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How to be happy after opiate addiction

Because patients recovering from addiction spend so much time either using opioids or thinking about using opioids, many patients describe a sense of boredom or depression after stopping opioids. Opioids create euphoria and a synthetic feeling of happiness. But this isn't real happiness. How do we then create real happiness in our lives? I encourage my patients to find new things in their lives that take the place of their opioid use: exercising, finding a new hobby, reentering the workforce if previously unemployed - all these things bring a sense of industry and affirm our self-worth. These things are true sources of happiness. Talk to your doctor or your mental health provider about ways to create and sustain happiness and fulfillment as you are working through recovery.

Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where she works as a primary care physician as well as part time in pain management and integrated health. Her clinical interests include underserved health care, chronic pain and integrated/alternative health.

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