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I'm Addicted To Opiate Painkillers (or Heroin) and I Need Help

Admitting you have a drug problem is the first step to recovery. Yes it's going to be a long road ahead of you, but there is no better day to start than today.  I know what it's like to be addicted. I was addicted to painkillers and my addiction grew to the point where I was out of control. I would do anything possible to get my fix and I didn't care who I stole from or hurt in the process. As my addiction grew, I knew the withdrawals were going to be horrible. I took painkillers all day every day in order to keep from going through them. My relationships with friends and family fell apart. I was headed down a dark path that didn't look promising.

Luckily I've made it through my addiction. I've been clean now for almost 5 years. I still have cravings and I'm sure I will for a long time to come. What I do realize though is that I'm stronger than my addiction.  Getting clean was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but also one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Fortunately I never made the switch over to heroin, because I don't know if I would be here today. I have an addictive personality, and enjoyed the euphoria that the painkillers gave me. What no one warned me about was how addictive the pills were, how fast tolerance builds and how expensive an addiction would become.

Going through withdrawals was one of the worst experiences of my life. The first few days were horrible as I experienced all of the withdrawals symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, cold sweats, headaches, anxiety, and depression. I was also unable to sleep for almost 2 weeks. The lack of sleep just made things worse. After about a week and a half though, my body and brain started to heal. The withdrawals subsided, and slowly I was able to get some much needed sleep.

After I became sober, I promised myself never to go down that path again.  I decided to take care of myself. Exercising, eating right, and most importantly having the right state of mind. Realizing that I beat my opiate addiction, and most wanted to give back and help others.  I started writing about my experiences, then started a website called FreeFromHell.com. FreeFromHell.com is a website for addicts and friends and family of addicts. It's a free social networking website that allows people in recovery to talk with others who have successfully beat their addiction. It's a great way to get support from other people online including different tips and tricks to help get through addiction and maintain sobriety.

If you are addicted to opiates, there are options out there, you just need to look:

AA or NA meetings.  You can search online for drug and alcohol meetings. (Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous). Having the support of people who have gone through recovery and understand first hand is great. They can relate to what you are going through, and can share their tips and tricks that helped ease their recovery.

Contacting your local hospital to see if they can recommend any programs to help addicts.  They can help find rehab centers in your area. Unfortunately a lot of rehab facilities are expensive, and if you do not have insurance it may feel like they are impossible to get into. Don't give up. There are plenty of rehabs that are state funded and are willing to help at little to no cost which is great for people who don't have insurance or the finances to afford rehab.

Support from friends and family is going to be important while going through withdrawals and recovery. You want to surround yourself with positive people who care for you and understand what you are going through.  It's important to break ties with people you used to use drugs with. It's going to be hard to get clean when the people you hang around with are all using.

Most importantly do not give up on yourself. You may have a bad day. You may even relapse, but don't give up.  Remember, the outcome for long term use of opiates is normally a casket or a prison cell. I've seen friends end up in both and it's absolutely heart breaking. If you just need someone to talk with, feel free to shoot me an email: ryan@calmsupport.com I reply to all messages and will do my best to help you.  Stay strong!

-Ryan Donnelly


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