Life After Heroin: Fulfilling Recovery Goals and Becoming Happier

Becoming happier and fulfilling goals after treating heroin addiction

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that heroin is a drug made from morphine – and is typically consumed by injecting, sniffing, snorting or smoking it. When heroin enters the body, it rapidly binds to opioid receptors in the brain. This means that many areas of living are suddenly impacted – such as heart rate, sleeping and breathing. Heroin is an illicit opioid that produces effects like dry mouth, heavy feelings in the arms and legs, severe itching, nausea and vomiting, clouded mental functioning and more; because heroin is so incredibly addictive, it’s extremely difficult to quit – unless treatment is sought.

Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Frontline Magazine recently published various short stories of families who’d struggled or were currently struggling with heroin addiction. One reader from Pittsburgh, PA, stated,

“I have been clean for 6 years. My husband, on the other hand, has not. He relapses all the time. He’s overdosed 8 times that I have had to save his life. This last time, my kids were right there when I found him overdosed. It’s traumatic for my kids and me, and he thinks it’s a joke.”

Heroin can completely change the way a person thinks and behaves; WebMD recently highlighted a study conducted in Illinois, which found that many heroin users view the effects as,

“Covered in a warm blanket, where worries are gone.”

Quitting heroin can lead to a number of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Restlessness
  • Severe muscle spasms
  • Sleeping problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Cold flashes and goosebumps
  • Uncontrollable leg movements
  • And more

In 2017, Carla Marienfeld, MD, told Yale Medicine of the severe importance of seeking treatment for heroin addiction. She stated,

If someone is struggling with severe dependence, they may be out on the street or doing desperate things to try to support their habit. There can be health consequences and legal consequences if they can’t start treatment right away.”

Even in mild cases, it’s important for those struggling with addiction to seek help at a treatment center – and Cumberland Heights can provide a safe environment where a person recovering from heroin addiction can be supervised. Detoxification is a process that helps the body naturally clean out the toxins acquired from active drug use – and from there, a person can move onto recovery.

Recovering from Heroin Addiction

Cumberland Heights offers several types of services to cater to the individual’s unique needs in treatment. Of course, individual and group therapy are offered – and both of these treatment components can help those in recovery identify mental, physical and spiritual implications of addiction as well as explore what it is they need to get back on track. The following are some other programs that can have major positive effects on a person’s recovery:

Family Counseling – attending therapy sessions with family members to bridge some of the gaps that have risen in the family dynamic. This is often a safe space that is facilitated by a licensed therapist with the goal of opening communication pathways and resolving conflicts within and between family members.

12-Step Program Meetings – programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) open the doors for people to discover their place in the world as well as to connect with others. Spirituality is a major component of recovery, and the 12-Steps guide individuals to recognize the powerlessness they experience as humans – and to put more faith in God or a Higher Power.

Relapse Prevention – there are a number of coping skills that can be developed to help those in addiction recovery work through difficult thoughts and emotions. Relapse prevention brings to light the many factors that can lead to relapse: emotional or mental health issues, conflict, societal pressure, celebrations and more. By gaining a deeper understanding of how addiction works and what steps are needed to intervene when relapse might occur, those in heroin addiction recovery can take greater strides towards healing.

Aftercare Programs – at Cumberland Heights, the aftercare program is an ongoing support network for previous patients as well as family members. This program can uplift those in recovery to continue recovery rituals even after treatment has ended.

After Treatment: A Stronger, Happier You

Addiction consumes so much of our thoughts, time and money, and in many cases, it breaks the vulnerable bonds that are between us and others whom we love. Many people find that once they’ve been working towards recovery, they’re able to build stronger bonds with people around them – and as their mental, physical and spiritual wellness thrive, they feel greater happiness in life. There’s so much you can get back from recovery:

  • Living in the present moment
  • Healthy coping skills to work through difficult times, making you stronger
  • The opportunity to build a strong support system
  • Remembering precious moments with children, friends, and family
  • A stronger sense of spirituality
  • And more

If you’re ready to turn your life around, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.