One of the things I want to do on this blog is publish recovery stories. There has been much written about the problem of opiate addiction, but not enough written about recovery from opiate addiction. It doesn’t matter if the opiate is heroin or a synthetic opiate like Dilaudid, the brain hardly knows the difference. Recovery can be difficult regardless of how a person becomes addicted, through buying heroin off the streets or doctor shopping for prescribed synthetic opiates.
No one should ever think that recovering from opiate addiction is easy. Science has made it easier with the creation of withdrawal medication like Suboxone, but getting the drug out of the system is just the bare beginning. Much damage has been done in addiction to the brain, to relationships, the addict’s ability to maintain employment, the body starved of proper nutrition, etc. and it takes a long time to repair the damage. Recovery is long term prospect, and it requires a lot of support,
The good news is that recovery is possible. The constant stream of negative news — overdoses, arrests, etc — regarding addiction gives the impression that recovery is not likely, but this is not true. Recovery is likely if it’s managed properly, and if the person desires to change. The opiate addict might be confused in the beginning because part of her mind says recovery and the other part still craves the drug, but after detox and a period of stability, if the person desires change and is willing to utilize the support of those who want to help the person recover, then recovery is likely. The healing process is long and difficult, but it happens. The Guardian has posted some recovery stories here. These stories don’t sugar coat the recovery process, and it might appear as if the struggle is not worth the effort, but recovery is always worth the effort, given the alternative of active opiate addiction.