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How To Get Help For Opiate Addiction

Counseling And Behavioral Therapies For Opioid Addiction Treatment

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Your chances of beating narcotic addiction are better with long-term maintenance therapy that includes medications along with some form of counseling or behavioral therapy. This is known as medication-assisted treatment .

Counseling with a qualified health professional helps you deal with any personal or social problems that may be leading to addiction or making it worse. These include:

  • Your feelings of self-worth
  • Problems at work or home
  • People around you who use drugs or alcohol

Your treatment program may involve one or more of these:

  • Contingency management uses incentives or rewards to help you meet goals such as sticking with medications or attending treatment.
  • Motivational interviewing helps you identify reasons why you might not want to change your behavior.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy shows you why you might be using drugs, builds your belief that you can address your problems, and teaches you to cope with struggles more effectively.
  • Family therapy brings in people who care about you to strengthen your treatment.
  • 12-step groups involve defined goals such as attending meetings or getting a sponsor.
  • Support groups introduce you to people who know from experience what youâre going through. They can offer their own tips for recovery and help you deal with any setbacks.

Principles Of Effective Treatment

Based on scientific research since the mid-1970s, the following key principles should form the basis of any effective treatment program:

  • Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior.
  • No single treatment is right for everyone.
  • People need to have quick access to treatment.
  • Effective treatment addresses all of the patients needs, not just his or her drug use.
  • Staying in treatment long enough is critical.
  • Counseling and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used forms of treatment.
  • Medications are often an important part of treatment, especially when combined with behavioral therapies.
  • Treatment plans must be reviewed often and modified to fit the patients changing needs.
  • Treatment should address other possible mental disorders.
  • Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of treatment.
  • Treatment doesn’t need to be voluntary to be effective.
  • Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously.
  • Treatment programs should test patients for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases as well as teach them about steps they can take to reduce their risk of these illnesses.

Should Medications Be Used During The Recovery Process

Withdrawal from opiates can be a long recovery process. It is common to see relapse during treatment. There are medications that can assist our patient in overcoming his or her addiction by reducing the withdrawal symptoms. The most common medications used to treat opiate addiction at our opiate detox centers include:

  • Methadone

    Using the prescribed amount, methadone eliminates withdrawal symptoms and helps ease cravings. Our patient should not feel as physically dependant on the opiate.

  • Buprenorphine and Naloxone

    This is a newer drug that assists in the detoxification process. Buprenorphine helps reduce the craving for the drug during the withdrawal process. Naloxone prevents the misuse of the medication by eliminating the high.

This blood pressure medication is usually accompanied with the other medications. Clonidine helps regulate the fight or flight response on the brain. During withdrawal, this response is overactive.

Although we have used medications to treat opiate addiction, they have a low success rate. Research has found 70%-90% of methadone users relapse at the end of treatment. Some of the other medications used have an even lower opiate addiction treatment success rate.

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The Cost Of Opiate Rehab

If youre unsure about investing time or money in opiate rehab, its worth weighing up the costs of your addiction. Start with the financial cost of opiates including any drugs that youre paying for on prescription, buying online or obtaining from a street dealer. Add up the costs to your health including any physical or mental illnesses connected to your addiction. Consider the effects on your ability to work and earn money and the damage to your relationships. Lastly, consider the price of continuing in your addiction what is at stake if you dont get help now?

Support Groups Help Users Overcome Opiate Cravings

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Support groups are a big part of recovery. Structured groups are offered in many treatment programs. Group therapy at Michaels House offers supportive education and time to discuss new skills, build new connections, and find better ways to recovery.

Groups like Narcotics Anonymous are an excellent resource for any person in recovery. At a support group, you can surround yourself with people who understand, first-hand, how difficult this journey can be. Support groups meet on a regular basis so that strong, personal relationships can be formed. Support groups are more than just therapy: they offer a new place to meet friends, a space to share your journey, and a variety of new activities to enrich your life.

In many cases, a sponsor can be found through a support group. A sponsor is someone in recovery who provides personal accountability and support to an individual in recovery. If you experience cravings or fears that relapse may occur, your sponsor is available to help guide you through the craving.

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Is Methadone A Good Option

Some people become so dependent on these drugs that the very idea of having to quit creates a great deal of anxiety. Others may try to recover from these drugs and find themselves in a cycle of relapse. Medications like methadone and suboxone can help some people. Methadone is used with some treatment programs to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal and also to block the effects of opiate drugs

Everyone is different and there is a debate in the recovery community: Is using methadone simply substituting one addiction for another? The answers vary, but the important thing to know is that addiction recovery is not always one-size-fits-all. It is important to discuss your options with a trusted medical provider or licensed rehab program.

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Isolation From Family And Friends

One of the more apparent signs of opioid addiction occurs when individuals isolate themselves from friends and family members.

Excessive drug use can result in agitation and irritability, while the addicted person might lash out and blame others for their problems. This can create a rift between themselves and their loved ones as they struggle to sustain their addiction.

