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Relapsing after detox kills recovering addicts

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I want to thank Jose Mike Jimenez for his heartfelt column in Saturday’s edition of the RDR opening the discussion about heroin and other opioid use in the Roswell area. As an addiction professional, I want to add another point to what he said.

When individuals completely detox or quit using this class of substance for a period of time, their tolerance for the drug will “reset” to a more normal level. If a person uses the same amount or dose of the drug used before detox, the likelihood of overdose is extremely high.
Too often we hear accounts of people going to detox and, if fortunate enough to qualify for rehab services, completing an inpatient or outpatient program, practicing recovery skills for a time, then dying from an overdose.
Some addiction professionals, family members and others helping the addicted person hesitate to talk about relapse, believing the subject is self-defeating. However, the reality and danger of not talking about relapse and the tolerance “reset” — as if this subject of using again is not on the mind of the recovering addict every second of the day — can be fatal.
Dianne Meda
Roswell