5 ways to prevent opiate addiction relapse: developing coping skills for opiate addiction

Developing healthy coping skills is an essential step in recovering from opiate addiction. Dealing with the uncomfortable cravings and urges that come with opiate withdrawal is one of the biggest challenges in opiate addiction recovery. Hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness are the most common triggers that can intensify cravings and interfere with recovery. Developing healthy coping skills for opiate addiction can head off some of these triggers and reduce the negative effects of ones you cannot avoid.  Making these lifestyle changes diminishes the dangerous possibility of a relapse and can significantly raise your chances for a successful recovery.

Use Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques are an essential part of the opiate addiction recovery process. Taking time out of your day to practice yoga or engage in mediation are proven ways to stabilize your mood and release the stress that can develop during the recovery process. These relaxation techniques can help center you and reduce the feelings of anger, frustration, and helplessness that can lead to irritability and depression. You emerge refreshed and better able to cope with daily stress.

Attend Support Groups
Involvement in a twelve step, mutual help, and self-help recovery groups can significantly enhance your chances of a successful recovery from opioid abuse. Opiate addicts often withdraw from their normal activities and social interactions, and the resulting feelings of isolation can interfere in your ability to remain drug-free. Joining a support group provides you with a network of people who have the perspective and experience to provide non-judgmental encouragement. The first-hand knowledge that support group members share can help you develop healthy lifestyle behaviors that will provide the best measure of relapse prevention as you move forward for years to come.

Take Better Care of Yourself
Important coping skills for opiate addiction include being in tune to what your body needs during your recovery. Hunger and tiredness can produce feelings of irritability that increase your craving for opiates. You can avoid these triggers by making sure maintain a regular sleeping and eating schedule. Since you may have gained or lost an unhealthy amount of weight while addicted to opioids, you may need to work with a nutritionist to develop a healthy diet that will help you return to an ideal weight. To avoid hunger issues throughout the day, make sure you have access to nutritious snacks for when you need a quick pick me up.

Long-term opioid use often suppresses endorphin production in your body, which can lead to generalized body aches and depression. Substituting physical exercise for opiate use provides a host of positive benefits. Participation in physical activities can reduce tension in your body and help you resist the cravings you face throughout recovery. As you progress to more intense levels of exercise, your body begins to produce natural endorphins again. You will feel stronger and healthier, and will be better equipped to participate in other activities. Exercising with others can also create a feeling of comradery and support that can sustain you and provide a source of emotional strength while developing these coping skills for opiate addiction.

Participate in Family Therapy
Having the emotional and moral support of your family can be a big help as you start towards a healthier life without opiates, but opiate addiction takes a heavy toll on families. The actions you take when addicted to opiates can hurt those closest to you and erode their trust. Participating in family therapy sessions can help you take the first steps towards healing and rebuilding your personal relationships as you progress through your addiction recovery.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.