Addiction is one of the diseases of despair. When the power of addiction takes over then people only think about getting their next high. They don't think of their health and well-being. If they go to a dentist or physician, it is generally only to seek another prescription for opioids. When the high is over, the problems of life are still present. When a person is lucky enough to get into recovery, their problems in life are still present as well as poor health conditions. Recovery is hard and takes hard work, friends, and family support. It can take up to a year for the substances to get out of the body and the mind to clear of the stinking thinking of an addict. Some physical and cognitive damage may be permanent.
In many ways, the problems and solutions of an addict are similar to those of us not burdened with addiction. We all want a quick fix, a magic pill or solution to our problems. There is no magic pill! Good health takes work. We have to exercise, eat right, think right and do positive things. For newly recovering addicts, I usually recommend doing volunteer work. By giving to other you are giving to yourself. You are thinking of someone else and doing a positive act. It is a good way to ease into the world of work and being responsible. I recommend volunteer work for everyone. The rules for recovery are daily prayer or meditation, exercise and gratitude. These rules are good for all of us. Exercise, gratitude, positive thoughts and actions as well as sobriety are all part of good mental and physical health. Don't sweat the small stuff and give of your time and talents to others. Christmas is the season of giving. Give yourself the gift of good health so you can be there for others.