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How to Avoid Relapse on Heroin
 
If you've managed to stay clean for any time at all then that's great! That's wonderful. And when it comes to staying clean from heroin then that's a miracle.

Only heroin addicts know how difficult it can be to quit heroin and stay clean, for any length of time at all.


Anyone can quit weed. Anyone can quit coke. And anyone can quit crack. But not many people are able to quit heroin and stay clean at all.

So if you've managed to quit and stay clean for even one day, then I commend you and congratulate you. Because even 1 day clean from heroin is a major accomplishment as well.
 
  However, whether you've made it to Day 1, Week 1, or even Week 2, it's important to remember that the battle has just begun and must continue to be fought and won, each and every day. It won't be easy, but it can be done. And if you really want this then you can do it. You can quit this drug, avoid relapse and stay clean for good.

Some may say that relapse is inevitable, but this simply isn't true, and this doesn't have to be the case with you. Just because the majority of addicts relapse from time to time doesn't mean that you have to relapse too. Furthermore, there are strategies that you can begin to implement right now that will help you to avoid relapse and stay clean for good.
     
  Get rid of all drug paraphernalia
If you want to avoid relapse and stay clean for good then break, destroy and get rid of your drug kit and all your paraphernalia, once and for all. Don't leave anything hanging around.

Some people save and hide little pieces of cotton and empty baggies just in case. And some people even go as far as hiding a spare needle around the house just in case they cave. But when you do things like that, when you save any kind of drug paraphernalia around the home then all you're doing is setting yourself up for relapse, for sure. But you don't have to let that happen to you.
  
  If you want to avoid relapse and stay clean for good then get rid of all your works, your needles, your spoons, your cotton balls, your tie band, your aluminum foil strips, your empty baggies, balloons, your straws, your water bottle, your roaches, your lighters, all of it. If you want to avoid relapse then destroy and get rid of all paraphernalia, once and for all.
     
  Delete your dealers' phone number
If you want to avoid relapse and stay clean for good then it would be best to delete your dealers' phone number from your cell phone, and if necessary, change your phone number as well. Otherwise your dealer may start looking for you, calling you and even coming by your home uninvited. Drug dealers do that sort of thing.

It doesn't matter who he is, or how well he treats you - if he or she is not trying to change then cut them off, once and for all. And if he starts texting, calling or coming around your home then kindly let him know that you're done with this drug, for good. That's it. No more. You're done.
 
  And then walk away or hang up the phone as quickly as possible. Do everything you can to avoid seeing or speaking to him again. And doing so will make you stronger and keep the dope man away.
     
  Delete your drug using friends' phone numbers
If you want to avoid relapse and stay clean for good then it would be best to delete the phone numbers of any friends who are currently using heroin, or any drug for that matter. If they're not trying to quit, or simply don't want to quit, then the best thing to do is to separate yourself from them.

You can do it cold and just cut them off completely or you can let them know that you're going to disappear and lay low for a while to get your life together. If they want help then help them or send them to my website. But if not, then it's time to move on and go your separate ways.

Some may feel this to be a bit extreme, but just hearing their voices and knowing that they're still using can cause you to relapse just like that. And believe it or not, there may be some friends who just don't want you to quit nor want you to change, especially if you both get high together.

And if your partner is also using drugs then you may have to separate yourself from them as well. If they're not trying to quit and are not trying to change nor have a strong desire to do so then you may have to separate yourself from them as well. And sometimes it may be better to end unhealthy relationships no matter who they're with.

If you want to avoid relapse and stay clean for good then delete their phones numbers and stay away from those who use heroin and other drugs as well. Yet neither is it good to be alone all the time.
       
  Build your own support group
If you're going to be around people then it would be best to be around people who support the idea of change, and not just quitting drugs. Because believe it or not, it's not just about quitting heroin, it's about changing our lives as well.

But in order for our lives to change then we have to change also. And it's better to be around people who are going to have a good influence on you and encourage you to continue in the process of change than to be around those who don't.

The best kinds of people to be around are those who can help us and influence us to change and become better people in every way that we can.
 
  It's better to be around people who bring out the best in us, than to be around those who hinder us in our growth and development in the process of change. Your support group can consist of people from other support groups such as those of NA, AA etc. You can include people from church, the community, and old friends who don't use drugs and live clean, decent, productive lives.

Your support group can even include ex-drug addicts and ex-alcoholics who have successfully recovered from drugs and alcohol as such people can inspire you to stay clean and change. You can learn from their experience and know that if they can do it then you can do it too. And who we hang with will eventually  determine what type of people we become. Even if it's just one good friend then one good and true friend is better than no friend at all.
       
