Treating Opiate Addiction Part I: Detoxification And Maintenance
Dozens of opiates and related drugs have been extracted from the seeds of the opium poppy or synthesized in laboratories. The poppy seed contains morphine and codeine, among other drugs. Synthetic derivatives include hydrocodone , oxycodone , hydromorphone , and heroin . Some synthetic opiates or opioids with a different chemical structure but similar effects on the body and brain are propoxyphene , meperidine , and methadone. Physicians use many of these drugs to treat pain.
Opiates suppress pain, reduce anxiety, and at sufficiently high doses produce euphoria. Most can be taken by mouth, smoked, or snorted, although addicts often prefer intravenous injection, which gives the strongest, quickest pleasure. The use of intravenous needles can lead to infectious disease, and an overdose, especially taken intravenously, often causes respiratory arrest and death.
Addicts take more than they intend, repeatedly try to cut down or stop, spend much time obtaining the drug and recovering from its effects, give up other pursuits for the sake of the drug, and continue to use it despite serious physical or psychological harm. Some cannot hold jobs and turn to crime to pay for illegal drugs. Heroin has long been the favorite of street addicts because it is several times more potent than morphine and reaches the brain especially fast, producing a euphoric rush when injected intravenously.
What Do I Do If I Think I Might Be Addicted To Opioid Drugs
Learning the various signs of an opioid addiction is the first step you should take. If you think you are an opioid addict, it’s important to have this confirmed. Below, you’ll find information related to the different physical and behavioral signs to look out for. You might find that you recognize many of your own symptoms here. If you do, itâs vital that you reach out for help.
Contacting a drug rehab that offers opiate treatment is one of the first steps that you should take. These are professionals who understand the importance of treating this type of addiction the right way. They’ll help you understand why you became an addict in the first place. It may have been accidental, or there could be underlying conditions that need to be treated.
During drug rehab, you’ll learn so much about your addiction. You’ll receive individual counseling sessions that will give you a great deal of insight. You’ll also participate in group therapy sessions and other types of therapy.
However, first, let’s talk about what opioid addiction looks like.
Getting An Assessment Is Critical
What I would say is, the sooner the better that you can get an assessment. When you have an addiction its not about whether you trust the person, its about what is the addiction? What is the neurobiology of the addiction doing to the person? The age of onset at which someone develops an addiction is anyone through the age of high school through the early twenties should be monitored carefully in terms of people having different options and in terms of how quickly someone becomes addicted.
Parents should be aware of that and if anything the most important thing parents can do is, even on your own, do some type of urine drug screen intermittently to see what types of substances that your child or loved one may be using. If there is an opioid for sure in their urine make sure you seek professional help as quickly as possible. Usually, thats the beginning of a very complicated process that may take multiple years to remedy. So get professional help as quickly as you can.
Contact us at 692-6880 to learn more about opiate addiction treatment.
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A Life Must Be Rebuilt
A person has to recover his own self-respect, integrity, and ability to make drug-free decisions. He must learn how to deal with those whose friendship would lead him back to drug abuse. These life skills and many others are taught in the Narconon program. By the time a person goes home after eight to twelve weeks , he has confidence in his own personal morals and values, his problem-solving ability and his emotional self-control. He has also overcome the cravings that drive drug abuse so that every day is not a struggle for sobriety.
This is why so many parents say that they have their loved one back in their lives again.
Learn how the Narconon program can provide the help for opiate addiction you are looking for.
Do You Need Opiate Rehab
It is easy to assume that treatment has been completed upon successfully withdrawing from your opiate medication, but there is more to recovery than simply quitting the drug. It is rarely enough to detox alone without following on with a programme of rehabilitation.
You need to remember that addiction is typically made up of both a physical and a psychological element and that detox only addresses the physical. To fully overcome the addiction, you must also deal with the underlying psychological issues that may have led to your illness. It is for this reason that rehab is necessary.
While detox is an important part of opiate addiction recovery unless you follow on with a programme of rehabilitation, your recovery is likely to be very shaky and the risk of relapse will be high.
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Tolerance Vs Opiate Dependence
Although they do not necessarily mean you have an addiction, opiate tolerance and dependence are often present when someone is struggling with a substance use disorder . Tolerance means that you need increasingly larger or more frequent amounts of the drug to achieve the same high.
Dependence may develop over time as a person takes more and more opiate drugs to overcome tolerance. Physiological dependence means that your body requires opiates in order to function at an optimal level. If you abruptly quit using opiates once youre dependent, withdrawal symptoms will emerge.
