Opium addictions encompass a range of different drug types, from prescription-based opiates to heroin and opium itself. The ongoing abuse of any one of these drug types can quickly turn into a chronic addiction problem that takes months and even years to overcome.
Going through recovery during the holiday season can be difficult considering how special this time of year is. That being so, someone recovering from chronic opium addiction must make certain hard choices in order to get well and stay well.
Likewise, if your time in a drug treatment program has come to an end as the holiday season approaches, entering a sober living program may well be the best choice to make considering how this time of year may affect you and those around you.
Chronic Opium Addictions
While opium abuse in any form comes with certain risks, frequent, long-term opium abuse causes widespread damage to the brain’s chemical pathways. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opium’s damaging effects include:
- Ongoing cell deterioration
- Depleted brain neurotransmitter supplies
- Physical dependency on the drug
- The brain’s inability to manage bodily functions as normal
- Psychological dependency
Chronic opium addiction not only leaves behind long-lasting psychological effects, but also warps the brain’s workings in such a way that it can take years for brain chemical levels to return to normal. For these reasons, any prolonged increase in stress levels such as that that comes with the holiday season leaves a person highly susceptible to relapse.
The Home Environment during the Holidays
Re-entering the world of everyday life after 30, 60 or 90 days in drug treatment can be unsettling to say the least. In order to maintain continued abstinence, establishing some form of daily routine becomes the first order of business. This can be difficult to do under any set of circumstances, let alone during the holidays.
Assuming you have a strong support system in place and your family remains supportive of your recovery efforts, shopping, parties and family get-togethers most distinguish the holidays from any other time of year. With parties and family get-togethers comes drinking and drug use, situations that can greatly threaten your recovery efforts.
On top of this, many people recovering from chronic opium addiction receive some form of medication therapy treatment, such as methadone or buprenorphine to help relieve withdrawal and drug craving effects left behind by addiction. Under these conditions, a relapse episode can have dangerous repercussions.
The Purpose of Sober Living Programs
Sober living programs pick up where drug treatment leaves off in terms of helping recovering addicts establish a sense of structure and stability in their everyday lives. According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, these programs operate as recovery-focused, semi-independent living environments where residents pay rent, work and contribute to the upkeep of the household.
In effect, a sober living program enables you to remain engaged in the recovery process while carrying out the affairs of daily life. This level of support may be very much needed during the holiday season considering how hectic this time of year can be.
Ultimately, a person’s success in recovery hinges on his or her ability to make the right choices at the right times. If you or someone you know is recovering from opium addiction during the holidays and is considering sober living programs, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at 800-429-5210 (Who Answers?) for more information. Our phone counselors can also provide you with information on sober living programs in your area.