Information for family and friends


For many people who are dependent on opioids, coming off is the hardest thing they’ll ever do. The support you give them is vital for their recovery, along with their medical treatment and professional counseling sessions.

 

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Get motivated


Nobody understands the experience of opioid dependence like those who have been through it. Read success stories, practical tips, and inspiration from people who have agreed to share their experiences.

 

Read more

 

Struggling with opioid dependence is a very personal experience, and so is the journey to recovery.


INREACH is designed to be part of your personal support program. In addition to information and resources, throughout the website you will find insights from other people, from all walks of life, who have faced their own recovery journeys. There is also information for your family and friends, to help them understand the recovery process and how they can help you.

 

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The INREACH mobile app (initially available for iPhones) gives you a private place to customize your features:

Identify your personal goals and monitor your progress

Keep track of your moods, your emotions, your personal triggers and your medication

Record the appointments you’ve attended

Recognize each small success

And create personal pinboards with messages and photos that sustain you in times of need.

Download the app

Don't have an iPhone? Download the PDF trackers here.

 

Good luck with your journey and keep INREACH in reach!

Thought of the day


I consider a goal as a journey rather than a destination. And each year I set a new goal.

Curtis Carlson

What are opioids?


Opioids are a class of painkillers that may affect the brain.

They include a large group of prescription medications that help to manage pain, as well as the illegal recreational or “street” drug heroin. The first opioids came from opium, a substance made from poppy plants, which people have known about and used for thousands of years.

It has also long been known that opioids can be addictive and that, especially with improper use, they can harm health and dominate lives.

 

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Treatment and support


Many people can, and do, overcome opioid dependence and end their addictive behavior.

It may take courage and commitment to begin a treatment plan (and stick with it) but getting professional support to identify the program that is best for you will increase your chances of success. Comprehensive treatment plans combine medical care from a doctor (such as a specialist in addiction medicine, psychiatrist, or primary care provider with special interest and training) with support from a professional counselor, therapist, or group program.

Support from family and friends can also be really helpful. Various treatment approaches are outlined below; by working with a healthcare professional you can consider the approach that is best for you and your situation.

 

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Coping with triggers


A “trigger” is anything that starts a craving for an opioid. It’s a very personal thing.

For many people it will be an emotion, like feeling anxious, stressed, or bored. It could also be a place, like a bar, club, or someone’s house; or a time, like a Saturday night or a holiday weekend. People can be triggers too; perhaps it’s a person you used to use opioids with, or someone who causes one of your trigger emotions. Some people even find that certain sounds or smells are triggers.

The important thing is to recognize your triggers. It can help to write them down and then work out a practical plan for how to deal with them.

 

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Understanding relapse


A “relapse” simply means starting to misuse opioids again, either as a one-off or over a longer period of time. Either way, it’s a common setback and not a failure.

Opioid dependence is a chronic disease and as with many other chronic illnesses (like asthma or arthritis), there are times when people experience symptoms despite treatment. Many people trying to stop misusing opioids will relapse one or more times. If you relapse, don’t despair.

Quitting opioid misuse is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do and you need to be patient with yourself. Try to treat relapse as a learning experience, so that you can make adjustments.

 

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Setting and achieving goals


Many of us have visions of what we would like to accomplish.

With opioid dependence, a lot of time and energy are focused on the day-to-day challenges of managing the condition. It is also important to take steps toward rebuilding the other aspects of your life. When you set goals, you are giving yourself a focus. When you accomplish a goal you gain a sense of satisfaction and feel motivated to continue with your other goals.

 

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Information for family and friends


For many people who are dependent on opioids, coming off is the hardest thing they’ll ever do.

Not only that, they’re often trying to do it while feeling really low, both physically and mentally. Being with someone who’s going through this experience can be really challenging. The support you give them is vital for their recovery, along with their medical treatment and professional counseling sessions.

Remember, no one who develops an addiction sets out to become addicted, but the condition can be treated and managed, so that the person can begin to live a fuller and more productive life.

 

Read more

Get motivated!


Recovery from opioid dependence poses many challenges but also the opportunity for success.

Nobody understands the experience of opioid dependence like those who have been through it. Read success stories, practical tips, and inspiration from people who have agreed to share their experiences.

 

Read more

The resources made available on this website are for US residents and are provided for informational purposes only. They should not be used to replace the specialized training and professional judgment of a health care or mental health care professional. Seek advice from a health care professional if you have any questions or concerns about medical conditions, mental health, or medications. Please do not submit medical information or identifying information via this website.