According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a complex disease that takes more than good intentions or an act of the will to overcome. If recovering from opiate addiction required simply a change in behavior, it would not be the epidemic it is today.
Opiates like morphine and codeine are highly addictive, even in prescription form. Abuse over an extended period of time forces the body to stop creating its own endorphins, kills off its nerve cells and creates an even higher tolerance to the drug. More and more opiates are then necessary to achieve the same high, and the addict becomes obsessed with acquiring and consuming substances that will, eventually, kill him.
Opiate addiction may be one person’s issue, but recovery must happen in community. You cannot resist the drug cravings and temptation to use again without the support of others who understand exactly what you are going through. Support groups not only help alleviate boredom (which often leads to using), but they give people in recovery a greater understanding of how to live sober… from people who know..
Of course, access to this kind of community support typically comes after an addict seeks treatment, including a period of medically supervised detox and withdrawal at a facility that specializes in opioid addiction treatment. Detox is essential, painful and can be deadly, but once it’s completed, the process of recovery can begin.
Opiate addiction is often based on an emotional element, and as the opiate user recovers from addiction there will be feelings that need to be addressed and confronted. These are not always emotions an individual may be comfortable sharing with friends and family.