Opiate addiction is an epidemic that has hit people hard in all areas of the world. Pharmaceutical medications have been a significant contributing factor to the issue. Medical problems that require narcotic medicines like Vicodin, oxycodone, or hydrocodone are giving patients their first taste of an opiate. Then, when the medication is gone, the craving for the drug is still there. That’s when they hit the streets and go looking for heroin to get their fix.
Soon, that person is on a downward spiral, and they can’t get control of their life. Whether this is you or a loved one, it’s important to know that there is a treatment out there. It can be scary and a bit overwhelming to think about at first. By knowing all there is to know about opiate addiction treatment ahead of time, there is going to be a much better opportunity to get off the drugs once and for all.
Various Types of Treatment
Not all opiate addiction treatment types are the same. There are different inpatient and outpatient options as well as residential and long-term programs available in most areas. The type that an individual is going to benefit the most from is going to depend on their personal situation. No two addicts are the same, so all of the following factors need to be taken into consideration:
- If treatment has been attempted before
- How severe the addiction is
- The level and length of the dependence
- How the opioids were used
- Any other health conditions
In any case, those that have researched addiction have determined that no matter what kind of treatment is selected, it needs to happen for at least 90 days to be effective and safe. That’s how long it takes the mind and body to break any habits or behaviors. For some people, depending on the factors listed, it could take much longer than that.
How to Choose
Before picking a treatment option, some specifics should be taken into consideration. You don’t just want to pick the one that’s most convenient or most affordable. If it isn’t going to work for the individual getting treatment, there is nothing convenient about that, and you would be better off just throwing the money in the garbage. The wrong treatment option is almost a guarantee that the addict is going to go right back to using.
Here are a few of the questions you should be asking before making a final decision:
- Do you want treatment near home or far away?
- Where is the treatment center?
- What kind of treatment center is it (inpatient or outpatient)?
- Are there specific health factors that you have that require additional care (mental illness, HIV, pain, other medical conditions)?
- What’s the success rate of the center you are looking in to?
- Will insurance pay for it? If not, what does it cost?
- Do you want a faith-based or religious treatment style?
Having established answers to these questions is going to help significantly when it comes time to find a rehabilitation center. There are tons of them out there, and you can quickly eliminate the ones that don’t fulfill what you are looking for. Dealing with addiction isn’t easy, so making the process to find the right treatment more straightforward is going to help with the journey to recovery.
Starting with Detox
After entering a treatment program, the first thing an addict is going to deal with is detoxification. It is what happens when the drugs are no longer in the system. There are going to be withdrawal symptoms at varying levels as the patient lets their body return to normal. Some of those include:
- Cold sweats
- Muscle pains and aches
These can take place for anywhere from seven to 10 days depending on the individual. For the most part, there is nothing dangerous about the withdrawals, but they can be extremely uncomfortable for the addict. It’s why most people will choose inpatient treatment so that they don’t have the urge to use again to get relief from the symptoms.
In some treatment centers, patients can get medication for the withdrawal symptoms to help in the recovery process while being monitored by a professional.
Suboxone and methadone are the most widely used prescription medications used in opiate treatment. They keep the symptoms of withdrawal down. They also help in lowering the urge to use again. There are risks with using medication though, so it’s vital that this is done under the close supervision of a medical doctor. These prescription medications can go with the patient into their daily routine after they leave treatment as well.
Other methods of treatment that should continue after the initial process has been completed include counseling and therapy. It can help in identifying the risk factors associated with relapse and prevent it from happening.