The most serious epidemic that the U.S. is currently facing is the amount of people that are abusing and overdosing on opioids throughout the country. Opioids are one of the biggest threats to public health in years and more people than ever need help in overcoming their addiction to prescription painkillers. Fortunately many rehab treatment centers cater to opioid addiction and provide the kind of care that is necessary to overcome this devastating problem.
People often don’t realize how addictive opioids are both mentally and physically to the user. It is common for people to be prescribed opioids for a particular issue such as pain after surgery and end up addicted. Opioids have many of the properties that addictive drugs tend to have such as feelings of euphoria, developing a tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.
When people are not aware of the addictive nature of opioids or they are not careful about the doses that they take then it can end in tragedy. Overdoses are all too common in the U.S. with more than 115 people dying every day from taking opioids. Rehab can help prevent a tragic overdose and can help someone recover from their addiction to opioids.
A Key Factor in Opioid Recovery:
There are many different aspects of well being that can play a role in being able to recover from an addiction. Having a stable family life, resolving relationship issues, improving lifestyle choices, financial security and having a steady job are some of the most important. Studies have proven that in the case of opioid addiction, having paid work can be one of the most therapeutic and powerful incentives to keep people sober.
In the past people often studied the relationship between employment and sobriety from the perspective of paid work as a benchmark of success. If a person in recovery is able to land and keep a job then that means they are more stable in their sobriety and can be considered recovered. On the other hand, more recent research has shown that having a job can be a motivating factor that keeps people sober and part of a pathway to success.
Experiments with workplaces being provided for people with opioid addictions have proven that paid work can be effective at promoting abstinence. Work gives people a reason to be healthy and productive so that they feel less inclined to engage in drug abuse. Although work may not be the only factor in a successful recovery, it can be a key component in sobriety.
Why Work is Important for Sobriety:
There are many different reasons that people in recovery need to be employed. Having a steady job with regular pay means being more financially stable which can reduce stress and worries about money. The ups and downs of being unemployed or looking for work can put serious strain on a person’s emotions and general health.
Another reason having a job is crucial to recovery is that it prevents the person from having too much free time. When someone has an empty schedule it is easier to get back into bad habits out of boredom, frustration or loneliness. Having a job keeps people in recovery busy so that they are less likely to deal with the types of feelings that make them think about using again.
Working is also important in recovery because it gives people a sense of purpose and pride that can help motivate them. When someone is unemployed it can weigh on their self-esteem and affect them mentally. Being productive and providing a service for people can make you feel that your contribution matters and it can motivate you to stay sober.
Working and Meanfulful Activity:
It can be challenging for people in recovery to find work at times but they will need to be employed in order to have more activities to focus on in life. Work provides a meaningful use of time that can help structure a person’s schedule and keep them more involved. Without a job it can be easy to slip into lethargy and depression and avoid being active in life.
Although work can be critical to recovery, the combination of work with other aspects of well-being can lead to the most success. Having steady work along with hobbies, spending time with friends and living a healthy lifestyle can all contribute to a better experience in recovery. It is important for people trying to remain sober to find meaning in their life through their connections, what they do to be productive and the activities they are passionate about.
Working is a type of service for others that can help people feel that they matter and they have value. When they do their best at work they are helping a business run smoothly or giving other people what they need every day. Even if their work is not yet their “dream job” it can still provide them with the feeling of purpose that they need to stay sober.
Finding Employment in Recovery:
There can sometimes be obstacles or roadblocks that can make it difficult for people in recovery to find employment. They could have holes in their resume, have very little practical experience or maybe they were fired from their previous job as a result of their addiction. These kinds of problems can make it challenging to find work but plenty of programs are available specifically to help people in recovery find gainful employment.
People in treatment can talk to a career counselor as part of their program and get help writing their resume. They can use connections that they have through friends, support group members or through their rehab program to land a job. Once they are able to find a steady job they will feel more confident and will start to achieve more stability both financially and emotionally.
Both studies and personal experiences show that work can be one of the most important factors for maintaining sobriety. Finding employment can be a critical part of addiction recovery success.
Detoxing from Opioids:
The first step in recovery from an opioid addiction will be to abstain from any opioid use. For people with milder addictions, they may be able to go “cold turkey” from their opioid abuse and avoid using any drugs during detox. Others with more severe addictions may need to transition to substitute medications such as methadone or suboxone which can help them ease out of their opioid abuse.
Opioids can lead to very intense withdrawal symptoms and some people may have addictions so severe that they will not be able to get through withdrawal safely. In these cases, medications can be life-saving alternatives that prevent overdose and help them get on the right track to recovery as soon as possible. Over time the patient will be able to wean themselves off of the medication until they are ready to completely abstain from any kind of substance.
Detox Treatment can be one of the most difficult steps in rehab because it is the process by which someone rids themselves of a chemical dependency. They will have to confront many uncomfortable physical symptoms and feelings that arise when they no longer are relying on drugs to feel normal. Opioid detox can be painful but once a patient gets through this process they will then be ready to start the hard work of recovery.
Therapy and Relapse Prevention:
Much of the focus in opioid addiction rehab is on individual therapy, group therapy and methods for relapse prevention. People that have drug addictions need to address the kind of psychological and emotional issues that can cause them to begin or continue abusing substances. Therapy is a crucial component in recovery and one of the most traditional parts of every rehab program.
In therapy patients with opioid addictions can start to open up about how and why they became addicted in a safe environment where they can be vulnerable. They may have a family history of addiction or their own personal issues with mental illness that acted as factors in their developing addiction. Although opioids are inherently addictive, there are often internal problems that can cause people to abuse drugs as well.
Group therapy is a method that can help addicts learn to connect with others and share their stories so that they feel a part of a community. In group therapy, those with opioid addictions can talk about their experiences which may be similar to many other people in the group. They can provide each other with valuable support and advice which can help them become more confident in their sobriety.
Another important component of addiction recovery is helping patients focus on skills for relapse prevention which will help them stay sober long-term. Understanding what causes relapse and the type of triggers that can lead to someone using drugs again can help patients be more prepared for the possibility. They can learn how to handle specific situations which could lead to relapse and how to reach out for help when they are struggling.
With opioid abuse, relapse can be particularly dangerous because people who have been sober for a period of time might end up abusing the same amount of drugs that they had in the past. The lower tolerance that they have after a period of sobriety could lead them to overdose from a relapse incident. Aftercare programs and relapse prevention methods are critical in keeping patients safe after they return home.
If you have been struggling with an opioid addiction, reach out to a local treatment center so that you can take steps to become sober again.