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Dealing And Overcoming An Opioid Addiction: 10 Strategies From Detox Experts?

July 25, 2022

Opioid addiction has surged ahead of the rest of the types of addiction to become the most common form of addiction in the United States. The worst part about this is, most people do not get addicted to opioids due to mistakes they made or drugs they experimented with.

Most people get addicted to opioids because they got prescribed powerful pain killers. Once the pain killers run out, they turn to alternative opioids, usually heroin. This heroin habit can destroy their lives and even turn deadly. And overcoming it can be an absolute struggle.

But as hard as it is, it is not impossible. If you make use of the right resources and employ the right strategy, dealing with addiction can be simple. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be straightforward.

So, let’s go over Ascendant New York’s 10 strategies for overcoming opioid addiction.

Don’t Simply Quit

Lots of addicts make their first attempt at recovery by going cold turkey and quitting opioids entirely. This causes withdrawal to be harsh (though comparatively faster). The problem is that it can cause the addict to whiplash back into using just to get some relief.

Simply quitting is not your only option. You can also wean yourself off, taking smaller and smaller doses until you are basically taking nothing, and then quit.

Prepare Physically

Even before you quit, it is important to prepare your body for what it will go through. The reason withdrawal hurts so much is that your body literally thinks you are going to die without opioids.

But if you work out and eat healthy for a while beforehand, your body will be stable in other ways, making withdrawal comparatively easier. It will not make it painless—there’s basically no way to do that. But it will make it better and get you started on the path to recovery.

Prepare Your Environment

Most of the time, a person’s environment holds a lot of the reason why they stay addicted. Nobody gets addicted just because of their environment, but a bad environment can make indulging in an addiction the path of least resistance. 

Preparing your environment for recovery can happen before you quit. It means cleaning your room, cutting off contact from enablers, and adjusting your habits away from opioids.

Find People Who Will Help

This is not the easiest tip to act on, but anyone can see its benefit. Finding medical professionals, therapists, and especially family members can make a huge difference in recovery. The biggest surprise many people find is how many people are supportive.

Play to Your Strengths

We have mostly talked about preparation so far. That is because recovery is complex. And because it is complex, everyone’s recovery process is unique. Some people will recover better after getting exercise. Others benefit more from therapy. It is different for everyone.

So, find out what your strengths are. Find out what you get the most out of and do that.

Stay Accountable to Someone

Most addiction recovery programs emphasize coming clean to someone. This can be someone else in the addiction program, a friend, a family member, anyone (except for your boss at work). 

Coming clean about your addiction to someone will begin to build a dialogue of accountability. This will make it harder for you to just give up, which is the big thing to avoid.

Find an Inpatient Facility

Some people need more help than others. The best thing for you to do to manage your addiction can be to check yourself into somewhere that you live to get help. 

The importance of these places is twofold: For one, they keep you away from the environment that kept you addicted. And for two, they provide medical intervention if you need it.

Get into Therapy

No matter who you are or how bad your addiction is, you cannot do it alone. Therapy is one of the best ways to get the emotional support you need. Addiction comes with all sorts of different emotional responses—everything from hopelessness to guilt over how bad things have gotten.

Most of the time, those emotions are not helpful. Dealing with them is one of the goals of recovery.

Keep Busy

Relapse usually happens when people are idle. They do not know what to do with their time and thoughts begin to creep in. The expectation is that cravings come from stress, which they do. But stress is balanced by the fact that whatever is stressing you out will take up your time.

Keeping busy—in a way, deliberately working yourself up—can be much better for you than mellowing out. The reason being that it will keep your mind off of your cravings.

Have a Plan for Everything and Write it Out

This will not come immediately. In fact, it can scale infinitely, so there is almost no way to get it done quick. But the idea here is that you write out how you respond to things in a “sober way”.

This essentially leads to you thinking about what it means to be sober, followed by outlining what conclusions you come to. Here is an example: Consider when you would find the materials of your addiction. If you would do it after leaving work, then you write something like, “I will leave work, go to the gym, then go home,” so you know that is what you should do.


We have said this many times already, but addiction is hard to get through. Relapse is normal. Asking for help is unavoidable. And bad days are inevitable. The goal of these strategies is not to avoid any of these facts, but to work around them, as they are the nature of the beast.

Accepting that and going forwards anyways will be far better for you than trying to somehow design a recovery plan that pretends like these facts do not even exist.

About the author

Jamie Moses

Jamie Moses founded Artvoice in 1990

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