Opioid Addiction Treatment

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According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, “The abuse of opioids, a group of drugs that includes heroin and prescription painkillers, has a devastating impact on public health and safety in this country.” Prescription opioids are used to treat intense pain that cannot be relieved through any other means. Unfortunately they are being overprescribed and misused resulting in an opioid addiction epidemic around the world. In 2014 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. It is vital that those addicted to opioids receive opioid addiction treatment.

Opioids work by attaching themselves to opioid receptors. These are present in our brains and other organs in our bodies. When opioids become attached to the receptors they reduce the amount of pain we feel. Our bodies naturally produce certain opioids, such as endorphins. These are known as endogenous opioids. Those produced outside the body are known as exogenous opioids and can be extremely addictive. They can be ingested orally, smoked or taken intravenously. The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies opioids as Schedule I, Schedule II or Schedule III, depending on their medical benefit and addictive properties. In addition to pain relief opioids can produce feelings of well-being and euphoria.

Opioids include:

  • Demerol
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Percodan
  • Percocet

Opioid Abuse

Opioids are widely prescribed. According to the CDC, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills. In the 2013 and 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 50.5% of people who misused prescription painkillers got them from a friend or relative.

Opioid intoxication can be lethal. Death occurs from respiratory depression. Intoxication includes the following signs:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Respiratory depression
  • Constipation
  • Dry secretions
  • Pruritus
  • Slurred speech

After repeated use of exogenous opioids, our bodies produce less of them naturally. As a result addicts begin to crave ever greater quantites of synthetic opioids, leading to intense physical and psychological pain upon withdrawal. Fortunately, the brain’s natural reward systems begin to normalize with proper opioid addiction treatment.

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Treatment for Opiate Addiction

Withdrawal from opioids can cause depression, gastrointestinal pain, insomnia, anxiety and panic attacks as well as vomiting. Although the withdrawal effects are not considered lethal, they are described as some of the most painful occurrences an individual can ever experience resulting in the use of opioids just to stop the withdrawal effects.

For that reason, opioid treatment programs usually begins with medically assisted detox which can be found at opiate detox centers. This is an essential part of opiate rehab. It assists patients in safely eliminating the abused substance from the body, while helping them to manage their acute physical symptoms associated with stopping drug use. Medications may be administered to patients in to help ease patients’ acute withdrawal symptoms and reduce the severity of any life-threatening symptoms. For example, people who have opioid dependence may be treated with medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone or Naloxone.

According to an article published in The Bulletin “there is strong evidence that medication assisted treatment, which uses prescription drugs to impact the opiate receptors in the brain to minimize the euphoric effects of drug use and ease withdrawal symptoms, might be the most effective approach.

The increased availability of different medication options can do wonders for patients in treatment for opioid use disorders by suppressing the severity and length of withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings.

After the detox phase, treatment will continue at opiate rehab centers utilizing other techniques and therapies in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Our services include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT), mindfulness meditation and a host of psychoeducational groups. We also open our patients to experiential therapies such as yoga, art therapy, equine therapy in addition to continuing care.

Treatment At Sovereign Health of Florida

Opiate addiction is a serious and sometimes deadly problem. Thankfully though opiate addiction recovery is possible. That is what we are here for.

At Sovereign Health of Florida we recognize that every addict is a unique individual requiring a specific treatment approach that best suits their needs. Our opioid addiction treatment programs tailor an individualized plan to fit the specific psychological and pharmacological needs of each patient, maximizing the chances of a quick and lasting recovery. At all levels of care we are committed to helping people overcome addiction, reclaim their futures, and enjoy healthy, happy lives. For more information about our opioid treatment programs please contact our 24/7 helpline.

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