Opiate addiction treatment involves helping those addicted to heroin, prescription painkillers, and other drug forms derived from the opium poppy plant. There are many things to consider when helping someone overcome a dependency problem to opium.
These include what substance they are addicted to, their level and frequency of use, the reasons they began using the drugs, as well as their willingness and desire to seek help. For many people admitting there is a problem is the often the most difficult step.
While it’s common to believe that only serious drug users who were addicted to heroin would suffer from addiction to opiates, it can actually affect many unsuspecting people if they are prescribed heavy duty medications for illness or injury. Someone treating severe back pain from an accident for example could easily find themselves dependent on their medication.
Many people do not realize commonly prescribed pain killing drugs such as codeine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone are actually derivatives from the opium poppy plant.
One of the first signs of opiate addiction begins with withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms will vary from person to person, but in general include feelings of restlessness, anxiety, nausea, headaches, insomnia, muscle aches, or agitation. More severe dependency can cause vomiting, chills, and others.
While withdrawal symptoms are certainly unpleasant and uncomfortable, unlike alcohol addiction, it does not pose the same risk of fatality. Dehydration may become a concern if vomiting is persistent.
Withdrawal symptoms are typically the fuel that cause other signs of addiction and dependency, which includes trying to obtain more medication, covering up and lying about use, switching doctors or making multiple appointments for more prescriptions, performance differences in work or school, and problems with family members or friends concerning drug use and habits.
What Type of Opiate Addiction Treatment is Available?
Treatment will be different for each individual and their level of dependency. There are many factors that will play a part in the success of overcoming addiction, including their willingness to stop and the support system they choose to help them. There are many medical treatments available also that can help reduce the symptoms of withdrawal to make initial recovery more comfortable.
In general, opiate recovery and rehab involves several parts in overcoming dependency to the drugs. There is a very good point in this article on opiate addiction that the best treatment for an opiate addict is a program the addict is the most receptive towards participating in. Very few rehab programs can be successful without the desire of the addict to overcome their problems with abusing or depending on the drug.
Here are some of the things you may wish to look for in a treatment recovery and rehab program for opiates:
1. Managing Initial Withdrawal Symptoms: There are many medications available that can help reduce nausea and manage withdrawal symptoms that can greatly help the person overcome their physical need and urges to use the drug. The most common of these are Buprenorphine and clonidine. These medications must be administered in a hospital setting or drug treatment center with physician supervision.
2. Addressing the Reasons for Use: If abuse of prescription pain killers has led to the dependence on opiates, then it is important that the problem of pain management is addressed. If a person continues to suffer from chronic pain then they may be at risk at becoming dependent on drugs again. A drug treatment center that specializes in prescription drug abuse can often provide alternative resources and remedies for effectively dealing with pain without medication.
3. Therapy and Counseling: Therapy and counseling, both in a individual and group setting, can be very beneficial in learning new ways to live without the use of drugs. Many times it is easier to just swallow a pill than it is to cope with the usual stress and problems with life. For this reason it is very important to make sure that new ways of coping with sobriety and living are taught.
4. Relapse Prevention: Many people have problems with kicking the habit for good. Relapse is very common, especially if pain management hasn’t been addressed with non opiate alternatives or if there are emotional and psychological factors that are present and have not been addressed. While there are plenty of programs that offer rapid detox, they can often times be overall ineffective if they lead the person to begin using again.
Where Can I Get Help?
If you are experiencing the symptoms of addiction or you believe you may have a problem, there is nothing to be ashamed of in getting well qualified professional help. Most centers for rehab will welcome you with open arms and will not pass any judgement. Many of their caregivers and counselors have been exactly in the same position as you and can understand your situation and offer support and guidance. For many people, there are state and federal programs that can help you obtain the care you need with little to no cost to you if you do not have health insurance, regardless of your income or employment status.
If you are the family member or friend of someone dealing with addiction, it can be very difficult to watch the person you care about change and struggle with substance abuse problems. While you may not be able to control or change the situation, you can seek help for yourself if it is adversely affecting your own ability to live a healthy and happy life.
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to go through withdrawal from opiates. This fact keeps many individuals from facing the issue while the quality of their lives continues to go downhill.