Relapse is very common among people who are in recovery from opiate use. This is because it takes time for the brain to heal and unless you have tools and skills in place it's going to be hard to weather the storms that lie ahead. When the going gets tough, you need something other than opiates to help you through. Preparation is the key to prevention.
Don't count on willpower alone to keep you clean. Willpower fluctuates depending on how we are feeling. Recovery is about developing skills and habits that make it easier to stay clean when you aren't feeling good and it's harder to tap into willpower.
In my post "Opiates and Your Brain", I wrote about endorphins and how your opiate receptors get turned off from long-term opiate use. There are three other main brain chemicals that also get used up from the stress of long-term opiate use. These brain chemicals help you feel focused, energized, happy, and relaxed. They help you feel less anxious or depressed and help you sleep well. In order to feel your best, and especially if you want to eventually taper off Suboxone and be able to stay off, you will likely need to boost all of these brain chemicals.
Your brain can heal
The latest cutting-edge neuroscience research shows us that our brains can heal and change over time. Turns out we can help our brains heal from all sorts of traumas, including addiction, head injury and post traumatic stress disorder. From the work of Drs. Dean Ornish and Nobel prize winner Elizabeth Blackwell, we know that what we eat, how we move, what we think and how we cope with stress can turn on or off specific genes that cause cancer and heart disease, and can actually help protect our DNA from premature aging.
The US military has also realized that old ways of dealing with the pain and brain injury of war don’t work; they are innovating new ways to help returning soldiers heal and recover so they can resume normal, healthy lives. It takes time though. If someone is selling you a quick fix, beware!
You didn’t get here overnight and it won’t go away overnight either. But with a few simple tools, you can make significant changes over time and continue to move in the direction of health. In Recovery Superstar, we will teach practical, easy-to-learn tools based on this cutting edge neuroscience research, so that you can learn to help your brain recover more fully.
Stack the odds in your favor
Look to the latest integrative medical research and techniques to figure out what else you can do to deal with your pain, uncover your triggers, understand your unique brain chemistry and learn what you can do to rebalance and heal your brain. You won’t learn this automatically. You may not even learn this in AA, NA or therapy. Those are great tools and sources of support and I encourage you to consider using them if you aren’t already.
I started this website and the Recovery Superstar program to help you learn these skills and tools. I want to help you become an expert on yourself, to really understand what got you here and how to help your brain heal and recover, to stack the odds in your favor and make relapse less likely.