Opiates Addiction Treatment
Opiate addiction has been, and continues to be, a rising problem across the United States. In 2008 alone, 14,800 people died due to overdosing on prescription painkillers, otherwise known as opiates . Opiates, such as Vicodin, morphine, Percocet, and oxycodone, are prescribed to treat patients with moderate to severe pain caused by injuries or other physical ailments. A person may develop an addiction to this false sense of euphoria and pain-relief provided by the substance that they are being treated with.
For individuals taking opiates for an extended period of time, nerve receptors will begin to adapt and start resisting the drug, causing the need for higher doses. This will likely cause the individual to develop a physical dependence to the drug. The other side of this tolerance is shown as a physical withdrawal reaction that the body demonstrates when the opiate leaves the body and the receptors have to readapt to its absence.
Although opiates are prescribed by trusted healthcare providers, as stated above, for treating moderate to severe pain, there are negative side-effects that can occur. Listed below are some consequences that may result from opiate addiction and long-term abuse:
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Damage to other major organs
- Bleeding ulcers
- Damage to brain structure
- Damage to brain functioning
- Loss in sex drive
- Memory loss
Step one in the opiate addiction treatment process, as with any addiction recovery program, involves the afflicted individual admitting that they have a problem and checking into a treatment facility. There are only a few treatment options for someone addicted to opiates due to the severity of the addiction and they all involve a medical detox. These detoxification processes require the patient to be prescribed certain non-addictive drugs to help with any withdrawal symptoms. Trained professionals will also administer non-addictive drugs similar to the previously abused drug to allow the patient the most comfortable experience possible as they wean their bodies off of the drug.
Here at The Treatment Helpline, we understand that each individual's needs are unique and we want to be able to provide you with different options that will suit your needs. Listed below are some detox options to figure out what will work best for you:
- Rapid Detox: For Rapid Detox, the patient will undergo general anesthesia in which a high dosage of an anti-opiate will be administered. This will instantly stop the actions of the opiates in the body. Rapid detox also involves the patient being given pain-relief medication to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal. This entire process can take anywhere from 4-8 hours, depending on the severity of the addiction. Due to the seriousness of this specific treatment, a rapid detox must be done at an inpatient treatment facility.
- Stepped Rapid Detox: During Stepped Rapid Detox, small doses of Narcan, a prescribed drug to help fight off the opiate addiction, will be injected just beneath the skin of the patient. Naltrexone, another prescription drug in the same light, will also be administered orally to the patient every hour. Additionally, pain medication will be given to fight off the symptoms of withdrawal. Stepped Rapid Detox is not as quick of a process as Rapid Detox, however less pain medication is usually needed to combat the symptoms of withdrawal.
- Ultra Rapid Detox: Ultra Rapid Detox is known as the fastest detoxing process. It can be accomplished in as little as 5-30 minutes. This method is usually very painful, so, like during Rapid Detox, the patient will be placed under general anesthesia for the entirety of the process. Naltrexone will then be injected directly into the bloodstream to block the patient's endorphin receptors. By doing this, the detox process speeds up and the physical dependency on the drug ceases faster. Ultra Rapid Detox must be conducted at an approved medical facility under the supervision of trained professionals due to the severity of the treatment.
- Methadone Detox: Methadone Detox is the most common method of detox. This specific detox treatment involves taking tapered doses of Methadone. The patient will be given an initial dose of the drug on the first day of the detox. The dosage amount will be tapered over the next 21 days until the person is completely free of the drug. Withdrawal symptoms may resurface during the treatment period, but pain medication will be prescribed to ease these symptoms.
Upon completing the detox, the patient will undergo one-on-one therapy sessions with a therapist in attempt to get to the root the addiction. These sessions are designed to analyze the factors and issues that may have lead to the individual's opiate addiction. Therapy will also provide the necessary life skills to go back to living a life free from the chains of substance addiction. Group therapy is also offered to give individuals peer support as they recover.
Once the person is finally clean from the drug, The Treatment Helpline advises continuing treatment in an aftercare program. Some aftercare programs include simply continuing individual or group therapy, or a 12-step program to reinforce the positive progress made while at the treatment facility. Aftercare programs are designed to positively influence and motivate an individual who has recently finished addiction treatment to ensure that they will be able to effectively manage their newly sober lifestyle.
If you or someone that you know is struggling with an opiate addiction, The Treatment Helpline is here to give you the treatment information that you need. Our expert addiction counselors are available 24/7 to answer your calls with 100% confidentiality. Call us today to get you or a loved one back on track to a happy, healthy, and drug-free lifestyle.