How Does Opioid Dependency Occur
Overcoming an opioid or opiate dependency may seem like an impossible dream during active addiction. The body literally demands constant replenishment of the drug just to be able to get through the day without horrible withdrawal symptoms surfacing. But the truth is, people are making their way well into recovery from an opioid dependency each and every day. Opioid addiction is both treatable and manageable, although expectations should be realistic about the expected timetable.
Unwinding the brain’s dependence on the drug takes time, requiring much patience and lots of commitment. But with a positive attitude and an effective opioid dependence rehabilitation program to guide you through, you can once again enjoy a life filled with hope and promise.
What is Involved in Opioid Dependence Rehabilitation
Once the decision has been made to begin treatment for an opioid addiction or dependency the next step to take is selecting a treatment program that aligns with your particular treatment needs, life circumstances, and financial resources.
Detox and withdrawal will be the first step of the recovery journey to tackle. Detox can be physically and psychologically difficult to endure for someone who has an opioid dependency, so an inpatient detox is recommended. Detox specialists and medical personnel will guide the client through the process and provide the medical and emotional support needed to stick it out.
Following the detoxification of the opioid from the bloodstream, an extended period of engagement in therapeutic activities—individual talk therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and adjunct therapies—will address the factors that contributed to the drug dependency. Therapists will teach new coping skills, life skills, communication skills, and show clients how to modify their behaviors and thoughts from being self-destructive to being constructive and positive.
At the heart of opioid treatment is gaining key insights about what might have fueled the addictive behavior, including past trauma, deep emotional pain or disturbance, a co-occurring mood disorder, a dysfunctional family dynamic, grief and loss, or the simple dependency that can develop from a prescription pain medication following an injury or surgery. Therapy provides a safe, supportive setting to process these potential factors.
After the treatment program is completed, there are measures to take that will reinforce the new clean and sober lifestyle and help one to avoid relapsing back to using. Aftercare can include continuing weekly outpatient therapy and group counseling, medications that assist in blocking cravings, and staying in a sober living environment for a few months.
Inpatient versus Outpatient Opioid Dependence Rehabilitation Programs
Although a diverse array of addiction treatment programs exists, they all fall into one of two main categories, inpatient (or residential) treatment or outpatient treatment. In most cases, the severity and history of the opioid addiction will determine the type of program, with inpatient programs being the best option for moderate to severe opioid dependency. Inpatient rehab provides 24-hour support and a full schedule of therapies and recovery activities throughout each day, and can last 1-6 months.
However, some may not have the freedom to leave their job or family obligations for an inpatient program, so an intensive outpatient program can allow them to remain at home while participating in the program for about five hours per day. This can allow the individual to also remain somewhat engaged in their job, and the costs associated with treatment are greatly reduced compared to an inpatient program.
Medically Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependency
A growing body of evidence is supporting the importance of medically assisted treatment (MAT) for relapse prevention and sustained recovery from opioid use. The drugs used in opioid treatment include buprenorphine, Suboxone, and methadone, which are prescribed by a physician during treatment, and then for several months following completion of the treatment program.
The drugs work by primarily training the opioid addict to no longer desire the drug by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain. If they no longer experience the high associated with the drug they will, over time, lose the cravings for it. After a few months, the client enters a tapering schedule to slowly decrease the brain’s dependency on it.
Opioid Dependence Rehabilitation
Contact a Treatment Specialist to receive personalized guidance that helps individuals or their loved ones get into an opioid treatment program that matches their needs and preferences. With such a wide range of options it can feel completely overwhelming trying to determine which program is best for you. Let the knowledgeable staff of addiction specialists guide you according to your specific needs to a high quality program. For free assistance finding the best program for you, contact a Treatment Specialist today at (866) 644-7911.