The first step to a successful healing process for any drug user is of course detoxification and treatment. For any person who is going through an ongoing addiction recovery from heroin, withdrawal can be more than just very uncomfortable, and can sometimes seem like there is no end to the pain that you endure every waking hour. Heroin is perhaps one of the most well known opioid drugs out there in the world. It has a number of effects on the brain, as well as the entire body which replicate naturally occurring substances. An opiate such as heroin activates all the receptors in the brain and functions as a neurotransmitter. The neurotransmitter works as a source to broadcast signals to your neurons and cells.
As you are well aware, endorphins usually release when you are going through physical exertion like exercise or high levels of stress. These endorphins block the pain that you feel by preventing neurons from receiving the high levels of pain signals in the body. For heroin, the release is 2 or almost 10 times more the amount of dopamine that our bodies will naturally produce, which can eventually lead to addiction.
Now, you may be wondering, how long does it take for the effects of heroin to be withdrawn from the system completely? When a person becomes addicted to this drug, the brain and the body will start to develop a tolerance for it, so in order for you to reach the same high, you have to use more doses of it to achieve the same effect of euphoria and intensity.
So, when you finally decide to get rid of it completely, you can enter a heroin withdrawal timeline phase, which has its own side effects and symptoms like loss of appetite, chills, profuse sweating, nausea, irritability, vomiting and a whole lot more. The initial time line it takes to withdraw completely varies in time and intensity. Most addicts would see symptoms of withdrawal within 6 to 12 hours of their last intake, peaking from at least 1 to 3 days, then will gradually die down over 5 to 7 days.
These symptoms can be very uncomfortable, sometimes unbearable, but after 90 days these will die down and the recovering addict will eventually dive into deeper recovery and will also gain physical and emotional strength.Learn More
There are ways of knowing when a loved one is into heroin. There are signs. Even the user himself may ask for the help he needs because he is deeply entrenched in a cycle of heroin addiction taking his life away, one step at a time. Heroin is a very powerful drug and it is easy for people to get addicted to. It is a very difficult drug to pull out from, so getting your loved one the help he/she needs right away is critical.
Signs of Heroin Use
Dirty Spoons-if you see them lying around along with other paraphernalia, you may suspect heroin use.
Syringe- this is used to inject the heroin through the skin and seeing them lying around is another sign of heroin use.
Plastic rope/ balloons- used to tighten the skin to make the vein swell for better shooting purposes
Small pupils- the person using heroin will have small pupils and his eyes may seem droopy and tired.
Itchiness- marks of itchiness are apparent on his skin. This is a side effect of heroin use.
Change in Self- Heroin users may forget their daily hygienic rituals and are therefore unkempt. Their behavior will be different, and it’s not uncommon for them to withdraw socially or act unlike their normal selves.
Tracks-signs of use may be apparent on the skin. Arms may show injection marks. If there are no more areas for injecting in the arms some may be seen in feet, toes, in between toes.
What to do
Speaking to your loved one in a way that will make them feel unjudged about their substance abuse is the key. Sometimes, an intervention may be necessary and there are professionals who can help you through that. Getting them to go into a good rehabilitation program is going to change their lives for the better. After rehabilitation, there is an alternative care system that allows the patient to blend back into the mainstream world and to prevent him from relapse.Learn More
Going home after rehabilitation is a grueling experience. We often have to separate ourselves from the people we associated with before seeking treatment for substance abuse, so finding supportive people to be around, a sober companion, is extremely important for maintaining a clear mind and staying on track with sobriety.
People addicted to drugs, emotional dependency, alcohol and such find a sober companion particularly helpful in going through the daily rounds of the day. The sober companion is there to help those trying to stay clean to stay sober because, perhaps, they themselves have been through what the patient is going through.
The Benefits of a Sober Companion
Motivation– Imagine a life coach who will boost you back to life. Your sober companion will guide you through achieving your goals and keep you on the right sober path. Recovery past the rehabilitation center will be practiced each day. Little by little you enter the world you once knew or perhaps a new one with new perspectives. The sober companion will take you through situations where not everything may be alright but he/she will leave you independent and free.
Non-biased– Perhaps going back to the outside world will not be as smooth as expected because people can be biased in their attitude towards those in recovery. Therefore, a sober companion can help to be there for the patient in an unbiased position. This can be a big relief for someone who is new to sober life. Having a companion can help the patient gradually enter the world as it is but with an optimism which can be most difficult considering not everything may work the way that is expected.
