What Kind of Treatment Will I Get for an Opiate Addiction?

What Kind of Treatment Will I Get for an Opiate Addiction?

Opiate addiction is a devastating psychological and physiological disease that requires comprehensive, multi-faceted treatment that utilizes the latest techniques and tools if people are to accomplish recovery. While opiate addiction recovery is certainly possible, it is a challenging process to be sure. We can help you find the best rehab program for your specific and unique needs, regardless of your age, race, faith or financial status. You can recover with the right help.

How Opiate Addiction Affects the Brain

Opiates are drugs either directly related to opium, or they are chemically synthesized to replicate how opium works in the brain. They are highly addictive and widely available despite their illegal status. The following are some of the most common opiates:

  • Heroin
  • Prescription painkillers
  • Morphine

After years of declining use, heroin has made a major rebound over the last couple of years. As millions of people have become addicted to prescription painkillers, such as hydrocodone, OxyContin and Tramadol, these drugs have become harder to come by and increasingly expensive, so people have turned to the more abundant and cheaper drug.

Opiates are highly effective at blocking physical pain, because they bind to the chemical receptors that the brain uses to send and receive pain signals throughout the central nervous system. However, these same receptors are also used to send signals related to emotional or psychological distress. Because they manage both tasks, people who use opiates will find that the drug also blocks anxiety, loneliness, fear, insecurity and depression. This process gives users the euphoria associated with the drug, and it also makes the drug so hard to quit. In other words, the brain recognizes the physical and emotional relief that opiates bring, so it uses every psychological tool at its disposal to keep that relief coming. In fact, the brain builds new neural pathways in the nervous system that drive behavior on a deeply emotional level. These urges are actually significantly more powerful than conscious thought or willpower, so, without thorough treatment, opiate addicts will struggle to quit using the drug, even if they desperately want to.

Addicts will make excuses for their substance abuse, avoid confrontation and generally do whatever it takes to avoid sobriety and withdrawal. This process is not limited to recreational drug users either—millions of otherwise law-abiding, responsible people become hooked on opiates every year. Opiate addicts may include the following people:

  • Doctors and nurses
  • Law enforcement officials
  • Teachers
  • Ministers
  • Parents and grandparents
  • Athletes
  • Young professionals
  • College students
  • Depressed or alienated teens

Many addicts never did anything more reckless than filling a legitimate prescription for painkillers following an injury or illness. They never imagined themselves getting hooked on a drug and have an exceptionally difficult time asking for help. However, without treatment, these addicts will also find that lasting sobriety is nearly impossible to achieve.

How Opiate Addiction Treatment Works

While the specific treatment techniques vary, the following elements are the foundation of opiate addiction recovery:

  • Medically supervised detox
  • Comprehensive individual counseling
  • Support group sessions
  • Education
  • Coping skill development
  • Prep for life after rehab

There are two main areas of treatment for opiate addicts. The first, and shorter, step is to guide addicts through the process of physical withdrawal. Through the careful use of medications and 24 hour supervision, many of the following withdrawal symptoms can be relieved:

  • Fever
  • Intense pain
  • Paranoia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures
  • Tremors

Patients are placed in quiet, comfortable environments and allowed time to overcome this aspect of the disease. Physical withdrawal can last anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, but is often a relatively short process. Unfortunately, the more challenging aspect of recovery is psychological.

Many people mistakenly believe that psychological addiction is just about managing emotions. The truth is that it is the psychological aspect of the disease that is the most difficult to overcome. The following symptoms of psychological addiction can take months, or even years, to overcome:

  • Denial
  • Defensiveness
  • Emotional volatility
  • Blaming other people for your addiction
  • Hopelessness
  • Defiance
  • Selective memory

Recovery from the psychological aspects of opiate addiction takes significant time and focused effort. Through a combination of counseling, education, peer support and the development of improved self-awareness and coping disciplines, millions of addicts have found freedom from this terrible disease. While milder cases can sometimes be treated in an outpatient format, immersive inpatient therapy is the most effective way to address opiate addiction for most addicts. In some cases, this type of care includes opiate replacement therapy, in which less intoxicating drugs (such as Suboxone or methadone) are used to satisfy the addict’s physical need for the drug. After this time, the psychological aspect of recovery must begin.

24 Hour Opiate Addiction Help

If you would like more information about opiate addiction recovery, or would like to be referred to the best treatment program for your specific needs, then please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline anytime. Our admissions coordinators are available with free advice and immediate access to the best programs available. The call is completely confidential, too: you have nothing to lose, so let us answer your questions about the type of opiate addiction treatment that will be best for you. Call now for instant, professional support.