If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to opiates, recovery may seem overwhelming. Opiates can include a wide range of legal and illegal substances. Some people are prescribed certain medications such as codeine or morphine to treat severe pain while others may illegally obtain them or use substances such as heroin. Opiates are highly addictive in nature and can quickly affect all aspects of your life. Regardless of how an addiction forms, the most important thing you should do is to seek out professional help immediately. Determining the best route can be challenging though, especially since there are so many different programs available to choose from. As a general rule when it comes to the treatment of addictions, detoxification is a necessary starting point. Doctors and nurses are available to help you cope with your withdrawal symptoms in a healthy manner and can even prescribe medication if needed.
Not all rehabilitation facilities offer detox on-site though. Finding a program where you can complete medical detox and treatment will not only save you time, but will also decrease your stress levels and eliminate a transition period between detox and rehabilitation. As a result, it can significantly reduce your risk for relapse which is most common during the beginning stage of recovery. Detoxification is a powerful process that can jump start your recovery and give you the mental clarity you need to overcome your addiction to opiates once and for all.
What is Detox?
Rehabilitation aims to address the emotional and behavioral factors that contribute to addiction. However, it does not address the physical aspects surrounding this disease. Detox addresses this need in the treatment of addictions. It has one simple goal– to break your physical addiction to opiates as comfortably as possible. Accomplishing this without professional care is extremely difficult. In fact, most people relapse at least once before achieving stable recovery progress. Many people try to abstain from alcohol and drugs at home but fail to realize the impact that cravings and withdrawal symptoms can have on them. As a result, they may seek out substances to use as a quick fix to ease the pain of their symptoms. Fortunately, you can avoid this by participating in a medical detox prior to treatment.
During detox, 24/7 supervision is provided from a team of medical experts. They are available to help you remain as comfortable as possible while your body works on eliminating high levels of toxic substances in your system. This can take several days or even weeks in some cases. While all patients may experience discomfort during withdrawal, long term addicts often have the worst symptoms. The following may occur:
- Difficulty falling asleep or excessive sleeping
- Rapid mood swings
- Bodily aches and pains
- Difficulty focusing
- Excessive hunger or loss of appetite
- Confusion or paranoia
Doctors prefer to use the most natural route possible to treat withdrawal symptoms. For starters, a well balanced diet and nutritional supplements are often prioritized to prevent health complications. A calm and relaxing atmosphere enables patients to maintain a good mood and can also prevent mood swings and severe aggression. In addition to these methods, warm baths, time in a sauna and hydration also play a role in the detoxification process. Over the counter medications and anti nausea treatments may also be integrated into your treatment plan if needed.
However, in some case a doctor may prescribe certain medications on a temporary basis. These are used as a replacement drug to ease severe withdrawal symptoms. The two most commonly used options are methadone and buprenorphine. Methadone is a type of opioid that has been shown to reduce symptoms safely when administered by a healthcare professional. However, it is still highly addictive which is why it is reserved as a last resort in cases where mild remedies are not effective. Buprenorphine on the other hand is a type of opioid partial agonist. This means that it is not technically an opioid but can produce similar effects, which makes it a safe way to treat many patients during detox.
What Happens After Detox?
Once you complete detox, your next step should be treatment in a rehabilitation facility. Inpatient care, also known as residential rehab, is the most popular and effective choice. It provides a safe space for patients to focus on their recovery and developing new interests and coping skills to combat cravings in the future. Most inpatient programs last less than three months.
In some cases, an individual may not be able to commit to a residential program. Outpatient rehabilitation is designed to make treatment attainable for working parents or anyone else that may find it difficult to temporarily relocate. However, it is not right for everyone. If you struggle with self discipline or lack a strong support system at home, outpatient may not be the right choice for you. This is because it does not require you to live on site, leaving you to return home after treatment. While this factor does give patients the ability to practice what they have learned during treatment, it does not effectively prevent relapse. Environment plays a large role in the development and continuation of addiction. If your home environment is not recovery minded, inpatient care may be the best route of treatment for you.
Both inpatient and outpatient programs integrate different forms of therapy into treatment. Therapy such as individual counseling, group therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) aim to address the varying needs of patients.
If you are ready to break the harmful cycle of opiate addiction, do not hesitate to take action. Our team of addiction specialists are ready to help you get started on the path to recovery. Call (866) 840-6411 today!