Stay Sober– For a patient with multiple relapses, staying sober may be a problem. A sober companion may be the element that was missing. The sober companion may show the patient some new coping skills which may be different from the past times the patient tried to stay sober after rehabilitation.
And so the patient is taught how to go through daily life with care and love for oneself. The sober companion will teach the patient how to keep clean, socialize again, participate in positive activities and such. In choosing a sober companion it is vital to look for a good one because it is a highly personal matter of choice.Learn More
Stress is a major cause of relapse. If an addict wants to fully recovery, they should make sure they manage their stress levels. So how can an addict manage stress in order to ensure they have an effective addiction recovery process?
Making healthy lifestyle choices
Their lifestyle is the first thing they should change. EES (exercise, eat and sleep) process is the most effective in this case. An addict will need to ensure they do some form of daily exercise, eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep. When you take care of the body physically, you will be better equipped to handle stress because you will feel better emotionally. Taking a brisk walk every day, avoiding junk foods and getting enough sleep (at least 8 hours) should suffice.
Stress management techniques
An addict should endeavor to learn and practice stress management techniques. People who are undergoing recovery from any addiction should strive to live a stress free life. Some of the techniques they should try to engage in include:
- Practicing forgiveness
- Engaging in hobbies
- Socializing with family and friends
- Expressing feelings
- Time management
- Deep breathing exercises
- Positive affirmations
Avoid stressors as much as possible
As a human being, an addict is bound to have stress at one point or another. Being a natural part of being alive, it has its merits and demerits. Scientist have found that good stress is crucial as it ensures you are motivated to get things done. This being the case, you will need to ensure you reduce negative stress. This applies to everyone including addicts.
If you are recovering from addiction, you should start a stress journal. It should list all the things that stress you in your daily life. Highlight the ones that cause you the highest amount of stress and learn how to recognize the events and choices that cause them- find out how you can minimize these kinds of stressors. For example, if your partner is the cause of your stress, talk to them and tell them how you feel. Talking to them may help them adjust their ways which in turn reduces your stress. Stress management is a very integral part of addiction recovery and should be taken seriously.Learn More
The whole purpose of an intervention is to help an individual with a problem – usually a substance abuse problem. Interventions are usually planned in order to ensure the person targeted can be helped with a specific problem in an organized and compassionate way. Planning an intervention for someone with an addiction can be done by using some effective tips.
Timing an Intervention
The timing of an intervention is critical. An intervention has a much better chance of success when the addict is approached while sober. Talking to a person who is high may not achieve the desired results. They are likely to be defensive and unreasonable when they are high. Look at their patterns of substance abuse -they may be able to give you an idea of when they are most likely to be sober. This is the time and date you should schedule the intervention. If the timing is off, you may end up doing more harm than good.
Choosing a Location
You should not hold an intervention just anywhere you think might work. You need to find a location that will be conducive to what you are doing. For example, you should avoid places with alcohol such as bars and pubs. Additionally, you should find a place that is peaceful and quiet, a place where your loved one is comfortable and won’t feel trapped. This is going to be a time when you and the people involved will need to talk for some time. A location that is private and intimate is best.
Who Should Participate
When gathering the intervention group, the best thing to do is to contact the addict’s closest family members and friends. These are people he/she is more likely to be comfortable with when talking about his problems. Don’t invite anyone who might stir up feelings of anger or judgment- your loved one should be able to be open and honest among this group. The best people to be involved in an intervention are the people the addict trusts the most. These may be siblings, close school mates or work colleagues. These are crucial factors to consider when you are planning an intervention.
If your loved one is struggling with addiction, don’t wait to get the help. Recovery Care Partner provides professional intervention guidance so that your loved one can break free from the chains of addiction. Contact us today.Learn More
If you are reading this and have completed the Recovery program, then on behalf of everyone at Recovery Care Partner, congratulations!! You have climbed a huge mountain and revolutionized your life. You must have learned quite a lot during your recovery. However, it is important to remember that both temptation and struggles can still arise post-treatment. It is also important that you remember that none of those struggles own you anymore, and you can stay strong above them. Here are a few sober coaching tips for you to stay clean once recovery is finished and you are back out in the world.