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What Is Suboxone And How Does It Work

Suboxone, a combination medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone, is one of the main medications used for medication-assisted therapy for opiate addiction. Use of MATs has been shown to lower the risk of fatal overdoses by approximately 50%. Suboxone works by tightly binding to the same receptors in the brain as other opiates, such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. By doing so, it blunts intoxication with these other drugs, it prevents cravings, and it allows many people to transition back from a life of addiction to a life of relative normalcy and safety.

A key goal of many advocates is to make access to Suboxone much more widely available, so that people who are addicted to opiates can readily access it. Good places to start are in the emergency department and in the primary care doctors office. More doctors need to become waivered to prescribe this medication, which requires some training and a special license. The vast majority of physicians, addiction experts, and advocates agree: Suboxone saves lives.

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Opiate Effects And Abuse

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Opiates produce euphoric and tranquil effects when taken in amounts that are larger than prescribed. The pleasant, care-free feelings a person experiences when taking these drugs are often what leads to destructive patterns of abuse.

Opiate addiction is often characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior. For example, in an attempt to obtain more of the drug, a person may visit multiple doctors in order to get new prescriptions, otherwise known as doctor shopping.

The pathological urges to use these drugs can also drive people to borrow, buy, or steal the drugs from friends and family. As an act of desperation, some individuals may resort to seeking out Heroin, an illegal Opioid that is commonly purchased on the streets. Despite the well-known dangers of Heroin, it is often easier and cheaper to obtain than Opioid pills.

In one survey, 94% of respondents said they chose to use Heroin over prescription Painkillers because it was cheaper and easier to get.

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How To Help With Opiate Addiction

If you are reading this article, you most likely are close to someone who is abusing opiates or opioids. Perhaps you are an opiate user yourself. When you want to help with opiate addiction, its important to understand what recovery from opiate addiction is like.

Most centers and people who are involved in recovery from opiate addiction talk about the high levels of relapse after a person gets clean. At Narconon centers around the world, however, it is known that a person can recover from this addiction. Five decades of providing rehab for all types of addiction show that problems with opioids can be overcome.

Tips For Cutting Down

Many people who develop opioid addiction want to cut down and reduce the problems associated with use rather than quit altogether. Eventually, most learn about their need to stop completely. Deciding how to start the processgradually or abruptlyis something each person should work out or discuss with the help of a clinician.

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Nausea Home Remedy Tips

Additional steps a person can take to reduce their nausea include the following:

  • Eating bland foods, such as bananas, rice, apples, toast, or crackers. These foods are less likely to cause stomach upset.
  • Eating several small meals throughout the day instead of large ones.
  • Drinking small sips of water to stay hydrated, as it is essential to replace fluids lost with diarrhea and nausea. Another option is to drink cooled Pedialyte or other electrolyte-replacement beverages. While sports drinks are also an option, they can be high in sugar, which could further worsen diarrhea.
  • Avoiding foods that are high in fat and greasy, as these can irritate the stomach lining.

A person should drink fluids to prevent dehydration wherever possible, as dehydration can worsen withdrawal symptoms.

Protect Your Recovery And Treat It As Your Most Valuable Possession

Opioid Overdose

There is nothing more important in your life than protecting your recovery and maintaining your state of being opioid and opiate free. You must take all reasonable measures to avoid returning to the dangerous state of active addiction.

While having friends in recovery who understand what it means to quit taking opiates and staying opiate free, you must be careful in sharing information about your medical treatment. For example, if you see a Suboxone doctor, this is not information that you should share with anyone, other than possibly your closest family members.

Sometimes, well-meaning friends have their own opinions about medication-assisted treatment and they may start making strong recommendations involving stopping your medication or changing how you take it. Taking medical advice from friends or people on the streets, you are putting yourself in danger.

When it comes to medical treatment, it is critical that you only make changes to your treatment regimen after having a talk with your doctor. Between you and your doctor, you can come to an agreement about what changes are reasonable.

Otherwise, take care to avoid allowing friends, family members, and coworkers to influence your behavior in ways that may put you at risk. For example, avoid the use of any alcohol or drugs that you know may trigger opiate cravings. If you are at an office party and your coworkers pressure you to drink alcohol, do not give in to this peer pressure.

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Opioid Tolerance Dependence And Withdrawal

From a clinical standpoint, opioid withdrawal is one of the most powerful factors driving opioid dependence and addictive behaviors. Treatment of the patients withdrawal symptoms is based on understanding how withdrawal is related to the brains adjustment to opioids.

Repeated exposure to escalating dosages of opioids alters the brain so that it functions more or less normally when the drugs are present and abnormally when they are not. Two clinically important results of this alteration are opioid tolerance and drug dependence . Withdrawal symptoms occur only in patients who have developed tolerance.

Opioid tolerance occurs because the brain cells that have opioid receptors on them gradually become less responsive to the opioid stimulation. For example, more opioid is needed to stimulate the VTA brain cells of the mesolimbic reward system to release the same amount of DA in the NAc. Therefore, more opioid is needed to produce pleasure comparable to that provided in previous drug-taking episodes.

