old emotions, memories, and triggers rush back in. This is the time that the person needs to remember what they learned in rehab, how to deal with triggers, how to relax, how to process all the emotions they are feeling. A good treatment facility will teach the recovering addict how to return home successfully and what to do when they face cravings so they can get past these temptations and get on with life.
Another challenge recovering addicts face is repairing broken relationships. Addiction takes a toll on loved ones as well as the addict. Family and friends feel used, deceived, and betrayed, and have endured long and anxious days hoping and praying the addict would remain safe and would turn their life around. Loved ones also feel angry and resentful because of what they’ve been put through. All these emotions and past experiences need to be addressed before the recovering opiate addict can have meaningful relationships with loved ones again. This is all part of the struggle with recovery, but as time goes on and families work with counselors and spiritual leaders, relationships can be rebuilt.
Finally, the recovering addict and their loved ones must be aware of the danger and consequences of relapse. Relapse does happen to some people in recovery and it is a difficult event to deal with, but it is certainly not the end of the world. Relapse can best be prevented by long-term care and continued connection with the recovering community. If relapse does happen, the person needs to get back up and into rehab again where they will relearn ways to stay sober and be encouraged to incorporate even more relapse prevention techniques.
Opiate addiction is a life-controlling disease. To finally be free from addiction is the best feeling for those who have achieved it. It takes hard work and dedication, but a renewed life without addiction is a life worth living.