How is an Opiate Addiction Treated?

How is an Opiate Addiction Treated?

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

A prescribed dose of painkillers can lead to opiate addiction for many individuals. Opioids are often prescribed to alleviate pain, and even a small dosage can result in an addiction. Opiate addictions have long-lasting, detrimental effects on one’s life. These effects can be physical, mental-emotional, and social. 

Because of the far-reaching effects of opioid addiction, it is important to find refuge from it. Treatment is necessary for this addiction, and First Steps Recovery provides individualized treatment plans to ensure the best quality care. The staff works on this plan to encourage long-term sobriety for clients. A customized plan with compassionate care helps clients to live a happier and healthier lifestyle without being controlled by opioids.

Opiate Addiction

An opiate addiction is classified as a compulsive urge to use opioid drugs even when they are not medically required. Even with a prescription, opioids can be addicting. Individuals often misuse these drugs. Since opioids are prescribed to produce feelings of pleasure and pain relief in the nervous system, the chemistry of the brain alters as they are used. This means that over a period of time, the opioid dosage must increase to achieve the same effects.

After a long period of time, dependence on the drug will occur. It is important to note that dependence does not always entail an addiction. When people stop taking opioids, they often experience withdrawal symptoms, leading them to continue taking the medication. An addiction emerges when the need for drugs becomes unavoidable.

Causes of Opiate Addictions

A combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors can contribute to opiate addiction. Certain genetic variations of the body’s pain-regulatory system can cause a person to be more susceptible to addiction. Genetic factors that control how a person’s nervous system functions and reacts to pain relief are also contributing factors.

Effects of Opiate Addictions

There are a number of side effects from misusing opioids. Some of these include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Mental fog
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Low blood pressure
  • Physical agitation
  • Poor decision-making
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Slowed breathing

Slowed breathing is often a sign that one is about to overdose on opioids. There are also other effects that are more long-lasting from opiate addiction. These may include:

  • Compulsively seeking the drugs/substances
  • Using other substances alongside opioids, known as polysubstance use
  • Abandoning responsibilities, leading to problems in work life or home life
  • Depression and less motivation

Withdrawal symptoms, leading to abuse of opioids, include feeling jittery, anxiety, muscle cramps, nausea, chills, pain, fatigue, and diarrhea. It is crucial to seek help for opiate addiction and receive proper, personalized treatment for the addiction in order to foster a healthy and happy life.

How to Treat Opiate Addiction

Opiate addictions can be treated with medication, counseling and behavior therapies, medication-assisted therapy (MAT), and residential or hospital-based treatment.

At First Steps Recovery, the staff provides a timeline for individualized opiate addiction treatment. The facility offers a comfortable and safe environment for clients to recover and heal during their time in treatment.

Treatment at First Steps Recovery

The first phase of recovery is detoxification. Detox at First Steps Recovery is monitored by staff, specifically in the first few days of the process. This process helps clients overcome physiological dependency on opioids and returns the client to a state of physical health. When withdrawal symptoms occur, the staff works with clients to overcome this difficult time. After this period of detoxification, clients are ready to embark on their individualized recovery journey.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

The inpatient residential rehabilitation program is one option for clients recovering from opiate addiction. In this program, clients stay at the facility with their team to take part in counseling and psychotherapy as well as holistic approaches to treatment such as art and wilderness therapy. The resident’s needs are tended to on the individual level, providing them with quality care as they stay at a comfortable facility that promotes healing.

Intensive Outpatient Program

The intensive outpatient program (IOP) offers the same resources and environment for clients as the inpatient program, except clients can stick to their normal routines outside of the facility. Clients in this program are still given the same quality care with psychotherapy and holistic models of treatment. This program is designed for clients who either cannot leave their normal routines or for those who do not require the level of care that inpatient programs provide. The staff works closely with these clients, especially in the early phases of the IOP as clients may be living in the environment where their opiate addiction began.

A staff member can help assess whether someone requires inpatient treatment to thoroughly address their opioid dependence. The level of care needed will depend on each person’s situation and history. All models of treatment, though, work to help clients develop a healthier mindset and outlook on life. Similarly, clients learn to build a healthier lifestyle not controlled by opioids.

Here at First Steps Recovery, we provide treatment for clients struggling with opiate addiction. Opiate addiction can damage one’s physical, mental-emotional, and social life, making treatment crucial to their success in life. Clients are given individualized treatment plans in order to ensure the best outcome in recovery. First Steps Recovery starts with detoxification so the client’s physical body cleanses and no longer relies on opioids. The client then embarks on their personal recovery journey, either taking part in the inpatient or outpatient programs. Both of these programs work to heal the whole person, not just the symptoms or effects of opiate addiction. To learn more about our treatment, please call us at (844) 489-0836.

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