This may at first seem insignificant, but eating healthy actually does do a lot for how one stays on track with recovery. You may have discovered this while in treatment through sober coaching education. Regardless, healthy eating is valuable both during and post-treatment. A balanced diet and regular exercise not only helps stabilize your body, but it also helps rebuild it after the destruction of the addiction.
Hobbies or passions
Addiction is often used as a false substitute for a fulfilling life. Now that you have your life back, it is time to take advantage of your second chance and really enjoy it. Practice some constructive activities. Anything from sports to art can be a wonderful new way of keeping your mind and body focused. Who knows, you might even find something that becomes a real passion.
Avoid Addiction-inducing situations
Although your new life is here, you might still see reminders of your old life in passing. Old friends, habits, or locations related to addictive behavior can still pop up in your day as you readjust. The important thing to do is to first recognize these habits, and then from there develop new habits that replace the old ones. You have to avoid the conditions that bring on the addictive behavior, and the best way to do that is to form new habits and relationships.
Check in Regularly
One of the great things about Recovery Care Partner is that we are not just a treatment facility or a sober coaching service. We are a family. Once you leave treatment, it is perfectly fine (even recommended) to give us a call and update us on how you are doing. We can help you make sense of any thoughts or concerns post recovery.
Our goal at Recovery Care Partner is to help those with a substance abuse disorder recover and grow back into a positive, drug-free life. We incorporate several techniques in order to do that, one of which is our random drug screenings. A random screening is exactly what it sounds like. It is a surprise evaluation meant to check if you are staying drug free. It is an efficient tool for making sure one is staying on track.
Although a random screening may be encouraging to some, it might also be frightening to others. In certain cases, some are deathly afraid of drug screenings. Not because they have been regularly taking the substance, but because of possible malfunctions ruining their chance of recovery. Others just get anxiety from taking any kind of test, regardless if they’ve been relapsing or not. There are two main things that Recovery Care Partner would like to clear up.
First, we take accuracy very seriously in securing test results. There is an occasional chance that a test could mistake prescription medication as the wrong substance, but that is only one portion of the overall evaluation. The final determination is ultimately done by a wise evaluation, not a computer. This evaluator takes in all of the accounts that go into your screening process.
Secondly, at Recovery Care Partner, our main values are focused on you, not your track record. We are here as coaches for your ultimate recovery. If you have any anxieties about the testing process, we are here to listen and make it as comfortable as you need. If you were to fail, we will never abandon you. There will be struggles and we are here to coach you through such problems. Random screenings are only disciplines meant to help keep you on track. Our main way of helping you recover is through proper sober coaching and a friendly treatment program. We are all imperfect and capable of screwing up. It is through friendship that we coach you to see the strength in yourself.
For further information on our random screening process, be sure to contact Recovery Care Partner here.
The road to recovery comes with many leaps and bounds. Unfortunately there may be times where we fall behind and relapse. The important thing to remember is that this is not the end. Recovery is still possible, and through proper sober coaching and education, it is possible to bounce back.
So now that the relapse has occurred, please realize that you are not blame-worthy. You are not a failure. You are fighting a battle and there will be times where you may fall down. But it is not your fault. Now that you have survived the relapse, it is time to get back up and fight again. Your opportunity to beat your addiction is still just as alive as it was before. And it starts with getting practical and learning more about your self and the addiction.
Address the problem
A relapse is an unfortunate, yet oddly educational situation. After the incident, we can be reminded of what fuels our addiction. I don’t just mean the physical chemicals; I am also referring to how our bodies respond to the chemicals. It is important to remember that good things can come out of negative situations, especially when it comes to beating the situation. For instance, the memory of the high is now fresh; so write down how it affected your mind and body. Then compare that experience with how you felt before the high. What part of your body felt the urge the most? What led up to the addiction? Whatever you may have learned about your body, write it down and bring the information to discuss with your trusted counselor. We do not expect you to be able to make sense of how to recover all on your own. Our doctors will help you to get back on track and improve your lifestyle in order to make this relapse the last one. We will even provide for post-treatment support through Recovery Care Monitoring, which will help you stay on track in the outside world. However, that development begins with trusting the counselor.
