How to Pick the Best Opiate Rehab Center
Despite the delayed but active attempts to control the distribution of opiates, this drug family has infiltrated communities in virtually every state and nearly every nation. The nickname comes from the source substance, opium, which occurs naturally in the poppy plants grown near the equator.
The highly addictive active ingredient has been used as a numbing agent and natural pain reliever since the beginning of recorded history. Eventually, medical science determined a way to isolate the active ingredients for use in medications such as Codeine, Morphine, and other pain relievers. More recent manipulations of this characteristic have led the way in the development of synthetic versions used as pain relievers and for recreational purposes.
Opiates and Opioid Receptors
The obvious question is what makes opiates such a problem in our society today? Opioid receptors in the brain are hardwired to respond to drugs in the opiate family in a particular way. Rather than being satiated by the presence of opioids, the brain simply learns to crave more and more of the drug, and it wants it presented at more frequent intervals. This results in an uncontrollable urge to use and a complete preoccupation with finding the next opportunity to use their drug of choice.
The addictive qualities of opiates have created an unprecedented rise in substance abuse problems that have affected every community in some way. Ten years ago, no one could have predicted the devastating effects and gruesome scenes that now infiltrate the daily news as a result of the opioid crisis. Despite the public education, awareness, and prevention initiatives, conditions seem to worsen around the country.
Signals and Side Effects of Opiate Usage
Even when the use of prescription opiates begins under medical supervision, it is still possible to develop a substance abuse dependency. Non-prescription forms, including heroin, are even more likely to result in a dependence on the substance. Some common symptoms of opioid abuse include:
- Volatile mood swings
- Prolonged agitation
- Restlessness or drowsiness
- Decreased motivation/lack of ownership or responsibility
- Loss of consciousness during use
- Frequently constricted pupils
When prescription or even recreational opiate use has become uncontrollable, the cycle of abuse has effectively begun. When a loved one starts to experience these or other commonly recognized signs of opiate abuse, the condition never gets better on its own. Sometimes the individual actively pursues assistance with treatment for opiate dependency, and other times an intervention is necessary to help them understand the need for seeking immediate help. The line between use and abuse may not always be very clear and it sometimes takes the support of a friend or loved one to point out specific behaviors that indicate a possible substance abuse problem.
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
After a period of opioid usage, whether in a prescription or synthetic form such as heroin, the user is most likely going to experience a period of withdrawal. This is a normal condition during the recovery process. The withdrawal symptoms and side effects will vary greatly based on a number of specific factors, but there are a few generalizations that can be made for most individuals withdrawing from opiates.
While the symptoms of withdrawal may be unpleasant, they are not typically life threatening. Common side effects of opiate withdrawal include nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps. These may last from a few days to several weeks depending on the severity of substance abuse. Alternating between fever and chills, the body may become weak or shaky. A general feeling of anxiety, paranoia or discomfort is to be expected. Depending on the severity of these symptoms, a medically supervised period of detoxification may be recommended or perhaps even necessary.
Choosing the Best Opiate Treatment Options
When detoxification is required to safely and comfortably counteract the withdrawal from opiates, an inpatient or outpatient treatment center can be selected for the purpose. Both options are useful and effective for the process of helping a client overcome their substance abuse challenges. The detoxification process is the first step to lasting recovery for some clients and should be performed in the most conducive environment possible.
When the detoxification process is not a required part of the treatment, recovery efforts can begin straightaway. A combination of treatment options are available and should be chosen according to the specific needs of the client. Most treatment plans include some type of cognitive or behavioral therapy component. This helps ease the transition between a life of opiate abuse and one of sobriety. Individual or group therapy is effective for uncovering past trauma and other possible reasons that substance abuse became a potentially soothing way to cope with life events.
Ongoing Support Is Important
After completing a treatment plan for opiate abuse, the individual must maintain a strong level of ongoing support. In order to remain successful after an initial program in a qualified treatment center, clients should be considering ways to move forward with a new set of thoughts and behaviors.
Aftercare programs are offered to clients who have completed a recovery program as a supplement to their individual sobriety plan. This is a necessary component for dealing with the sometimes harsh reality of transitioning into a life that is riddled with temptations. Those that have a substance abuse disorder have specific needs that others may not be aware of or may not be equipped to address. Without a mentor or an aftercare program of some sort, individuals may become lost and feel alone in their struggle to stay clean and sober.
The fear of relapse is a very real concern for individuals who have overcome the excessive use of opiates. They must have a plan of action for their decision making processes when faced with an actual temptation or opportunity to use. They must also have a way to redirect their own thoughts and feelings when the desire to use arises from within themselves. Aftercare programs and other ongoing treatment support options help answer these questions and deflect concerns surrounding the accomplishment of ongoing sobriety.
If you or a loved one is battling against opiate abuse, contact St. John’s Recovery Place today. Our qualified admissions staff can answer your questions and help you find the support and services you need to overcome this battle.