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How to Manage Opioid Withdrawal Without Falling off the Wagon

How to Manage Opioid Withdrawal Without Falling off the Wagon

The opioid epidemic in the United States has grown by record numbers over the past decade, with millions of Americans suffering from opioid use disorder and addiction. With the proper support, you can overcome opioid use issues — but the key is having the right system in place to avoid the obstacles and challenges associated with opioid withdrawal.

At Triad Primary Care, our team offers an array of tested, safe, effective treatment options for opioid withdrawal, helping prevent serious complications while supporting you on your journey toward better health. Here are six steps you can take to help navigate the withdrawal process successfully:

1. Build a support network

Having a network of concerned and supportive family members or friends is one of the most important factors for a successful withdrawal experience. 

If you don’t have friends or family members to rely on, then working closely with a support group — online or in person — can be a great, effective substitute.

Many people feel comfortable with support groups composed of peers who are going through — or have been through — the same experiences. Support groups also typically don’t come with the same risk of judgment or past resentments that can sometimes exist with family and friends, regardless of how well-meaning they may be.

2. Set goals

Establishing goals at the start of your journey and throughout your experience can help you maintain focus simply by breaking down a long-term process into shorter, more achievable, and less daunting steps. 

Your goals can vary depending on your health needs, your “triggers,” your lifestyle, and other factors, but they should be focused on helping you advance toward a healthier future. 

Following a healthy eating plan, getting more exercise, engaging socially, or embarking on a new hobby are all goals that can help you measure your progress in small “bites” while keeping you moving forward and focused on improving your overall wellness.

3. Know your triggers — and how to handle them

Many people with opioid use issues turn to drugs as a coping strategy, using opioids to calm themselves when confronted with stressful triggers. Knowing what those triggers are can help you take steps to avoid them, reducing the risk of falling back into bad habits and unhealthy behaviors.

Of course, not all triggers can be completely avoided. In those instances, knowing your triggers helps you prepare for stressors and identify coping strategies that can help defuse potentially upsetting situations. Mindfulness techniques, like visualization, deep breathing, or meditation, are all good coping strategies that get better with practice.

4. Focus on healthy habits

Opioid use disorder places a lot of strain on your physical health and emotional well-being. Taking steps to improve your health sets the stage for a successful withdrawal experience while preparing you for a healthy life ahead.

Following a healthy diet, regular physical activity, engaging in enjoyable hobbies, and practicing mindfulness activities can help boost your mood, improve or sleep, elevate your energy, reduce your cravings, and enhance your quality of life. 

Studies show even small acts of self-care can yield major benefits for your physical and emotional wellness while helping you feel more positive about yourself, your life, and your environment. Consider adding small changes slowly to help new habits “stick.” Our team can provide you with a personal roadmap to help you get started.

5. Seek professional help

Finally — and perhaps most importantly — don’t try to go through opioid withdrawal without medical support. Opioid withdrawal involves physical “side effects” that can be very serious, and without skilled medical help, you can wind up falling back into your addiction or suffering from life-threatening consequences.

Our team offers a variety of medical treatments and support services, like medication-assisted therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy,  to help you manage withdrawal safely and successfully. Plus, our team can help you develop critical life strategies to prevent opioid use problems in the future, in addition to providing or referring you to outside resources that can help.

Learn more about opioid withdrawal management

Opioid withdrawal can be very challenging, but with the right team and support on your side, you can overcome your obstacles and lead a healthier, happier life. To learn how we can help, request an appointment online or over the phone with Triad Primary Care in Greensboro, North Carolina, today.

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