Life after opioids


On a beach in South Florida, hundreds of miles from home, Lori Dele Anthony has reached a turning point in her life.

She traveled from Delaware to seek help for nearly 35 years addicted to Opioids And other medicines. She entered the same treatment center as her husband, who had made the trip the month before.

On a hot and humid September day, the couple and other residents of the center went to the beach, one of Anthony’s favorite places. As the sun began to set, she and her husband sat on the sand to talk. He told her that he loves her but wants a divorce. Anthony has been devastated.

She was alone in an unfamiliar place, and still fragile in her recovery. She was in bed for 3 days, fighting the cravings and refusing to join the treatment program. Finally, there was a shift. “It’s as if God put His hands on me and said, ‘You are worth something. Get up now. You need to move on.’

Anthony says even though the experience was low, it was the best thing that could have happened to her. Time for a new chapter.

Stay sober

Addiction experts say one of the most important first steps in rebuilding your life after taking opioids is getting all the drugs out and staying awake. alcohol.

“Some people with opioid addiction may think that opioids are the only problem and revert back to drinking alcohol socially or Smoking marijuanaHe has been vigilant against opiates since 2012 and is the co-founder of the Family Addiction Specialist, based in New York City. Although it may be possible for some to do so in moderation, it is often possible. Lead people to return to the medication of their choice.

It is suggested that all substances be avoided early in addiction recovery. Later, when you are steadfast and stable, you may be able to indulge in moderation.

Anthony underwent a 28-day detox and then a recovery program. I participated in the group Processing With others who deal with drug and alcohol addiction. It’s been sober since 2016.

Building structure

Regime and daily routine keep you on track as you recover from opioid addiction. Try to plan your day, from when you wake up to when you go to bed. Find a hobby that you enjoy. Spend time with calm friends who have similar interests.

When you are busy, your mind is less likely to wander into drug use or other negative thoughts. However, Sternecht cautions that eating too much on your plate can be harmful as well. Stay busy, but not to the point where it becomes a distraction from dealing with underlying issues like trauma or Psychological health,” He says.

Remember to take care of your physical health, too. Opioid addiction often leads to an eating disorder. This results in poor meals and food choices. Up to 35% of people abuse it Drugs Or alcohol too Eating disorders, Which is 11 times higher than those who don’t.

Normal Playing sports It also helps with addiction recovery. It can reduce drug cravings, and relieve Stress, And fill up your time. It also releases chemicals called endorphins from the pituitary gland Pain Relief and natural ecstasy. “When you feel good, you are less likely to use drugs,” says Sternlicht.

Today, Anthony’s life looks a lot different than it was when it was deep in addiction. She has a house and bought a car with the money she saved from her job at a cleaning company.

When not working, Anthony enjoys cooking and going to the flea markets. I also took painting, mostly landscapes of trees, purple and blue skies, flowers, and beach scenes. She is proud of herself, something she has not been able to say for years. “I accomplish things that I wouldn’t do when I was addicted.”

Find support

Friends, family, sponsors, and counselors are an essential part of addiction recovery, providing support and a listening ear.

Like many, Anthony has had seizures depression And the Anxiety During COVID-19 pandemic. She had little incentives to get high. Instead, she called her counselor, Angela Robinson, with whom she speaks regularly.

Robinson is a licensed mental health counselor and clinical director for NorthNode Group Counseling in Dover, D.C. In her work with clients, she uses cognitive behavioral therapy, which is a type of therapy Talk therapy. It focuses on identifying the complex problems in your life, the emotions surrounding these problems, and reshaping harmful or wrong thinking or behavior patterns.

Robinson says the drug is a mask of deep-seated problems that she may fear facing. “It’s never about the substance. It’s always the reasons why you use it.”

Support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous Provide individualized treatment for those recovering from opioid addiction. It also gives them the opportunity to share their struggles and successes and encourage each other to stay clean. “Having conversations within these groups can give people an understanding that another person knows what they’re going through, but may be treating or seeing it differently,” says Robinson.

Rebuild relationships

Drug Addiction tears relations Away, and their recovery won’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of time and patience to rebuild trust. It is important to acknowledge your role in ruining the relationship and then show that you have changed through your actions.

Unhealthy relationships can lead to relapse. Talk to the people in your life about your recovery and how they can help you with this process. There are resources like support groups and family therapists for loved ones recovering from addiction.

Anthony surrounded herself with positive influences and is now working to rebuild shattered relationships. After not speaking for 14 years, she reunites with her sister and relies on family and other friends for emotional support.

There are also those who call her guardian angels – family members who support her with the spirit. Pictures of them hanging on her wall at home: grandparents, aunt and uncle, and a black and white snapshot of her father and mother cutting their wedding cake. She drew a colorful flowering vine extending into every picture on the wall behind her. She is a reminder of where she came from and a brighter future.



Laurie Daily Anthony, Houston, D.C.

Aaron Sternlicht, Co-Founder, Family Addiction Specialist, New York City.

Angela Robinson, Clinical Director, NorthNode Group Counseling, Dover, D.C.

The Gateway Foundation: “Nutrition to Help Your Body Recover from Addiction.”

National Association of Eating Disorders: “Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders.”

Mayo Clinic: “Cognitive behavioral therapy.”

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