Sunrise Ranch provides heroin addiction treatment rooted in a science-based, research-supported clinical model to ensure a healthier, more satisfying life, without addiction.
Understanding heroin addiction & relapse prevention
Making the life-changing decision to get professional care at a quality treatment center for an addiction to heroin requires courage, strength, and conviction. Anyone who has ended his or her dependence upon heroin and begun to walk the path of long-term recovery has demonstrated considerable dedication and made vital progress in the effort toward achieving a better tomorrow.
Unfortunately, as each person learns early in his or her recovery and treatment experience, overcoming an addiction to heroin is not a one-time battle, but is instead an ongoing struggle. Regardless of how long a person has abstained from abusing heroin, he or she is never free from the risk of relapse. One of the many reasons why “one day at a time” is such a valued saying within the recovery community is that it is a powerful reminder that retaining sobriety and resisting relapse requires continual effort and daily vigilance.
To one who has not yet begun care at a treatment center for heroin addiction, the effort that is required to maintain lifelong recovery can sound like an overwhelming commitment. However, the “one day at a time” mantra also serves as an inspirational reminder to remain in the present and stay focused on the small steps that, over time, can allow one to avoid relapse with heroin and take giant strides along the path of recovery.
This mindset can play a significant role in preventing relapse, especially when it is accompanied by continued dedication to the principles and insights that are imparted during an addiction relapse and recovery program at a reputable and effective treatment center for heroin abuse.
Reasons why people relapse from heroin addiction
As is also the case when first confronting one’s addiction to heroin, education can be an essential tool in the effort to avoid relapse. In treatment, education initially focuses on the disease of addiction and the specific ways that heroin impacts one’s mind and body. In recovery, the focus of one’s education must expand to include an understanding of the obstacles that can threaten one’s continued sobriety.
The issues, experiences, and situations that can derail recovery from heroin addiction and lead to relapse are often referred to as triggers. Just as men and women are uniquely influenced by the internal and external factors that resulted in their heroin addiction, so too are they impacted by triggers in specific and intensely personal ways. The following are just a few of the many events and occurrences that can cause a person to abandon the path of recovery and relapse into heroin abuse:
- Unexpected and/or overwhelming stress at work, in school, and/or in the context of one’s personal life
- Exposure to heroin abuse, such as through association with individuals who continue to engage in this behavior or attendance at an event where heroin is being abused
- Experiencing a significant and personally distressing setback at work or in school
- Development of anxiety, depression, or another mental health disorder
- The death of a loved one or the ending of a relationship
- Being attacked, abused, or otherwise traumatized
- Becoming overconfident in one’s recovery and mistakenly believing that one can “experiment” with heroin abuse without experiencing long-term negative repercussions
Of course, experiencing stress and dealing with less-than-positive occurrences are inevitable parts of life. However, when negative experiences occur simultaneously, in rapid succession, or with particular intensity, even the most committed individual can be tempted to relapse. In such moments, reliance on the skills and strategies that a person developed during their time at a heroin treatment center can make the difference between a momentary setback and an extended downward spiral into heroin abuse and addiction.
How to prevent heroin relapse at our treatment center in Riverside, CA
In addition to understanding what types of events and experiences may trigger a relapse, an individual who is recovering from heroin addiction should also consider taking the following steps to minimize the risk of relapse:
- When entering a heroin addiction treatment center, choose a program that provides a thorough discharge plan, and be sure to follow the referrals and other recommendations that are included in that plan.
- Plan to participate in continuing care services, alumni support opportunities, and other ongoing resources that your treatment program offers to maintain recovery and prevent relapse with heroin.
- Get involved with a 12-step group or other recovery support effort in or near your community. Remaining active and accountable within a recovery-based organization will encourage you to remain focused on maintaining your health and wellbeing.
- Find a hobby, do volunteer work, take up a sport, or find another healthy and productive way to fill the hours that you previously spent acquiring, using, and recovering from heroin. Eliminating boredom and developing positive outlets for your energy are important relapse-prevention steps.
- Practice stress management and self-care every day. Meditation, yoga, journaling, mindfulness, and other efforts should not be reserved for times of significant stress or overwhelming pressure.
- Develop a personal support network. Enlist a small group of close friends and/or trusted family members to help monitor your progress in recovery and provide both emotional and practical support.
- Get professional help when necessary. There is no shame in admitting that you need expert assistance. From care at a residential treatment center for heroin abuse, through traditional outpatient services, find the type and level of care that meets your current needs. You have many options, and you are worth the effort.
Sunrise Ranch offers comprehensive heroin addiction services at our Riverside treatment center. To learn more about preventing or recovering from relapse, or for answers to any questions that you may have about any aspect of treatment at Sunrise Ranch, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. We look forward to helping you make the most informed decisions regarding your own recovery or on behalf of a loved one.