  Music, Movies and TV
If there are any songs, movies or TV shows that remind you of the good old using days then it would be best to refrain from any and all such influences as these too can become triggers for relapse.

Yes. Music, movies and TV shows can become strong triggers for relapse. Even TV programs such as Intervention can cause you to start thinking about heroin and getting high. And if you stay thinking about heroin for too long then those thoughts can cause you to relapse just like that.

Certain songs and certain types of music can bring about familiar thought patterns and old "addict" behavior patterns. And anything that brings out the "old you" should be put away for good in order to bring about the "new you" and let the "new you" shine.

Everything you take into yourself; music, movies, TV, etc; if it's not positive, if it's not clean, if it doesn't build you up and lift you up then don't take it into yourself. Instead, replace those things with good, positive, clean substitutes in order to bring about a "new you".
      
  Overcome depression and stress
During the first few weeks of recovery depression can begin to occur. And this can become a major trigger for relapse. So it's important to know how to cope with depression whenever such feelings arise.

For example, when you're feeling down and depressed then take action and do something different right away. Call a friend, get together with them; go to a meeting; see a counselor or a therapist or send an email or a text message to a friend.

You can also change your settings by going out for a walk as well. You can go to the park and do some people-watching on a park bench. You can go to the mall and buy yourself something nice.

But sometimes, the best thing to do is to get out of the house right away and go somewhere, anywhere and start thinking of all the positive aspects of staying clean for good. Focus on the rewards.
   
  Stress can also become a trigger for relapse as well. So for now it may be best to avoid the people, places, and things in your life that can bring about stress. And when you do get stressed out then take action and go out for a walk, jog or run.

Exercise relieves stress, releases endorphins, and promotes emotional well-being. Running in place, jumping rope, or walking around the block will also help to relieve stress. But whatever you do, don't stand still and don't allow yourself to relapse. Instead, get up and take action right away.
       
  Don't be too overly confident
Self-confidence and an optimistic outlook can become a good defense mechanism against relapse. But being too overly-confident is one of the most common reasons for relapse as well.

It's ok to be confidant while telling yourself, "I can do this" because the truth is, you can. You can really do this. But many times, a person becomes too overly confident in themselves and begin to think too highly of themselves as well, and then just like that - relapse occurs.

Anytime we begin to think too highly of ourselves something usually happens to knock us back down. And then we have to humble ourselves and start all over again. So the best thing to do is to stay humble and stay positive as well.

Yes. You can do this. And you can tell your self that, over and over again. This is good, and it will help. But there is a balance as well. And it's important to recognize that balance, while remaining on guard at all times no matter how long you've been clean. But the truth is, yes, you can do this. You can really do this. You can quit this drug and turn your life around.

And in order to improve your life and keep moving forward, it's important to avoid relapse at all cost and do everything you can to stay clean for good. And in order to avoid relapse you need to keep yourself busy building, re-building and improving your life.
      
  Building structure in your life
Building and having structure in your life is one of the most important elements needed to help keep you on the right path. You may already have some form of structure, but for those of you who don't, it's important to realize that you need to have structure or work to build structure in order to keep moving forward and have something to look forward to. And structure consists of:
 
 
1. Having a full life
2. Having a place to live and prepare your meals
3. Having a routine for working and making a living
4. Having family or other people to live with or be around
5. Having places to go and social companionship
6. Having good to fair health
7. Having goals to accomplish
    
  Having a full life: Having, or at least trying to achieve a full and normal life consists of all of the elements above while staying occupied and productive from morning till night in.

Having a place to live: You need a place to live, sleep and prepare your meals. Even if you have to start your life all over again living in a car, at least it's a place to live for now. And believe it or not, some people do have to live in a car for some time until they're able to get back on their feet and move on up in the world. And then from there, it's on to a hotel, an apartment, or even a house.

Some people have to start all over again from the bottom and work their way up. And if you don't have a place to live now then don't worry, because as long as you keep moving forward with honesty and integrity while doing everything you can to get ahead then sooner or later things can begin to change. Things can begin to work out for you.

And for those of you who already have a place to live, then be thankful. It could be worse – a lot worse. I've known people who were couch surfing from house to house with no stable place to live. And I've known people who were living in the back of a car with no place to go. It's rough out there. But when we're thankful for the least, while trying to work hard for more, then sooner or later, things can begin to change.

Having a routine for work: You also have to have a routine for working and making a living, in one form or another. No work, no eat. And if you don't have a job now, then the best thing to do is to start looking for work all day until you find work. We need to work if we're going to have the things we need. And without work or money, life can become very difficult. If you already have a job then be thankful. But if you don't, then start doing everything you can to find one and don't stop trying until you get one.
 