In order to alleviate these withdrawal symptoms, many people return to opiate use, thus creating a cycle of drug abuse and withdrawal symptoms that can ultimately lead to the development of an SUDmore commonly referred to as opiate addiction. Opiate addiction is a chronic and progressive condition that often requires treatment from a professional rehab.
Your Privacy During Opiate Addiction Treatment
Nowadays, most everyone knows someone who struggles with addiction, so theres a growing awareness about how addiction works and why it happens. That being so, drug addiction still carries a certain degree of stigma in terms of the type of lifestyle it breeds. This stigma may well persist for people whove entered the recovery process.
For these reasons, opiate addiction treatment centers go to great lengths to protect your privacy. Strict guidelines on the handling of patient information, prior authorizations for disclosing patient information and confidentiality are adhered to for the duration of your stay in treatment, according to the journal of Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation.
Also, current laws protecting medical records and patient information in general must also be followed by treatment centers for opiate addiction.
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For Those Dealing With Opiate Addicts These Tips Are For You
An opiate addiction is not to be taken lightly. No friend or family member of an opiate addict believes the addiction is anything but life-threatening and dangerous. Those closest to the addict can play the most important roles in either enabling them or helping them get clean. In fact, a little bit of tough love has proven to go a long way. Studies show that many opiate addicts do not get sober without reaching the point of serious consequences. If they are cared for, provided shelter, money and an occasional meal, they have no incentive for change.
Enabling is common because it is difficult to imagine your loved one suffering even further. What would happen to them without your care? You may fear they are at risk of homelessness, disease or even incarceration. Unfortunately, studies also show that the actions of families and loved ones can actually increase the chances of these outcomes.
A steady supply of money and a comfortable bed to sleep in means the abuse of drugs can become more frequent and more concentrated. This can further increase the risk of overdose and death. If you are between a rock and a hard place being a loved one of an opiate addict, consider the following tips for dealing with opiate addicts:
1. Do Not Enable
First and foremost, do not negatively enable the addict. Reaching rock bottom is often the wake-up call an opiate addict needs to change. Providing food, money, and shelter makes getting high comfortable, not undesirable.
5. Know the Risks
Take Medications For Diarrhea And Vomiting
Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting are also common issues during opiate withdrawal. Constipation is the most common and debilitating symptom of opioid-induced bowel dysfunction, and withdrawal from the drug can cause the opposite effect . If you take over-the-counter medications and follow the directions, you can ease these symptoms and make the withdrawal process much less intense.
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Dual Diagnosis Treatment Involving An Opiate Addiction
Enrolling in an opiate treatment center that offers dual diagnosis treatment is the surest way to protect yourself from the negative side effects that accompany opiate detoxification and recovery. Dual diagnostics refers to the ability of mental health professionals to spot alternate sources of distress that may hamper your recovery, such as depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and more. Separating such common issues as these and treating each on its own allows you a smoother recovery.
Opiate addiction can be a terrible force, so it is essential to work with people who can understand the condition and treat it appropriately. Many of the top programs in the nation provide beautiful surroundings as well as effective recovery be sure to do some homework to ensure youre getting exactly what you want and need.
What Is Naloxone And How Can It Help With An Overdose
Available as an injection or nasal spray, naloxone is a lifesaving medication that can rapidly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. If you happen to have naloxone when responding to an overdose, call 911 and administer the medication according to the package instructions.
Access to naloxone is expanding on a state-by-state basis. It can be prescribed by a physician, is often carried by police officers and emergency medical responders, and is increasingly available over the counter at some pharmacies.
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Discontinuation Of Buprenorphine Maintenance
While there is no legal limit to the length of buprenorphine maintenance, many patients ask to be withdrawn a few months after being maintained. The usual reasons are desire to be off all narcotics or the cost. Patients often have an unrealistic expectation of how easy it will be to remain abstinent, and many will relapse within a short period.
Patients should be encouraged to remain on maintenance and, when possible, alternative solutions sought for issues like cost, eg, reducing frequency of visits, or exploring insurance options. There is no adequate data on the optimal length of time each patient must be judged individually using issues such as previous relapses, addiction history, and lifestyle stability. It is not uncommon to need a number of episodes of opioid maintenance or even long-term maintenance.
Opioid Detox Options & Withdrawal Treatment
Opioid withdrawal symptoms can be intensely uncomfortable and in certain situations withdrawal from opioids may be dangerous and even life-threatening.9 The opioid withdrawal timeline varies from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the type of opioid that was used, how long it was used, and any other drugs that were used.6 Medically managed withdrawal, or detoxification, can help you make it through safely and comfortably.
