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Opiate Addiction Treatment

Opiate Addiction Treatment

More than 10 million Americans aged 12 and older misused opiates in 2019. Misusing opiates, also known as opioids, can lead to physical dependence and addiction. Unfortunately, even using opiates as prescribed by a doctor can end in addiction. If left untreated, opiate addiction can cause overdose and even death.

The good news is that there is always hope for those who are addicted to opiates. Treatment programs and addiction counselors create a path towards a clean and sober life without opiates.

Milestones’ Treatment Process

Opiate addiction treatment is a multi-step process that addresses the complex nature of addiction. While treatment usually follows an established course, the best opiate addiction treatment plans are personalized to fit the unique nature of each person’s addiction. After all, the circumstances that led you to opiate addiction may be completely different than someone else’s experience.

Detoxification phase

Treatment begins with eliminating the opiates from your body and managing your withdrawal symptoms. Many people who try to overcome opiate addiction relapse during this step, known as detoxification, because of the discomfort that withdrawal symptoms can cause – especially when they try to quit “cold turkey.”

When you take opiates every day for several days or weeks at a time, your body becomes physically dependent on them. In other words, you have to take opiates every day to feel “normal.” When you are physically dependent on opiates and you stop taking them suddenly, your body struggles to adjust. You feel this struggle through withdrawal symptoms, which can be severe and last for days or weeks.

Withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Bone or muscle aches
  • Anxiety or nervousness

When you undergo professional opiate treatment, the team of treatment professionals can administer medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms safely, so that you can complete the detoxification process and move on to the next step towards recovery. We can also help you get started on medication-assisted treatment that includes Buprenorphine and other medications that prevent withdrawal symptoms. These medications include:

  • Suboxone
  • Subutex
  • Zubsolv

In addition to administering these anti-withdrawal medications, addiction treatment staff also monitor your vital signs and take steps to ensure your safety and comfort so that you can complete the detoxification phase of your treatment.

Treatment phase

Once you have made it through the detoxification process or are on medication-assisted treatment, you can begin counseling sessions that may include:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – a type of “talk therapy” that help you identify and change the dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts that lead to opiate abuse

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program, which treats any co-existing mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety

12-Step Program – a set of 12 guiding principles that help you overcome opiate addiction

These programs will help you identify the environments, situations, and behaviors that trigger or contribute to your substance abuse and addiction. Identifying these triggers helps you avoid these stressful and unhealthy situations, which helps reduce your urge to use opiates.

You will also learn coping mechanisms that help you face life’s inevitable stresses without the use of opiates. If you are like many people with opiate addiction, you use opiates to help you survive tough times or to blunt your feelings during an emotional crisis. As your addiction worsens, you may find yourself using opiates to celebrate the good times or just to make it through a typical day. If you have an opiate addiction, you need to get help right away, before addiction takes you further away from the life you desire.

For more information on treatment for opiate addiction, consult with the addiction specialists at Milestones Wellness Centers. We go out of our way to create a friendly and professional atmosphere, one that helps all of our patients get the help they need to overcome opiate addiction. Our opiate addiction counselors have years of experience helping people just like you overcome their addiction and regain control over their lives. Get the help you need today by contacting Milestones Wellness Centers.

What is Buprenorphine?

Many people are curious about Buprenorphine and similar treatment methods. Suboxone/Subutex/Zubsolv is used for safe and comfortable detoxification from opioids and opiates (prescription pain medications, heroin). Suboxone/Subutex/Zubsolv treats opiate addiction by preventing symptoms of withdrawal from heroin and other opiates. Buprenorphine is used in treating addiction to help people reduce or quit their use of heroin or other opiates, such as pain relievers like morphine. Approved for clinical use in October 2002 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), buprenorphine represents the latest advance in treating addiction. Medications such as buprenorphine, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of opioid dependency. When taken as prescribed, buprenorphine is safe and effective. As with all medications used in treating addiction, buprenorphine is prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and participation in social support programs.

Buprenorphine offers several benefits to those with opioid dependency. The FDA has approved the following buprenorphine products:

Refer to the product websites for a complete listing of drug interactions, warnings, and precautions.

How Buprenorphine Works

Buprenorphine has unique pharmacological properties that help:

  • Lower the potential for misuse
  • Diminish the effects of physical dependency on opioids, such as withdrawal symptoms and cravings
  • Increase safety in cases of overdose

Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist. This means that, like opioids, it produces effects such as euphoria or respiratory depression. With buprenorphine, however, these effects are weaker than those of full drugs such as heroin and methadone.

Buprenorphine’s opioid effects increase with each dose until at moderate doses they level off, even with further dose increases. This “ceiling effect” lowers the risk of misuse, dependency, and side effects. Also, because of buprenorphine’s long-acting agent, many patients may not have to take it every day.

Opiate Addiction Treatment FAQ

How Common is Opiate Addiction?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2019, opiate misuse in America was at an all-time high, with more than 10 million Americans misusing opioids (aka opiates). In addition, approximately 50,000 overdose deaths in America involved some type of opioid. Of these 2019 opioid-related deaths, nearly 73% were due to the use of synthetic opioids (e.g., fentanyl and tramadol).

What Does Opiate Addiction Do?

When someone uses opioids, the brain releases dopamine, which is one of the body’s feel-good chemicals. As the individual continues to use opioids, the brain begins relying on the presence of the drug to feel the level of pleasure that the individual previously experienced. The brain’s reliance on opioids for pleasure leads to addiction. Furthermore, as the user continues taking the drug, he or she becomes tolerant of it and begins requiring more and more of the opioid to achieve the same feeling.

Once an individual who is addicted to opiates decides to stop using, he or she starts experiencing withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include insomnia, concentration problems, and physical discomfort (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). To reduce their withdrawal symptoms and improve their prognosis, as they recover, many individuals seek assistance from addiction treatment centers.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Opioid Addiction?

Treatment for opioid addiction typically includes a detoxification phase followed by counseling. At Milestones, we believe that personalized treatment plans offer the most benefit to our patients. Therefore, each of Milestones’ patients receives a personalized opioid addiction treatment plan. Since each patient is unique, this custom-designed plan will address the complex nature of his or her specific opiate addiction. For this reason, the length of treatment for addiction to opioids can vary from one patient to the next.

What Causes Opioid Addiction?

Many people begin taking opioids as prescribed painkillers following a surgical procedure. In addition, opioids may be prescribed to decrease the pain associated with a medical condition or disease, as well as for the reduction of pain caused by an injury.

Some people are just curious and choose to try opiates, not realizing the risks they are taking. Mayo Clinic states that anyone who takes opiates could develop an addiction to these types of drugs.

It is vital that individuals who receive a prescription for an opioid closely follow their physician’s orders. Especially when you consider that an individual’s risk of developing an addiction increases after only 5 days of taking an opioid.

There are factors that can contribute to an individual’s likelihood of developing an addiction.

Common factors include:

  • Psychological factors may include depression and anxiety.
  • A genetic predisposition for developing an addiction.
  • Environmental factors, including exposure to addictive substances during childhood or surrounding oneself with people who use illicit substances.

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