According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), as of 2015 1.9 million Americans live with prescription opioid abuse or dependence, while 517,000 live with heroin addiction. Also, between prescription opioids and heroin, three people die every hour as result of an overdose.
Overcoming opiate addiction is often a daunting and formidable task. While it’s true some individuals have a relatively easy time giving up opioids after abusing them, for the VAST majority of people this simply isn’t the case.
If you’re trying to overcome opiate addiction, it will be useful to know about some common barriers you might encounter along the way. If someone you love is having a difficult time overcoming opiate addiction, it would also be helpful for you to learn about the obstacles they could be facing.
Here is a list of the top 3 barriers one might face while trying to overcome opiate addiction, along with strategies for breaking through these barriers with unlimited force and mental clarity.
1. Fear of Losing Love
There is a current social stigma in America, as the majority of the population sees opiate addiction as a “moral failure.” Due to this fact, there is an extremely large population of clandestine opiate abusers. They will often put in much effort to conceal their problems because admitting themselves as “addicts” could lead to the loss of love and acceptance from friends and family.
There are two primary human fears. The first fear is that we are not enough. The second fear is that if we are not enough, we won’t be loved. Many people believe (consciously or unconsciously) they won’t be loved if they admit their drug problem. It can be quite difficult to carry the burden of opiate addiction by oneself, ever fearful that at any time the gig will soon be up and your “unlovable” problem will be revealed.
I honestly cannot tell you how many times I’ve counseled individuals that are too fearful to admit their problem with loved ones, and the shame from concealing a lie and leading a double life typically results in an increased desire to abuse the painkilling drugs…and the vicious cycle continues.
The following steps can be taken to overcome Barrier #1:
- Free yourself by admitting your flaw (addiction) to loved ones.
- Apologize for being untruthful, and vow to make amends where needed.
- Agree to put 100% of your efforts towards conquering and healing from your addiction.
- Most importantly, don’t listen to criticism or judgment. Love yourself deeply, stand on your own two feet, and realize your worth.
2. Lack of Resources
Overcoming opiate addiction can be extremely difficult without the right resources. If an opiate abuser doesn’t have enough money or the right insurance plan, gaining access to inpatient and/or detox treatment poses a difficult challenge.
Other important resources might be:
- Internet access
- Family support (financial, material, emotional)
To effectively overcome this barrier, one must know that it’s not a lack of resources that is preventing them from quitting, it’s actually a “lack of resourcefulness.” If someone has a burning passion to overcome opiate addiction, it wouldn’t even matter if they were totally broke and living on the street; they could, in fact, turn their life around just as easily if not more so than a person with lots of money and other resources. Intense motivation and “emotional energy” can often lead to a massive burst of creativity and resourcefulness.
3. Fear of Sickness
Overcoming opiate addiction can be difficult because of the horrific withdrawal syndrome that ensues when an individual abruptly discontinues the drug after a physiological dependence has been established. Millions of individuals throughout the world want badly to quit. However, when they try to discontinue opiates on their own, their bodies and minds go through a withdrawal experience so severe that it can only be described as a “living hell.”
The following steps can be taken to overcome Barrier #3:
- Come up with a strategic plan for your opiate detox. Study up on the subject, and decide which treatment modality resonates with you (medical detox or home-based detox, taper dose gradually down or cold-turkey, etc).
- Start getting your body healthy as soon as possible (exercise, take supplements, eat nutritious foods, etc) to prepare for your opiate detox.
- If you’re going to do a home-based detox, make sure to study up on natural remedies and medications for opiate withdrawal.
- Many people have used this popular Opiate Withdrawal Supplement to relieve symptoms naturally from home.
Overcoming opiate addiction is never a walk in the park. There can be a variety of obstacles that one must navigate before recovery is possible. I covered what I believe to be the top three barriers to overcome opiate addiction. I assure you this list goes much, much deeper, and the number of barriers from person to person will vary in both quantity and magnitude.
Whether the barriers to recovery are small are large, many or few, one can always develop a mindset of absolute commitment to living an opiate-free life. Once a person makes the “internal change” necessary, they can free their mind from fear and cultivate incredible amounts of courage and tenacity.