Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing

Addiction

3 Important Steps to Get Off Heroin

by Greg Morrison

My name is Greg Morrison and I’m an ex heroin addict. I have been off of heroin for about 8 years now, and off methadone for almost 6 years.

I’ve come a long way since my addiction. I’ve built a successful online marketing business where I am now my own boss and work on my own terms. I’ve totally rebuilt my health and am in the best shape of my life. And best of yet, I have a beautiful family.

I also started Project Unbroken with a good friend of mine which shares our journey through addiction to success, in an attempt to help other people struggling with addiction.heroin-recoveryBut it wasn’t always that way, obviously. Heroin and opiate addiction was a big road block.

I tried to get out of my heroin addiction MANY times and failed. It wasn’t until I implemented these 3 things that I finally succeeded in a major way!

#1: I Got Away From Everyone That Used

This step is so underrated. If you are still hanging out with people that use your drug of choice, your chances of quitting long-term are extremely small.

My best friend Matt did heroin with me for many years, and one day he stopped answering my calls. We went from being best friends for 10 years to literally not talking overnight.

I didn’t understand it at the time and was not happy. But later on (we have now reunited and become very good friends again) I discovered that he did this because it was necessary.

Over and over again we kept dragging each other back into our heroin addiction.

I’d want to quit and he wouldn’t, and he’d drag me back into heroin.

He’d want to quit and I wouldn’t and I’d drag him back into addiction.

It was a repeating cycle.

It wasn’t until I did the same thing to another good friend a few months later that I was able to start the process of quitting successfully.

This is one of the hardest steps because unfortunately the people you are going to need to get away from are the closest people to you at the time. But this is completely necessary.

#2: I Got On A Maintenance Drug

Many people are against maintenance drugs like suboxone and methadone, but they do a lot of great things for you when used correctly. Unfortunately, most people do not use them correctly.

The main thing that a maintenance drug will allow you to do is start establishing your new lifestyle while you are comfortable.

When you just jump off heroin cold turkey, often nothing changes. You still have the same people around you. You still have the same habits. And you still have the same lifestyle. All the while, you have to go through severe withdrawal and a long period of post acute withdrawal symptoms.

When you use a maintenance drug it allows you to stay comfortable and gives you time to make the proper changes. You have the time to change the people around you, your habits and your lifestyle.

Then when everything is in place, you can start slowly tapering yourself off the maintenance drug. And you can get off a maintenance drug with little to no withdrawal.

And this brings me to point number 3…

#3: Positive Replacements

I started talking about the this in step 2. You need to have positive replacements for all the negative habits and people that you had around you before.

One of the problems we often see is people quit and only take care of a portion of the steps above. So they maybe get rid of people that use and negative habits, but then they sit around with nothing but time on their hands.

Nothing in their life is improving and they sit around thinking about using (they get cravings).

We have found that when you have positive replacements it does many things for you.

First, it gives you things to do instead of sitting around bored.

Second, it starts building your confidence and positive habits back up. It can really help you rebuild yourself!

We are big advocates of diet and fitness, but encourage any type of positive activities.

These are definitely the 3 most important steps that I took to get off and overcome heroin addiction!

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at ProjectUnbroken.com!

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