Gaining a foothold over an opiate addiction is extremely difficult if attempting this feat on your own. People may, in their ignorance, look at addicts and chalk up their inability to get clean, and remain that way, as a character weakness. Having no experience with the physiological and neurological processes involved in addiction, they simply cannot fathom why a person can’t just quit the drug. This uninformed attitude is what contributes to the stigma surrounding addiction and dual diagnosis, that the addict is somehow of inferior intelligence or lacks the fortitude needed to kick the habit. In reality, many very intelligent, successful people can find themselves battling an opiate addiction that has managed to hijack their will.
Someone who attempts to stop the drug on their own will quickly realize they need help to accomplish this goal. The powerful grip of the opiate addiction is absolutely relentless, nearly impossible to override just using your own efforts. An inpatient treatment program that offers specialized opiate addiction recovery services is the most effective means to accomplishing the goal of attaining a sustained recovery.
About Opiate Addiction
Opiates contain a powerful narcotic derived from the opium poppy plant called Papaver somniferum. The substances that are made from the plant have been in use for over 5,000 years, for both medicinal use and as a recreational drug of abuse. Throughout history, opium has led to the fall of many. Opiates are extremely addictive, whether it is an illicit opiate such as heroin, or a synthesized variety used primarily for pain relief, known as opioids, including morphine, oxycodone, codeine, hydrocodone, and fentanyl.
In recent years, with opiate abuse and addiction spiking, approximately 44,000 deaths were attributed to this class of drugs in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Increasingly, opiate addiction is being associated with doctors overprescribing opioids. It takes only days or weeks for someone to potentially become chemically dependent on opiates. As the patient’s tolerance to the drug’s effects increases, more of the drug is ingested, which leads to addiction. Patients may initially obtain a prescription refill or two, only cementing the dependency to opioids. Eventually, the doctor will cut them off from the drug, so the patient may turn to doctor shopping or the Internet to get the drugs. Many turn to heroin as a cheap alternative to opioids.
How Does Opiate Addiction Occur?
The brain has opioid receptors built into its reward center. When an opiate is taken or injected, this triggers the release of endorphins, known as the brain’s feel-good chemicals. This causes a sense of euphoria, pain relief, and deep relaxation, as if you have not a care in the world. The brain sends a signal that this feels good and should be repeated.
As repeated use of the drug continues, the brain will begin reducing the production of endorphins, which is a sign that tolerance is increasing. This often motivates someone to take higher doses than what is prescribed, or to dose at more frequent intervals.
Because the drug mimics natural brain chemicals, such as dopamine, the brain will stop producing dopamine, becoming dependent on the regular dosing of the drug. When the individual attempts to stop using the opiate, they will experience withdrawal symptoms within hours.
What Are the Benefits of Residential Opiate Addiction Recovery Services?
When attempting to break free from an opiate addiction, outpatient treatment is insufficient for sustained sobriety. The cravings that will result are so intense that most individuals attempting to detox on their own will fail. Also outpatient programs allow the individual to live at home while in treatment, which is not restrictive enough, considering the powerful cravings that could cause them to relapse.
Residential treatment provides 24-hour support and a full schedule of therapeutic activities throughout the days. The individual lives in a treatment center for the duration of their treatment plan, usually no less than 30 days. Each individual will be thoroughly evaluated upon admission so a customized plan can be created to address their specific treatment and mental health needs. A medical detoxification is the first step of the recovery process, where the individual will process through the days when the body eliminates the chemicals from the body. Detox support staff will monitor withdrawal symptoms and provide medications to help ease the symptoms. Following detox, the individual will then segue into active treatment right there at the treatment center.
What Can I Expect in Opiate Addiction Recovery Services?
Opiate addiction treatment involves multiple types of therapies and activities that work in tandem to help the recovering individual overcome the opiate or opioid dependency. These treatment elements include:
- Medical detoxification
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy or couples therapy
- Medication management for mood disorders, if applicable
- Classes in addiction education
- Relapse prevention planning
- Medication assisted treatment, such as Suboxone, if applicable
- Nutrition and wellness counseling
- Recreational activities and exercise
- Holistic activities, such as meditation and yoga
Treatment for a Dual Diagnosis
A dual diagnosis is designated for individuals who have both a substance use disorder and a coexisting mood disorder. The co-occurring disorders must be treated simultaneously versus one after the other to ensure a successful recovery outcome. When there is a dual diagnosis present, it is important to seek out a treatment program that specializes in treating co-occurring disorders.
How to Maintain Sobriety After Treatment?
The period following treatment is the most important aspect of recovery. This is typically a tenuous period, when recovery is new and new healthy habits are not yet established. Returning home after a 30 or 60 day rehab stint may cause a great deal of stress and even could trigger a relapse, which is why the aftercare component is so important to a sustained recovery. Aftercare may include the following:
- Sober living housing for a few months
- Weekly outpatient therapy sessions, either individual or group, or both
- Fellowship at recovery meetings, such as Narcotics Anonymous or similar
- Establishing a regular daily schedule and bedtime
- Establishing healthy dietary habits and a regular exercise schedule
- Finding sober activities to enjoy with others in recovery
Quest 2 Recovery Opiate Addiction Recovery Services
Quest 2 Recovery is a residential treatment program located outside the Los Angeles metropolitan area, serving Southern California with specialized opiate addiction recovery services. The quiet, tranquil surroundings offer a perfect setting for starting a new life chapter in recovery. Quest 2 Recovery uses proven, evidence-based treatments and takes a family-like approach to its clients. For more information, please contact Quest 2 Recovery today at (888) 453-9396.