Heroin is a powerfully addictive drug, and breaking free from its grip can be especially challenging. When heroin addicts attend Alcoholics Anonymous and other support groups that focus on alcoholism recovery, they sometimes feel like they don’t belong. At times, it seems, there’s a certain stigma attached to heroin addiction. For recovering heroin addicts, whether being rejected at AA meetings is real or imagined, the result is the same. They may stop going to meetings, setting themselves up for a high risk of relapse.
Going through rehab is a life-changing event. Coming clean from drug or alcohol addiction gives you a chance to take your life back from your disease. If you have been through a successful rehab program, you have come out on the other side with a greater sense of self-awareness, strategies for staying sober, and the determination to never give into addiction again.
For nearly three decades, Grant Perry has served individuals struggling with addiction and mental health issues as well as their families. From San Diego to St. Louis, Chicago to Houston, he has directed hospital programs, inpatient and outpatient treatment centers for both adults and adolescents, and an outreach program.
In 1999, Grant joined The Right Step as a lead counselor for the adult residential program. One year later he was promoted to program director, a role he dedicated himself to for 10 years. From there, he stepped into the role of executive director.
Tips to Help Someone in Recovery Better Weather Christmas and New Year’s Eve
As noted in recent blogs, the holidays are generally tough for someone recovering from an alcohol or drug addiction. There are, however, some tried-and-true tips that loved ones can administer to help ensure that Christmas and New Year’s Eve are more parts celebration than trepidation. The website drugaddictiontreatment.com offers a checklist of effective pre-emptive moves anyone can make to help someone in recovery during this time of year. Here are some highlights:
• Lighten Up
First, it’s important to adopt a more lighthearted look at the entire holiday season in general. It needn’t be all that stressful if you take time to sift through all the types of demands and activities that tend to increase stress and tension around the house – and then get rid of some of them, at least temporarily.
Knowing the Temptations at This Time Can Help You Beat Them
MedHelp, which bills itself as the “World’s Largest Health Community,” offers a forum on its website designed to let people recovering from addictions share what they’re going through during various points of their quest.
With the holidays coming soon, two posts, in particular, seem particularly noteworthy:
“Holiday time is fast approaching and can be full of stress and triggers. We see relapses happen during this time. The first year I was clean I was told by a very wise person to hit the meetings real heavy, and that is what I did.
Recent data collected by the Texas Department of Public Safety demonstrates that in Harris County obtaining a prescription for often abused controlled substances is very easy. In fact, some of the highest prescribing doctors in the state reside right here in Houston’s largest county, Harris County. The clinics responsible for the highest numbers of abusable medications are known as “pill mills” because they appear more like mass-production factories than actual medical clinics. Patients form lines that often wrap around the block and are whisked in and out without much, if any, of a medical assessment. They are then instructed which pharmacy to use, often one with financial ties to the clinic itself. These pill mills are most often staffed by physicians without specialty designation for pain or other applicable specialties and accept only cash, often netting millions of dollars every year for those doctors who have relegated their practices to what can be described as selling prescriptions.
When we think about drug and alcohol recovery, the first thing that often comes to our minds are the hallowed hallways of some drug and alcohol treatment center or a newly released, recovered drug addict being embraced warmly by waiting family and friends.
What we don’t think about or really take the time to consider is how that person is going to continue their recovery once he or she is outside of the facility and back in their respective communities. As with most recovering addicts, it can be extremely easy to fall back into the same pattern of drug abuse and drug addiction. But what sort of a role does the community you live in play? Do you live in an area where there is a lot of crime and drug use? How easy or difficult is it for you to acquire drugs?
Heroin addiction is a deadly disease that affects drug users of all ages. Recent research has revealed that a drug known as buprenorphine may help heroin addicts stay clean according to a U.S. study. Over a 24-week period, 126 detoxified heroin-dependent patients were placed into a study that compared three different types of drug groups. The first group was given naltrexone, which is a standard treatment for drug abuse, the second group was given buprenorphine and the third group was given a placebo and was used as a control for the study. Throughout the duration of the study, researchers compared heroin abstinence, prevention of relapse, and reduction of HIV risk behavior among the three different groups.
The results determined that the patients that had been given buprenorphine were far more effective in all three categories. The group taking the buprenorphine lasted almost twice as long in both heroin relapse and time until first heroin use compared to those in the group who had been given the naltrexone. They also had more than twice as many continuous days of abstinence compared to the placebo group. As far as the HIV risk, the results determined that there was no significant difference between the groups as the behaviors in all three groups had diminished.