Self-Care Can Be Your Key to Preventing Opiate Relapse

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Why self-care is important for preventing opiate relapse


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Recovering from an opiate addiction is a tough process.  The tax on your mind and body requires time and effort in order to overcome your circumstances. With a good self-care program, you can feel better and regain health and happiness.


You are not alone.  Addiction to opiates is a widespread and dangerous problem.  According to some studies, we are in the midst of an epidemic in this country.  Drug overdose is the number one cause of accidental deaths in America, with opioid addiction at the heart of the issue.  In fact, CNN reports addiction to opiate-based prescription painkillers as well as to illicit opiates, rose nearly 500 percent in the short span between 2010 and 2016.


The addiction to opioids is at a crisis level.   However,  it’s important to understand that although there is a widespread problem, life can be better for opioid addicts.


Why self-care?  Leaving behind your old lifestyle will be difficult, but establishing a healthy self-care program will help you along the way.  Sometimes we push aside emotions by escaping through substances or other unhealthy coping mechanisms.  Unfortunately, this leaves old wounds unhealed.  As explained by The Treehouse, through self-care you can uncover what drove you to make the choices you did, and with understanding you can formulate a plan for making better choices and living a better life.


What is self-care?  Self-care involves tending your whole being, mind, body and soul.  Your self-care program should include the following aspects:

Exercise.  A fitness program helps your body heal, improves your ability to focus and helps reduce depression.

Creativity.  Engage in the arts. Through self-expression you can explore emotions otherwise untouched, and you may even discover a hidden talent.  Drawing, painting, singing, dancing and writing are all wonderful options.

Animals.  Interacting with animals is terrific therapy.  Pets are shown to be naturally soothing and improve your outlook.  If you don’t have your own pet, consider volunteering at a local shelter.  You’ll not only be able to spend time with animals, some research shows doing charitable work is a boon to your mental health.

Yoga and mindfulness.  These activities promote peace and well-being, while encouraging you to look inward.  You can find more balance in your life and uncover some of the truths at the heart of your choices.

Sleep.  Getting sufficient sleep is vital and addiction interferes with your body’s ability to participate in a healthy sleep pattern.  One recommendation is to retrain your body to get a good night’s rest and make it a priority to pursue sleep at night.  It’ll help you stay involved with other people through the day and avoid becoming isolated.


Counseling and detox.  If you haven’t already begun a treatment program, you will need to participate in a detoxification.  Some experts explain this can be achieved through maintenance therapy, using a substitute drug, or a full detox.  You will also need to participate in a recovery program, which could include talk therapy, support groups and behavioral therapy.


Self-care prevents relapse.  According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, if you don’t reframe your lifestyle with healthy self-care, you are setting yourself up for relapse.  The researchers explain that without self-care addicts eventually “…start to feel uncomfortable in their own skin and look for ways to escape, relax, or reward themselves.”  By practicing self-care, you lay the groundwork for a successful recovery.


Self-care for the new you.  Your self-care routine is the winning approach for your healthy new lifestyle.  Find ways to improve your well-being, tending your mind, body and soul.  With good strategies and a firm foundation, you can avoid relapse.


Courtesy of guest writer Adam Cook

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