For many people, change in any form can be stressful and disorienting. Familiar people, places and routines make up much of the stability of daily life. For someone considering opium addiction recovery, the prospect of change, in terms of life without the drug, can be unnerving and even frightening.
Opium addiction recovery entails an ongoing process of growth and development where change becomes the norm more so than the exception. While hanging out with friends may seem to make the process easier, old friends who engage in destructive habits can quickly derail any progress made in opium addiction recovery. In effect, the way you “hang out” with friends ultimately determines whether they should be a part of your recovery.
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Opium Addiction’s Effects on Daily Living
Opium, in any form, diminishes the brain overall, weakening its ability to maintain the body’s physical processes as well as the mind’s psychological well-being. According to the Journal of Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, these changes develop out of opium’s effects on a cellular level.
While an opium “high” can bring on feelings of euphoria and a sense of pseudo-contentment, these effects come at a high price. Opium’s “high” effects result from the influx of neurotransmitters into the brain.
With each dose of the drug, opium places considerable strain on the brain cells responsible for producing neurotransmitter supplies. Over time, these effects essentially damage cells on a structural level, which lays the groundwork for rampant chemical imbalances to form throughout the brain and body.
From this point, brain chemical imbalances start to disrupt brain reward system functions, an area that dictates a person’s thinking processes, emotions and behaviors from day to day. By the time opium addiction sets in, a person’s lifestyle has changed in accordance with the role opium has taken on in everyday life.
Friends and Lifestyles Go Hand-in-Hand
More often than not, opium addiction starts off as physical dependence with the brain requiring increasingly larger drug doses to function normally. Over time, physical dependency evolves into psychological dependency where users start to believe they need the drug’s effects to cope with daily life pressures and responsibilities.
According to the State University of New York at Buffalo, psychological dependency breeds its own lifestyle over time, rearranging a person’s priorities, motivations and routines. Consequently, a person will start to gravitate towards like-minded individuals and take them on as friends.
Hanging out with other drug users ultimately works to support an opium addiction lifestyle in terms of validation as well as providing continued access to needed drug supplies. Under these conditions, continuing to hang out with friends from “this” lifestyle will quickly sabotage your efforts in recovery.
When all is said and done, entering opium addiction recovery entails trading one lifestyle for another, leaving drug use and anything having to do with compulsive drug-using behaviors behind. In order to overcome the psychological effects of addiction, a person must develop new interests, new priorities and new routines. This degree of change inevitably requires the types of friendships that support drug-free living.
If you or someone you know is considering entering opium addiction recovery and have more questions, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-405-7172 to speak with one of our addictions specialists.