Heroin addiction, just like any other form of addiction, is a chronic disease, which means that the likelihood that a recovering addict will become dependent on drugs again even after successful heroin addiction treatment is high. In fact, studies have shown that the rate of relapse for people who are suffering from substance abuse disorder is the same as the relapse rate of other medical conditions that are considered chronic by nature such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and many others.
Considering the chronic nature of addiction, heroin rehab centers do not only focus on carrying out their heroin addiction treatment program but in assisting their clients on how to avoid the possibility of relapse in the future. It is important for recovering addicts to understand that they cannot fully escape from the dangerous web of addiction. An addiction is not magically gone forever just because they have undergone intensive drug addiction treatment.
Recovering addicts who want to maintain long-term sobriety may want to consider the following tips to avoid relapse:
- Understand and know the different factors that trigger relapse to better avoid them.
Extreme stress is the leading cause of relapse because it drugs provide temporary relief from the pressures of daily life. Other factors that may contribute to relapse also include people or places that are linked with the addictive behavior. A recovering addict should avoid being too stressed out by learning relaxation techniques and starting an enjoyable hobby. He should also avoid his former friends who influenced him greatly in abusing drugs as well as the places he used to hang out in.
- Change your life.
As mentioned earlier, a recovering addict cannot continue living life the same way as before if he wants to maintain long-term sobriety. Whether he likes it or not, he needs to completely overhaul his life – build new friendships, find new hobbies and ways to entertain and amuse self, spend more time with family, and live a healthier lifestyle.
- Follow a set schedule.
Recovering addicts need to establish a daily routine so that his day will be occupied with not much idle time which may lead to drug craving.
- Practice holistic methods to avoid psychological distress.
Recovering addicts should continue the various holistic approaches he learned inside the rehab center such as yoga, garden therapy, exercise, mediation, and many others to lower his stress levels and keep himself relaxed. If he is relaxed and calm, he is less likely to be lured by the temptation of false “high” offered by using drugs.
- Stay physically active.
Exercise and other physical activities that require sustained physical movements like dancing and biking can help the brain release endorphins, which are chemicals that make the person happy. Keeping an active lifestyle will also help the recovering addict manage stress and improve his overall health and well-being that have been negatively affected by his drug addiction. Activities that promote physical fitness can help the recovering addict regain his sense of balance.
- Stay in touch and actively participate in relapse prevention programs provided by rehab centers.
Ranch Creek’s drug addiction rehab facilities have programs to assist their former patients in maintaining long-term sobriety. Recovering addicts should actively participate in such programs to stay grounded and connected with the team that helped in their recovery journey.
While preventing relapse is difficult, it is not impossible. Many individuals who suffered from substance abuse disorder were able to maintain long-term sobriety with the right attitude and living out the essence of the tips mentioned above. If you are currently battling heroin addiction and you desire long-term sobriety, know that help is always available and positive change is always possible. Call Ranch Creek today.