People say that opiate detox is like having a bad flu. Well, if you’ve been there you know that is the understatement of the century! Detox from opiates is a painful, miserable experience. Even at inpatient facilities with medical assistance there will still be some discomfort.

If you want to, or have to detox at home there are ways of making it more tolerable.

Days or even months before you begin your Medical Detox it’s helpful to start a mental detox. This is the real key to maintaining sobriety, or even returning to ‘normal person’ status. By ‘normal person’ I mean returning to the person that you were prior to opiate addiction.

Experts will tell you that this is impossible, once an addict always an addict, that you have a disease. Well, it’s just not true. All of those things ‘experts’ tell us are theories. The methods the medical community uses, based on those theories have been failing to work for 60 years now.

It is possible to train yourself to no longer desire your drug of choice. It all starts in the mind, with your thoughts.

I had some “Addict heal thyself” light-bulb moments while I was still a heroin addict, just before I finally got sober. I want to share with you the most profound:

1. No person, program, or meeting could do anything for me to help me reach my goal of returning to who I was prior to heroin. In fact, they did everything in their power to discourage me from believing that I could be cured.

2. If I believe it’s possible I can make it happen.

3. I have control over every aspect of my life. I am not now, nor have I ever been powerless.

It was a very important day for me when I gave up on finding help through any outside sources. That was the day that I took my power back. I decided that if everyone wasn’t wrong that I would make them wrong. When I stopped looking for help outside of myself I finally decided to help myself.

Though it seemed sudden when I came to this realization, in retrospect it wasn’t. I had been reading personal development books for quite a while. I read a lot about the power of the mind. It struck me, reading about people bending metal with the power of their mind and having surgery without anesthesia using only metal abilities, how could these amazing things be possible, yet we are taught to believe that once an addict always an addict? It simply can’t be possible that I can change everything about my life except this one enormously important area.

And so, I have been happily chemically independent for some time now. I think the secret of my success is that I had a running start. Prior to putting the needle down I went to work on myself. I wrote goals, did visualization, watched and changed my thoughts, and I meditated. After a short time I just didn’t want drugs anymore. Even when I went into withdrawal I just didn’t want the drugs. I don’t struggle one day at a time, attend meetings, avoid people places and things – I don’t have to.

Detox itself will be more tolerable if you are working toward something that excites you.

Once you’ve made worthwhile goals and learned a little bit about the powers of the mind the desire to get sober and get a great life will increase. Once you feel that passion you know you’re ready to put down and move on. This is true for any drug.

If you are opiate, benzodiazepine, or alcohol dependent you’re likely in for some physical withdrawal. If you decide to detox at home there are a number of things you’ll want to do to ensure as much comfort as possible. Remember that detoxing from certain substances can, on rare occasions, be fatal (this is the case with alcohol and benzos) so you will want to discuss your options with a doctor.


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