The Neurobiological Basis of Dependence and Withdrawal

The locus ceruleus is an area of the brain that is critically involved in the production of opioid dependence and withdrawal. The diagrams show how opioid drugs affect processes in the LC that control the release of noradrenaline , a brain chemical that stimulates wakefulness, muscle tone, and respiration, among other functions.

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Develop An Understanding Of What Denial Is

In order to understand what goes on in the mind of someone battling substance abuse and in denial, it is important to understand exactly what denial is in a situation such as this.

According to Merriam-Webster, the psychological definition of denial is a condition in which someone will not admit that something sad, painful, etc., is true or real. Often it is difficult for addicts and alcoholics to reach out for help because they dont think any problem existsdenial is that powerful. Denial can also be a coping mechanism of sorts. Someone with a substance abuse disorder may have an inkling that something is wrong, but they may remain adamant in their denial of a problem in order to keep drinking or using.

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Withdrawal From Prescription Opiates

When addicted users go for some time after their last dose, or make attempts to stop taking prescription opiates, they often will experience withdrawal symptoms. The opiate withdrawal syndrome is frequently described as feeling like a bad flu for those experiencing it, and may include:

  • Intense opiate cravings.
  • Lack of ability to experience pleasure .

Many of the severe symptoms subside within a few days, although the full spectrum of opiate withdrawal can last anywhere from hours to days to even several weeks, depending on how long and how much the person was using. It is not unheard of for cravings and other, mild forms of physical and mental discomfort to persist for months after successfully quitting opiates. While not usually life-threatening, the withdrawal period can be very uncomfortable. Many people will do almost anything to avoid it, which contributes to the high rate of relapse.

How To Regain Energy After Opiate Addiction

Opioid Withdrawal: What It’s Like to Detox from Opiates | MedCircle

Quitting opiates and overcoming the devastating disease of opioid addiction is no small feat. It is a disease that claims over 100 lives a day. Countless others suffer for months, years, and decades. Family members spend countless sleepless nights praying and hoping for their loved one to seek treatment.

Opiates are a category of opioidsdrugs that are derived from the opium poppy plant. Opiates, simply put, are naturally derived opioids, but they have similar effects as synthetic opioids.

Withdrawals from opiates can leave the opioid addict wondering if its worth quitting. Aside from the symptoms of nausea, constipation, sweats, diarrhea, and muscle pain, muscle fatigue and loss of energy can last for weeks or months. Many former addicts are discouraged that they feel worse after getting sober than they did while they were high on opioids.

The good news: there are things you can do to regain your energy and feel the benefits of sobriety. Here is a list of six things you can do daily that will get you feeling better in the early days of recovery.

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Acupuncture Therapy For Heroin Detox

Acupuncture is gaining in popularity in the recovery industry. As an ancient Chinese therapy used to treat stress and relieve pain, it is proven to be exceptionally helpful for opiate withdrawal symptoms.

Acupuncture decreases stress-related muscle pain and discomfort. It regulates brain regions connected to pain and emotion, and most importantly, acupuncture promotes the release of endorphins, which are your bodys own opiates. Many individuals experience a euphoric sensation described as feeling lighter and happier after their first acupuncture session.

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Why Do People Become Addicted To Opioids

Opioids can make your brain and body believe the drug is necessary for survival. As you learn to tolerate the dose youâve been prescribed, you may find that you need even more medication to relieve the pain or achieve well-being, which can lead to dependency. Addiction takes hold of our brains in several ways â and is far more complex and less forgiving than many people realize.

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Tips And Tricks For Managing Symptoms

The following are some standard treatments for the symptoms of opiate withdrawal that resemble cold and flu symptoms.

Again, at-home detox for opiates is never recommended seek medical detox at a professional treatment program to ensure a safe and healthy detox experience.

  • Healthy eating and vitamins: During both addiction and withdrawal from opiates, the body can experience a number of nutritional deficiencies.
  • According to a study in the Iranian Journal of Public Health, people who have been addicted to opiates may have deficiencies of calcium and magnesium, which can contribute to muscle pain and spasms.1 Low potassium is also implicated in restless leg syndrome. Eating light, healthy meals can help improve nutritional balance. For example, eating bananas increases potassium intake. Taking a multivitamin or supplementing in areas of deficiency can help with recovery and ease symptoms.
  • Hydration: The excessive sweating and diarrhea that accompany opiate withdrawal can leave a person dehydrated.
  • Drinking plenty of water and other fluids can help prevent the additional discomfort that can be caused by dehydration. In many cases, using an enhanced hydration beverage, such as sports drinks, can help restore some of the electrolytes that are also lost when a person is dehydrated.
  • Hot baths: Many individuals in recovery from opiate addiction report that taking a hot bath is a helpful trick that can improve the experience of some withdrawal symptoms.
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