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The opioid epidemic is one of the biggest epidemics that the U.S. has ever seen. Thousands upon thousands of people have died because of drug overdoses, leaving their spouses, parents, children, and friends behind to pick up the pieces. The number of overdose deaths has been steadily increasing for the last decade, and 2020 marked the highest number yet. In 2020, 69,710 people died of opioid overdoses. Opioids account for nearly two-thirds of all drug overdose deaths in the U.S.

Deciding to stop using opioids and overcome your addiction is extremely difficult, and you’ll need lots of help along the way. This article will go over what opioids are and how to stop using them. Overcoming addiction has physical aspects, but it’s largely a mental game. Hopefully, this article gives you some valuable information you can use in your journey to recovery.

What Are Some Habits That help Fight Opioid Cravings?

Opioids are often taken to relieve stress or in hopes of finding a false joy that can’t be found in drugs. In order to fight opioid cravings, you must find healthy ways and form good habits. Good habits help you better cope with stress, improve your overall health, and make for a positive distraction instead of a negative one.

Exercise, Sports, and Physical Activity

One of the best ways to deal with opioid cravings is to involve yourself in some form of exercise or physical activity. Whether running, biking, hiking, or playing sports, being active is extremely important in your recovery. Yoga and swimming are also great options for opioid recovery because they distract you, keep you healthy, and form mental health.

Another great way to fight cravings is to involve yourself in some form of boxing or martial arts training. These sports combine physical activity with mental strength and emphasize controlling your emotions and keeping your anger in check.

Mixed martial arts are great, but so are other sports like baseball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, or anything else that involves teamwork. Playing as part of a team will give you a sense of community and fellowship and might even form bonds that help you in your recovery. There’s a 100% chance that you’re not the only person struggling with opioid cravings, and finding networks and connections to help you is crucial.

Singing or Playing an Instrument

It may sound silly, but music is a great way to overcome opioid cravings. Music has been used for centuries to deal with emotions and express yourself. Whether it’s singing, learning an instrument, or playing one that you already know, music is a great distraction from opioids.

Learning music and playing instruments requires focus, time, and discipline. You’ll need to discipline yourself to overcome opioids, and you’ll need to focus and distract yourself from fighting off cravings. Listening to music is good, but taking part in the music yourself is even better.

Explore What the Arts Have to Offer

Involving yourself in things like acting, writing, singing, or art is a great way to distract yourself, but it’s also great for your emotions. Much like music, the arts have been used for centuries to express oneself and deal with emotions.

Find Religion or Spirituality

Getting involved in religious activities is a great way to fight opioid cravings. Religious or spiritual groups will often offer a sense of family and community that many people who are addicted to opioids simply don’t have. We’re not advocating any specific religious group, simply one that encourages you to stay away from drugs and that has people there when you need help.

The main thing to look for when it comes to forming healthy habits to fight opioid cravings is finding something that you love and makes you happy. The number one reason people start using opioids is that they’re stressed, depressed, or otherwise unhappy with life. Joy and happiness come in many different forms, different for everyone.

Whatever is healthy and makes you happy is what you should do to fight opioid cravings. Arts and crafts, woodworking, golfing, spending time in nature, or anything else you can think of that will bring joy to your life and remove stress is the way to go. You can start dozens of healthy habits to fight your cravings, but if you don’t enjoy them, you won’t stick with them.

What Drugs are Classified as Opioids?

The thing about opioids is that they come in many different packages under many different labels. There are illegal opioid drugs, synthetically created ones, and even medications to which you can get addicted.

Heroin

Heroin is the most popular illegal opioid and accounted for 14,000 deaths in 2019, according to the CDC.

Synthetic Opioids

In 2019, synthetic opioids took the United States by storm. They kill more people than any other type of opioid drug and are only increasing in popularity. Synthetic opioids include fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl, furanyl fentanyl, and carfentanil.

Prescribed drugs

Codeine, Fentanyl, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Oxymorphone, and Morphine are the most popular opioid drugs prescribed by doctors. Even though you’re in a hospital setting when you have them administered to you, it’s still possible to get addicted to them. Addiction to these medications can cause you to seek something stronger when you get discharged from the hospital.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Opioid Addiction?

The actual detoxification process of overcoming opioids is anywhere from 4 to 10 days, but recovery takes much longer. If you ask any former addict of drugs or anything else, they’ll tell you that it’s a lifelong process. The temptation to fall back into your addiction is an ever-present craving that needs to be dealt with every single day.

The fight never truly ends, but it does get easier. Having a great support group around you and forming healthy habits to fight your opioid cravings is a big part of recovery. If you can surround yourself with people who care for you and learn new hobbies to distract yourself, recovery is possible and probable. Whether it’s sports, exercise, music, arts, crafts, or anything else you can think of and enjoy, find something you’re passionate about and dive into it.