opioid treatment

Understanding the Opioid Treatment and Rehab Process

It is a fool’s errand to attempt to conquer an opiate addiction on your own.  Once addiction has taken root, altering your brain chemistry and your behaviors, it is next to impossible to stop using the drug without professional help.  Accepting this fact is the first step toward changing your life—that if you want freedom from an opiate addiction the only legitimate recourse is to begin the opiate rehab process, and the sooner the better.

It seems every week there is a television special or news report about the burgeoning opioid/opiate epidemic in the country.  In 2015, drug overdose was the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., and opiate with opioid-related deaths topping 32,000, according to statistics provided by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.  Don’t become a statistic; start the opiate rehab process now.

About Opiate Addiction

In 1972 it was discovered that the brain has receptor sites for opiates, such as codeine, opium, morphine, and heroin.  When an opiate or opioid binds to these receptors they can modify the body’s pain perception while also increasing levels of dopamine, resulting in elevated mood.  Heroin and other opiates cause the brain to release a flood of dopamine into the body—up to ten times the normal levels of dopamine.

When an individual consistently uses opiates the constant high levels of dopamine surging through the body will eventually increase tolerance to the drug.  The user begins to need more and more of the opiate just to feel somewhat normal.  Eventually the brain stops producing its own endorphins, making any amount of physical pain unbearable.  Attempts to stop using the drug result in the onset of highly uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Over time, the opiate addiction leads to impaired reasoning skills, poor problem-solving skills, problems with behavior regulation, and impaired memory.  Physical consequences of long-term opiate addiction can include liver disease, heart problems, blood pressure problems, weight loss, and collapsed veins.

What to Expect During Opioid Treatment

It is recommended that an opiate addiction be treated at an inpatient treatment center. Inpatient programs offer a safe and supportive treatment environment where the patient will live for a month or more.  The first step is the intake process, which involves comprehensive assessments of the individual’s drug history, health history, mental health status, as well as making financial arrangements.

The next step in the opiate rehab process is the opiate opiate detox and withdrawal phase, during which the body rids itself of the drug.  A medically monitored detox will ensure that withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings are managed with medical support in a supervised environment.

The treatment phase of recovery involves daily therapeutic activities that include individual cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, group therapy sessions, addiction education classes, family therapy sessions, relapse prevention planning, 12-step or non 12-step recovery meetings, and an assortment of recreational activities and holistic therapies.  As the individual begins to feel better physically they become more engaged in these therapies, which benefits them emotionally, physically, and spiritually during the recovery process.

The Importance of Aftercare

The opiate rehab process should not end at discharge from the program.  Aftercare is a key element on the recovery continuum of care, where the new behaviors learned in the program can be reinforced.  The successful transition from rehab to resuming regular life activities is an important step in shoring up sobriety.

With a case worker helping the individual navigate their recovery, they can guide the person in making sound decisions, as well as assist them with getting outside support for legal issues, job seeking, and housing.  Sober living can be an excellent step in aftercare, providing a living environment that is safe, as well as drug and alcohol-free.  Continuing counseling sessions provide a sense of accountability as well as providing support and guidance during the early days of recovery that are vulnerable to relapse.

The Treatment Specialist Can Guide the Opioid Treatment and Recovery

The Treatment Specialist provides free personalized guidance toward locating the most appropriate opioid treatment, detox, and rehab for your unique needs.  Working with a large network of addiction and mental health treatment providers, The Treatment Specialist will use results of its free assessment tool to target the best treatment match for your specific situation.  Our team of trained addiction specialists treats each individual seeking help with the utmost compassion and dignity.  For more information and a free insurance check, call The Treatment Specialist today at (866) 644-7911.

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