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Common Opioids And Opiates
Opioid pain medications are prescribed mainly to treat moderate to severe pain. In many cases, opioids are prescribed following surgery or a medical procedure. In a recent study by The Recovery Village, participants reported using these common legal opioid drugs, some using more than one:
- Oxycodone: a semi-synthetic opioid that 68% reported using. Common brand names are Percocet and OxyContin.
- Hydrocodone: 56% reported using this semi-synthetic opioid, included in drugs like Lortab and Vicodin.
- Morphine: a highly addictive, naturally occurring substance found in the opium plant that 37% reported using.
- Codeine, a less powerful but still addictive substance, is primarily used as a cough suppressant. Codeine is typically prescribed as a combination medication, and 31% reported using this substance.
- Fentanylis a highly addictive opiate that is produced synthetically. Fentanyl is commonly prescribed as a transdermal patch but is also sold illegally. About 26% of participants reported using fentanyl.
This Was An Issue That My Mother Dealt With Only Through The Medical Establishment
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin saw that addiction does not always mean that the addict ends up on the streets. Instead, her mother would see doctors to get the prescription pills that she needs. Her mother was also struggling with bipolar disorders.
She realized that her mother was sometimes incapacitated at times. She didnât act like her friendâs parents, and appeared very ill. Money was always an issue, as her mother would spend a lot of money on drugs and would not be able to hold onto a job.
As she grew older, she would have to take on household chores. She would also have to lend her mother money.
Many people donât understand that their loved ones are addicted when they are abusing prescription pills. Instead, they think that their loved ones are taking the prescriptions in order to deal with an illness or another medical condition.
When her mother was not abusing her prescription pills, she was fun and a lovely person to be around. And, thatâs the scary truth about addiction. It can strip someone of his or her positive traits.
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Set Boundaries And Stick To Them
Its up to you to decide what role you want to play in your loved ones addiction. You need to do whats best for you. If this means not living in the same house as them or sharing money or a car, thats alright. You should look out for your own best interests first, and then decide whether you are helping or hurting your loved one. Boundaries can be healthy for everyone involved.
Help For Families Of Addicts
Being the family member or loved one of someone who is addicted to heroin, painkillers, and other opiates is very hard. The nature of addiction is such that people are prone to lying, stealing, and becoming almost unrecognizable from the people they had been to you. It is important to remember that you are not alone. There are many lives that have been touched by the disease of addiction, and there are resources for you as well.
Two main sources of help are Nar-Anon and Al-Anon family groups. These groups are support groups, much like their counterparts for addicts, but are intended only for the loved ones of addicts. Here you can share your stories, your worries and fears, and can learn those of others. You can discuss what is working for your loved one and where they are challenged, and maybe get some help from your fellow group members. It is a great environment for support, and can truly help you along the way.
Another thing to consider is getting therapy for yourself. Talking to an addiction specialist or other therapist about your situation and where you stand can greatly help you cope, and you can learn about different ways you can or may not be able to help your loved one.
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Opiate Withdrawal Medications And Remedies Over
There are many tips and tricks for opiate withdrawal found online that, if followed, could increase the risk of complications or promote the development of additional dependencies if not prescribed as part of a professional medical detox protocol. The use of over-the-counter medications is often recommended however, medications should only be used as part of a controlled, reputable treatment program when advised by a doctor.
Some of the symptoms of opiate withdrawal are common and can be helped through medications that can be obtained over the counter.
For example, diarrhea that sometimes occurs with opiate withdrawal can be eased using a non-prescription diarrhea medication, such as loperamide . Other nonprescription medications and supplements for opiate withdrawal symptoms that could be taken under the care of a professional treatment program include:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin
- Anti-nausea formulations like Pepto Bismol
- Topical analgesics such as Ben Gay or Tiger Balm
- Natural sleep supplements such as melatonin or Valerian root
Because any over-the-counter medication has the potential to interact with other drugs, a doctor can help to make sure that the individual is avoiding anything that might interfere with other medicines that are prescribed to address the addiction.
Other Support For Opiate Addiction
Other types of help and support you may be offered while you come off heroin include:
- talking therapies you may be offered a talking therapy like CBT if you need help with anxiety or depression while you’re detoxing
- support groups your key worker will give you details of local self-help groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous or SMART Recovery
- support for family and carers your key worker can organise support for people close to you who are affected by your addiction
- help to stay healthy this could be anything from advice on healthy eating to tests for infections such as HIV
- incentives you may be offered rewards, such as vouchers or doses of methadone to take at home, for sticking with your treatment and staying off heroin
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