Having people to be around: It's also important to have people to care for and who care for us as well. It's good to be around people who love you and care for you, but it's even better to have people to love and to care for. And if you don't have anyone now then don't worry, sooner or later things will begin to change. As long as you're trying to do the right thing in your own life then sooner or later the right people will begin to enter your life.

Having places to go: It's nice to have places to go and people to go with. And making a list of places to go and fun activities to do can make life a little more pleasant to live while giving you something to look forward to. You can plan special events on the weekends, or do simple things like sitting on a park bench and observing nature while having a meaningful conversation with a good friend; because many times it's the simple things in life that bring about enjoyment and satisfaction. And these are just a few little things that you can start doing now.

Having good to fair health: Using heroin and smoking cigs can begin to take a toll on your health after a while. But there are plenty of things that you can start doing to better your health, at least to a certain degree. You can start taking walks every morning. You can join a gym and do cardio and exercise a few days per week. You can start eating healthy, taking vitamins and drinking lots of water every day and eventually your health can begin to improve.

Just by quitting heroin and cigarettes your health can begin to improve greatly. And there's nothing better than living a clean and healthy life.

And for those of you who have serious health problems, I feel for you and my heart goes out to you. But it's important to do everything you can to improve your state of health in any way, shape or form. And if you do have a serious health condition then sometimes, the best thing to do is to look for help in the natural realm first before turning towards the pharmaceutical industry. Start doing research on herbal supplements and natural remedies to improve your health condition and then start trying them. You may also want to look into physical therapy as well. Do everything you can to improve your health and then keep moving forward.
  
Having goals to accomplish: It's important to have goals in life. Because without goals life can become meaningless. We need something to achieve, something to look forward to, and something to get us out of bed and keep moving forward no matter how hard things get. And it's those goals that can help us and encourage us to keep pressing on and keep moving forward.

So if you haven't done so already then now may be the best time to start writing down your goals and plans for creating a new and better life. And those goals can consist of a combination of many areas of your life, i.e. improving your current circumstances, your relationships, your job, your finances, your health, your education and any other area of your life that needs to be improved. Working on and improving your life in any or all of these areas can help you to have a better outlook on life while giving you something better to look forward to.

And in order to avoid relapse you need to keep reminding yourself that even just one slip up will set you back from achieving your goals, and quite possibly, ruin your goals and plans for good. And believe it or not, all it takes is just one relapse to over dose and die. Then after that, that's it. Your life is over. And it's just not worth it.

So whatever you do, don't allow yourself to relapse. Instead, recommit yourself and continue your mission to quit heroin, stay clean and turn your life around.
    
In order to avoid relapse you have to resist and conquer the urge to use. And there are a few ways to resist that urge which can be broken down into 3 different approaches.

1. The Cognitive approach: Using your mind
2. The Behavioral approach: Taking action
3. The Social approach: Reaching out for help
 
  The Cognitive Approach: When using this method, you immediately begin to use the power of your mind to battle the thoughts, cravings and temptations to use heroin. The second those thoughts come into your mind you have to start fighting them right away. You can't depend on anyone to fight those thoughts for you; you have to do it yourself.

But don't worry. You can do this. Just don't let those thoughts of getting high linger in your mind for more than a second. As soon as those thoughts come into your mind, start battling them and throw them out.

Keep telling yourself, "No, no, no, no!" And when you do so, do it with all your heart, all your might and all your soul. Fight those thoughts as if your life and future depended on it - and believe it or not, it does.

And then immediately begin to replace those thoughts with the positive aspects of staying clean. Start thinking about how wonderful it's going to be to be free from heroin, once and for all. Think about how wonderful it's going to be not having to be living a life of servitude to heroin any more.
 
And any kind of "I can do it" behavior is positive and will help greatly as well, (as long as it's kept in a balance). You can use whatever will power you have left to help you resist the urge to use. And any positive technique will help as long as it's empowering and not self destructive.

For example, getting down at yourself wont help much, but getting mad at the drug for what is has done to your life will. Don't beat yourself down, but don't go easy on yourself as well. "Go easy on others, but go hard on yourself". LDA

And if you're a woman, then start taking pride in being a woman and start seeing this drug as a dirty, nasty, filthy drug that turns good women into slaves. Women are beautiful, and this drug is nasty. And you need to start seeing this drug as a dirty, nasty drug in order to start hating it and get rid of it for good. And always remember what heroin does - it destroys lives and tears families apart. No good thing can come from using heroin, but only good things come from avoiding relapse and staying clean for good.

Another negative aspect to relapsing is that you can easily become addicted to heroin all over again, and quite possibly worse than ever before. And that's the last thing you need right now, especially when you're trying to get your life back on track.