Honest trust for Sober coaching
Here comes the hard part for many people. Admitting that you relapsed can be pretty scary, especially when you are trying your hardest to progress. What will they think of me? Am I going to be punished? Are thy going to kick me out? These thoughts are all based in fear and not reality. From the beginning, Recovery Care Partner is here for you, not your track record. We understand how hard it is to stay on track and we are here to support you through any trips and falls. There is no judgment, and our counselors find it extremely brave and mature that you would admit your relapse to them. It is only when you come forward that the two of you can begin to discuss moving forward. Proper sober coaching establishes trust, not fear of failure with the patient.
If you’ve come to the realization that your friend, family member, or loved one has a substance abuse problem, then you might be looking for a way to offer them help. One of the most effective ways of doing this is through intervention. However, it is important to point out that not everyone is meant for the same kind of intervention. Here are a few tips for tailoring an intervention for your specific friend or family member.
What makes them comfortable?
A key element for a successful intervention is to approach your friend in a relaxing environment. However, they are not just anyone. You need to bring them into a room or area that allows them to feel comfortable and at peace. It is also best to conduct it in a private area (house, bedroom, etc.) Should they be among family, or just a small group of friends? If anyone has a negative influence on the person, do not let him or her come to the intervention.
Confirm and Plan
You shouldn’t perform the intervention unless you have good, reasonable evidence that the person is under substance abuse. Be sure to conduct research effectively through cross-referencing with other people who are both trustworthy and know the person well. Also make sure that everyone is managed carefully so that they know where to be and what to expect for the intervention. There is the chance that your friend will want to storm out or even get hostile. Sometimes they may just run into a room and lock the door. These situations are capable of being handled under the consultation of an intervention specialist. For more information, see Recovery Care Partner’s Intervention services.
Be clear, affirmative, but gracious and understanding
You love your friend and hope that they can be of their best behavior during the intervention. However, you have to be prepared in case the intervention makes them feel conflicted, or even hostile. They may be in denial at first to admit that they even have a problem. The most important thing to do is to stay constructive, positive, and calm (especially if they are not feeling the same). Again, be sure to consult an intervention specialist in order to find out what your loved one needs most. Always offer an open hand to help them no matter how tough it gets.
Withdrawals are often the biggest sign that one is addicted to something. It is also the reason why it can be so hard to overcome addiction in the first place. But withdrawals are not dead ends; they are a part of the road to recovery. Everyone experiences withdrawals differently, with varying symptoms and ways of overcoming them. So when going into recovery, it is important to consult your doctor and counselors for proper Sober coaching on what to do. However, if your doctor approves, here are a few living techniques that should offer some help with overcoming withdrawals.
Know your self
You must learn what it is that alerts your body and mind to crave your addiction. Work with your counselor to better understand your body and what your triggers are. Once you know yourself and the addiction, you will know how to better overcome it. However, there is more than just knowing what your triggers are. You have to also understand how your body responds to the triggers. You may not always be able to fully avoid a situation with triggers. For such situations, be sure to have proper precautions, such as a mental reminder that keeps you stable, or a friend on speed dial that you can talk to. Sober coaching advisors can offer more specific information.
A fuller life
The important thing to remember is that coping mechanisms and precautions are not a sign that you’ve lost the ability to live a full life. When you have to sacrifice things, it may seem like you are still under the curse of your addiction. However, this is never really the case. You are not loosing aspects of living. On the contrary, fighting withdrawals is teaching your body to live again. Addiction has stolen more of your life than anything else, and fighting withdrawals is the way to take your life back. See some of our testimonials from those who overcame the disease and are now living more fulfilled.
Another thing to remember is that the fight gets easier along the way. Withdrawals are always temporary. They normally go through a tough period before slowing down. Once you get over that hump with sober coaching and training, you will start to live much more freely and the precautions will not be as taxing.
Something to look forward to
Recovery is often seen as a dull, boring experience. However, once you go into recovery, you will realize that overcoming withdrawals involves having fun. The point of getting through addiction is to teach your body and mind not to need the substance. In order to show that there is more to life than just the high, you need to go out and enjoy life in its proper fashion. Most of these recovery techniques include positive disciplines, such as building relationships, exercising, and engaging in enjoyable activities. The more you do this, not only will you see how enriching your life can be, but you will also see how the substance was not as great as it once seemed.
If you are interested in our recovery services, please see here for further information.