Healing and Recovery
Pain Management without Opiates
In the case of someone who started out using prescription painkillers because of an accident or illness, some pain relief might be necessary after they detox from opiates. It can be intimidating thinking of not having the pills anymore for relief, and no doctor wants to deny their patient of pain relief. Thankfully, there are effective ways to manage pain without opiates, and it is important that the individual’s doctor is aware of their challenges and addiction and is willing to work with them to find something that is effective.
There are pain relievers from other families of medications that might work in many cases. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are two over-the-counter options that can provide some relief. Other methods for pain management, including acupuncture, physical therapy, and massage can help relieve some types of pain. If absolutely necessary, and if the person has been sober for an appropriate amount of time, a doctor might prescribe certain opiates for the person, but they will always have to be monitored closely and only use the minimum effective dose or else they risk relapsing.
Follow Your Recovery Plan
The best way to ensure success in recovery is for the individual to follow the recovery plan they and their treatment staff have created. It is when the person starts missing therapy sessions or tries to get back to real life too quickly or do something else that goes against their treatment plan that problems arise. A recovery plan will vary from individual to individual, but most people need to go through inpatient rehab, followed by outpatient rehab, and then finally, sober living care or an aftercare program.
Once formal rehab is complete, there should still be a plan in place for the person to stay connected to the recovery community. A therapist might recommend that the person goes to therapy sessions twice a week and support group meetings once a week, or that they and their spouse go to couple’s counseling every week. They might need to check in with treatment staff to ensure they are staying sober and looking for a job or going to school. Everything about the person’s life at this point should still center on remaining sober and learning how to live without substances. Following the predetermined plan is the best way to stay sober.
In order for real change to occur in the recovering addict’s life, they must work on healing all aspects of their being. An approach that focuses on spiritual healing, as well as physical and emotional support, will provide the person with answers and hope. Addiction has a way of disconnecting us from God, and when the person pulls away from God, they lose hope and focus, and they become filled with despair and depression. But a treatment program that reminds the individual of the forgiveness God has for us through Jesus helps restore faith and also provides further motivation to stay sober.
Spiritual healing can occur in several different ways, but it takes hearing the word of God for change to happen. Bible study, meditation, worship, prayer, and fellowship with other believers are all ways God brings us closer to Him and heals us spiritually. Once the recovering addict hears and believes their Savior’s love and forgiveness, they will be motivated to live a renewed life that is pleasing to Him.
Physical and Emotional Healing
Physical and emotional healing is also important for those in recovery. The body, first of all, needs to be cleansed from the toxic substances the user has been feeding it. Once detox is finished, the individual should continue working on improving his or her health through healthy eating, regular exercise, and plenty of sleep. In the same way, emotional healing occurs during and after treatment through therapy and counseling sessions, and by following cognitive techniques taught in rehab.
Recovery is a long process, and in some cases, the individual needs to continue to work on their sobriety months or years after treatment. As long as cravings and triggers continue to be a problem, the person in recovery should make use of ongoing support. Support group sessions, where the person can meet and interact with others going through the same experiences, are beneficial to the newly sober individual. Alumni groups, where former participants of a program communicate and get together to encourage each other in their sobriety are another source of ongoing support. Finally, the individual should be willing to seek help from treatment staff if necessary if they feel unable to continue following their treatment plan, or if relapse occurs.