The positive aspect of staying clean is that you can continue to pursue your goals and better your life without drugs in the way. And without heroin in the picture, you're going to have a much better life than what you have now, no matter how bad or how good your life may be. Without heroin, it can only get better. And in the end you'll always find that the positive aspects of staying clean will always outweigh the consequences for using.
  
The Behavioral Approach is when you take action and do something else instead of giving into that urge to use. When those thoughts of getting high come into your mind, then take action immediately and go out for a walk for example.

Go out to the mall and buy yourself something nice, sweat and tasty as a reward for staying clean. You can even take 2 Valerian Root capsules as a replacement drug followed by a nice hot bath to relieve anxiety and stress.

But you'll need to take action right away and do something different in order to distract yourself from using. Do whatever you can to divert yourself and sure enough those thoughts and urges to use will begin to simmer down and fade away shortly.

And if those urges come back again then keep fighting them until they're fully subdued and put in their place, outside of your mind – where they belong.
 
The social approach is when you reach out to others for help and support or take yourself out of harmful settings in order to resist temptation.

If you're home alone and feel the urge to use then reach out for help by calling a friend, family member or attending some type of a support group meeting as well.

If you're in the wrong type of places around the wrong type of people then get up and leave as fast as you can.

Drinking alcohol for example, weakens a persons' desire to refuse drugs and can cause one to relapse easily. It can also cause you to start a whole new drug addiction as well. i.e. crack, weed, coke etc…
 
  The best thing to do is to stay away from all the wrong places and all the wrong people and reach out to those who can actually help you and encourage you to keep moving forward in your quest for sobriety. But whatever you do, don't give into that urge to use. Instead, start battling those thoughts, leave the premises and reach out for help.

Always remember that one bad choice leads to another. But at any time you can put a stop to it, turn around and make the right choice. And in doing so, it will change the course of your life, forever.

In the mist of a thought provoking attack, you can rescue yourself by making the right choice. And believe it or not, no matter how bad your habit was, you do have the ability and the power to avoid relapse and stay clean for good. But in the mean time, you must remain on guard, all day and all night, keeping yourself busy and productive each and every day, working to change your life and achieve your goals. And in doing so, you will quit heroin, stay clean and turn your life around.

Staying clean with Vivitrol: If you’re not able to stay clean from heroin no matter how hard you try, then you may want to consider Vivitrol, which is a once-a-month shot that blocks the effects of heroin and all opiate drugs for 30 days. Vivitrol has helped many people stay clean and it can help you too. For more information on Vivitrol, please read my article, Staying Clean With Vivitrol
   
  Forget the past and start moving forward
We can't change the past, (although we may still have to reap from our past). But we can sure begin to do everything we can to change the future. But in order to do so we must let go of the past realizing that we can't take it back or change it in any way. Instead, we must do everything we can to make things right and then begin to move forward in our lives.

If we've done someone wrong, then we must do everything we can to make it right. And if someone has done us wrong then we must let it go and move on with our lives. But no matter who you are, where you've been or what you've done, it's time to start planning and start moving forward in order to create a new and better life for yourself.

Set goals, life changing goals, and then create a step-by-step plan to achieve those goals and start moving forward. Change everything. Change yourself, change your life and if necessary change your environment as well.

A lot of people are able to stay clean right where they are. But if you're not able to do so then consider moving to somewhere else. Move to a new house; move to a new apartment; move to another county; move to another city; move to another state, or move to another country. A fresh new start in a whole new environment can open new doors and opportunities and can help you to forget about that past as well.

And if moving somewhere else is not possible then you may want to make some changes right there within your home. You can paint your walls white for example, or whatever color makes you happy. Buy new furniture of a different or brighter color. Buy a new rug for the living room. You can change the color of your bed sheets and curtains as well. You can change the pictures on your walls also. You can change plenty of things in your home to create a new and fresh environment.

If you want to avoid relapse, then do everything you can to do so.
 
- Get rid of all drug paraphernalia
- Delete your dealers' phone number
- Delete your drug using friends' phone numbers
- Build your own support group
- Be careful on what you take into yourself, i.e. music, movies, and TV
- Overcome depression and stress
- Don't be too overly confident
- Build and re-build structure in your life
- Work on improving your health
- Set goals and begin to achieve them
- Use the Cognitive approach: Use your mind to battle against cravings
- Use the Behavioral approach: Take action to deter yourself from using
- Use the Social approach: Reach out for help
- Forget the past and start moving forward

Do everything you can to quit this drug, stay clean, and turn your life around. And believe it or not, you can do this. You can really do this. As long as you're doing your part and doing everything you can to stay clean, then believe it or not, you can beat this drug, once and for all, and you can finally begin to have a new and better life and become the best person that you can possibly be.

Good luck my friend. And may the good force be with you.
 
 
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