The process of quitting opioids is often the biggest challenge that a person will face in their entire life. It’s not easy, and for those that have been on opioids for a very long time, it can seem almost impossible.
One resource that can help tremendously is having a strong “Support System.”
It’s not necessary to have a Support System to overcome opioid dependence, and I’ve seen plenty of people quit opioids without anyone even knowing they were addicted.
But not having anyone supporting you during the process makes it much more difficult.
In this article, you’re going to learn about the benefits of having a strong Support System and how to foster one if you don’t already have it in place.
Read on to see just how beneficial this resource is…
Table of Contents
What is a Support System?
According to Merriam Webster, a Support System is defined as “a network of people who provide an individual with practical or emotional support.”
Here is a list of examples:
- A loving wife that knows her husband is detoxing from home; she provides extra love and compassion, takes care of the house and kids, and knows that her husband is going through an intense experience so she does everything she can to make it easier for him.
- A best friend that helps her bestie go online and look for rehabs that could be a good fit.
- A father that pays for his opioid-dependent son’s fee to begin Suboxone Maintenance treatment.
- A sister gives her opioid-dependent sibling her undivided attention and love, as well as a shoulder to cry on for emotional release and support.
My Support System
I hid my opioid addiction for the first couple of years. So every time I detoxed I had to pretend like I had the flu or some other type of illness.
I had no emotional or practical support whatsoever, from anyone.
This made it so difficult.
Especially since I had to continue going to work, continue taking care of my kid, and continue being a loving and present boyfriend to the gal that lived with me.
Just writing about this brings up all the pain and suffering and hardship of that time of my life.
After a few years being a “closet opioid-addict,” I was living with my parents, and one day my dad looked through my phone and saw texts between me and my heroin dealer.
The gig was up.
My parents knew…
And that was the best thing that ever happened to me.
From that point on, my parents were my “Rock.”
They gave me emotional support, financial support, and tons of practical support.
I also had a close friend named Ray that I told, and he had 10 years clean in the AA program.
He was compassionate, wise, loving, kind, and helped me out with rides to school, and lots of great advice.
With the power of my strong Support System, I was finally able to quit opioids and break free of the shackles of addiction.
What if Nobody Knows I’m Addicted?
If your opioid dependence is a secret, then I feel for you. I know exactly how hard that is, and I’ve had plenty of coaching clients that quit opioids totally on their own, with no one knowing.
It’s totally possible.
So if your opioid dependence is a secret and you don’t wish to tell anyone, I totally respect that.
A lot of people don’t understand addiction and even if you told them, they would probably just judge you, and that would be the complete opposite of Support.
How To Build a Strong Support System
There is a superabundance of ways to build a strong Support System. When you’re creating a Support System, you want to focus on the quality, not the quantity.
A Support System of one could be all you need.
A loving and supportive boyfriend could be all his opioid-dependent girlfriend needs to get through her process of overcoming addiction.
A single girl with no family could get all the support she needs from her friend that is also a skilled Recovery Coach.
In my own story, I had both of my parents and my friend Ray, so I had three people in my Support System.
Lots of my coaching clients have secret addictions, and they tell me how wonderful it is to have me to talk to – someone that understands them, doesn’t judge, and helps them through the process of overcoming opioid dependence.
Here are some examples of people that could possibly help support you:
- A Counselor
- A Therapist
- A Recovery Coach
- AA Meetings
- NA Meetings
- SMART Recovery Groups
- Rational Recovery Groups
- Celebrate Recovery Groups
- Facebook Groups
- Online Forums
If your opioid dependence is a secret and you don’t want to tell anyone, I would highly recommend joining some type of online support group on this issue.
Online support is not as powerful as face-to-face, but it’s still a great way to get support.
In America, there is harsh stigma towards addicts, and it can be hard to find people that understand and have compassion.
If you have a Support System then take a moment to be grateful for those that support you, because not everyone has that luxury.
And if you don’t have a Support System, I encourage you to look through the examples above and see if any of them resonate with you.
Take good care of yourself, and I wish you the absolute best on your “Journey of Opioid Recovery.”