8 Ways Therapy Helps With Opiate Addiction
Deciding that you need help to beat your opiate addiction is a courageous feat. Addiction is a disease that many go through alone, which can lead to choosing to go through their recovery alone. Beating addiction for the long term takes much more than detoxing and using medication-assisted treatments like methadone. Therapy is a powerful tool that can help you beat addiction in a variety of different ways.
Before discussing the ways that therapy can help, it’s important to understand how opiates affect your brain. Research has proven that addiction changes how the brain functions just as much as it changes the body. Opiates block pain receptors in the brain and cause a person to receive an euphoric high. Over time, opiates change the way that the brain functions, which makes coming off of the drug incredibly difficult. Therapy can help you analyze these addictive behaviors and learn how to introduce healthier habits into your everyday life.
- Understanding Stress
Stress can be a massive emotional weight. Whether it’s from your relationships, your job, or your family, stress can weigh on your mind like no other. Stress is such a large burden that it can cause you to engage in unhealthy habits, like using opiates, to cope. With the advice of a professional, you can learn how to practice healthy ways to manage your stress. These are tools that are helpful throughout your entire life, not just when you are going through opiate addiction.
- Learning From Others
Therapy can provide a solid, consistent support structure that you can go through every week. When going to therapy, especially group therapy, you can learn from a group of individuals who are going/have gone through the same experiences that you are. Research has shown that group therapy is a powerful and effective way to treat substance abuse. You can talk about your own experiences, and get input from many different people and many different perspectives. One of the best things about group therapy is that you aren’t going to get the same answer from each person. Some people are going to challenge your beliefs while some will support you. This gives you many different ways to handle conflicts. For example, as you are going through symptoms of opiate withdrawal, group therapy can inform you of ways to cope with these feelings in a healthy manner. Additionally, since they’re led by a professional psychologist, you can gain a professional perspective on your journey as well as advice from your peers.
- Learning the “Why”
Everyone has a “why” behind their actions. This is especially true when it comes to addiction. Therapy can help you unpack your emotions and past experiences in order to understand what your “why” is, even if you aren’t aware of it at first. Learning the “why” is an important step to overcoming your opiate addiction. You can soon move past these negative emotions or past experiences and move into the next stage of your life.
- Analyzing Triggers
Recognizing the triggers that push you towards abusing opiates is an important step in overcoming opiate addiction. These triggers could be anything you go through in your life that causes you to crave opiates. Once you realize what makes you crave opiates, you can break those negative connections and learn to cope with this conflict in other ways. For example, if you turn to opiates when you are feeling stressed out, a therapist can teach you about healthy stress management techniques.
- Building Back Relationships
As you go through your opiate addiction, you may have realized that your relationships with friends, family, and your significant other may be falling by the wayside. As mentioned above, you don’t have to experience therapy alone. Along with group therapy, there are also other kinds of therapy including couples therapy and family therapy. Through these specific kinds of therapy, you can help learn what exactly is hurting your relationship and what you can do to fix it, from now to after you beat your addiction and beyond.
- Dealing With the Future
Even though a large part of therapy is analyzing the past and the present, it’s also about learning how to deal with the future as well. When you choose to make therapy a part of your recovery, it not only helps you deal with your problems in the present but what you may experience in the future as well. After you recover from your opiate addiction, there’s still going to be conflict in your life. The things that you learn in therapy (realizing triggers, stress management, etc.) can be utilized in your life for a very long time. These are life-long skills that will affect your past, present, and future in a positive manner.
- Talking it Out
Have you ever tried to evaluate a problem in your head, and you don’t get anywhere? Talking it out brings your situation into reality and helps you understand it better. It’s no longer just a negative thought that’s plaguing your everyday life. Talking it out gives your problems a beginning, middle, and end so you can truly understand what you can do to make things better. Also, talking about it helps you become more aware of the feelings that you have and learn how to make them more positive.
- Realizing That You’re Not Alone
You don’t have to go through your opiate addiction alone. Therapy gives you a reliable support system that you can turn to in your times of need throughout your recovery. Additionally, if you choose to attend group therapy, realizing that other people are going through the same things that you are can be very assuring throughout your journey.
As you search “How to help with opiate addiction” and “Where are methadone clinics near me”, it’s important to understand that therapy is an important part of ensuring that you have a safe and successful recovery. Addiction is just as much a mental hurdle as it is a physical hurdle. Therapy can help you analyze the reasons why you turn to opiates and how it’s affecting your most important relationships. It can open your eyes to the triggers that you experience in your everyday life and how to learn from other people’s experiences. Choosing to go to therapy is one of the strongest decisions that you’ll ever make, and it can help you make your future more positive.