Millions of Americans deal with substance use disorder. Of all addictive substances, heroin is the most abused. Without treatment, dependency on heroin can lead to irreversible brain damage or even death. Hence, it’s crucial for everyone who abuses heroin — or any substance for that matter — to overcome their addiction as early as they can.
Sadly, only a few people get treated for their addiction. Does it mean you can overcome the condition without treatment, then, or is that asking for the impossible?
Table of Contents
How Substance Use Disorder is Treated
Many substance users go to rehab. There, they can be monitored 24/7 and kept away from their triggers. This method of treatment has helped many addicts recover. That’s because the treatment doesn’t stop after the patient exits rehab. Even in the outside world, they continue to receive counseling and medication, if necessary.
Some cases are treated through outpatient treatment instead. This allows substance users to maintain their normal lives while overcoming their addictions. It works in mild cases and as a post-rehab treatment.
Addiction treatments vary from person to person. But most treatment plans share common characteristics, such as counseling, group support, and supervised or healthcare-provided medication. In addition, every substance user undergoes detoxification or detox for short. It’s a process that rids their body of the addictive substance.
For drug addictions, an effective drug detox program is tough on the patients, but worth the long struggle. It would cause withdrawal symptoms, which include fever, nausea, diarrhea, muscle pain, and psychological distress. In extreme cases, the patient may also experience seizures or suicidal thoughts. But they all get better with commitment and therapy.
Alcohol detox also causes the same withdrawal symptoms. But they usually last for only a few hours to several days. Withdrawal symptoms from drug detox, on the other hand, last depending on the drug used. For heroin and painkillers, symptoms may last for five to seven days. Stimulant drugs, sedatives, and long-acting opioids cause the briefest withdrawal symptoms, from a few hours to five days.
Overcoming Addiction Without Treatment
Since withdrawal symptoms can be serious and potentially life-threatening, it’s best to entrust addiction treatment to doctors. But surprisingly, some people have managed to overcome their addictions on their own. Self-treatment isn’t a recommended approach, though. If an addiction has become too severe, only experts can intervene and help.
But even with experts on board, overcoming addiction requires the will to change. If you don’t want to seek help in the first place, experts can only do so much.
If you think you can treat your own addiction, you can try a natural recovery process. It’s a recovery approach that doesn’t use support groups, medication, or any other treatment. You’d just abstain from the addictive substance and let your body heal on its own.
However, natural recovery is most effective on nicotine addicts only. Little is known about drug addicts or alcoholics who successfully recovered using this approach. Besides, it’s probably risky. Stopping a substance abruptly causes intense withdrawal symptoms. Without a health expert to monitor you, there’s no guarantee that you can commit to abstaining. Also, if your symptoms include delirium or suicidal thoughts, you may harm yourself because an expert isn’t there to handle your behaviors.
Developing the Will to Overcome an Addiction
The most crucial factor in recovery isn’t the method of the treatment itself. Rather, it’s your determination to change. If you really want to heal, nothing would stop you from abstaining. Whether you go to rehab or undergo natural recovery, you’ll conquer the challenges.
Hence, before choosing between rehab or natural recovery, develop the will to change first. Recognize your growing dependence on the substance and scale back. At this stage, you may still be in denial that you’ve become an addict. But exercising humility will help change that. When you accept that you need help, you’ll start realizing all your problematic behaviors.
Even in the outside world, they continue to receive counseling and medication, if necessary. Meanwhile, there is also an option of seeking help in this online suboxone clinic where you could consult at your own home if you don’t have the luxury of time visiting a rehab center.
Once you’ve decided to change, prepare for the challenges and consequences ahead. First, you need to abstain or detox. Expect the withdrawal symptoms and fight them with everything you have. If you’re not receiving treatment, have a trustworthy loved one watch over you, at least. Don’t be afraid to seek any form of help, because it’s impossible to overcome addiction alone.
When your dependence on the substance has subsided, don’t stop your treatments. Even in natural recovery, you’re going to need medications at some point. Continue your abstinence and stay away from your triggers. Make other changes to your life, like finding better friends, sober hobbies, and healing activities. Every day, make it a point to be a better person than you were yesterday.
These goals are difficult to achieve without help, though. Hence, overcoming addiction with treatment is still better than natural recovery. Going to rehab or outpatient treatment doesn’t lessen your worth. If anything, it makes you a better example to others who are also struggling.