Opiates Treatment and Rehab

Opiates Abuse and Addiction Treatment

The term ‘opiates’ covers a wide range of drugs. This includes legal substances such as morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone and codeine, as well as illegal drugs like opium and heroin. Even if the drug is prescribed, long-term use or going beyond the recommended intake puts you at risk of addiction. There is always a high chance of developing a tolerance when you use opiates, which can result in a continuous cycle of addiction. What this means is that you no longer feel the same effects from opiates as you once did. When this occurs, you may begin to take greater amounts of the drug in order to achieve the desired effects, which places you at great risk of overdose.

Generally, opiate abuse treatment begins with questions relating to the level and nature of your addiction. Some of these questions include: the length of time you’ve been using the drug, the time of your last dose, how you usually source your supply, and so on. Your treatment providers utilise the answers to decide on the best treatment approach for you. The main options for opiate abuse and addiction treatment include detox programmes, inpatient rehab and outpatient therapy.

What is Opiate addiction?

Opiates alter your brain by producing artificial endorphins. In addition to blocking pain, these endorphins create a pleasurable or euphoric feeling. Taking too many opiates can make your brain begin to depend on these endorphins, to the point of no longer producing its own. When you use opiates for a prolonged period of time, there is a higher chance of this happening. Also, drug tolerance will increase and more opiates will be needed over time as a result. However, opiate addiction can be avoided if you only use your drugs as recommended. Using them for more than a month has been shown to cause dependence.

Opiate addiction is recognised by the presence of strong cravings for the drug, or feelings of a lack of control when it comes to using it. Also, if you continue using the drug without your doctor’s consent, you may be suffering from an opiate addiction. Like other addictions, this can lead to perilous trouble with your health, finances, job or education. Your relationships with family and friends may also be affected. Usually, your family becomes aware of your addiction before you do, because of noticeable changes in your behaviour.

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Opiate Addiction Treatment

Opiate addiction treatment can be very individual, since addiction does not affect each person in the exact same way. The main goal of treatment is to help you safely quit ingesting opiates and to avoid using them in the future. The first stage in treatment involves detox, which refers to withdrawing from the drug. This treatment is often carried out slowly, with the use of stabilising and maintenance medication by an experienced medical team. If you’re receiving treatment for powerful opiates, your doctor may administer methadone or buprenorphine to make the transition more manageable. This type of detoxification is usually completed on an inpatient basis to ensure your safety.

After detox, you may be transferred to continue treatment in a residential rehab or outpatient facility. The decision about the right treatment type for you will be based on the results from any previous attempts at recovery, as well as the presence of home or family support, your available resources and your level of opiate use. Rehabilitation centres typically offer 30 to 90 day programmes, with most of the time spent on activities that help you recover, including individual and group therapy.

Opiate Dependence Treatment Suggestions

Opiate dependence can be physical and psychological. If you have a long history of chronic pain, you may become dependent on opiates because of their significant pain-relieving effects. Therefore, dependence occurs, because the drug allows you to function without consistently thinking about your pain. Opiate dependence can be treated using a number of methods – the most common of which is a medically assisted detoxification. Opiate detox is useful for achieving long-term sobriety. Withdrawal from opiates can be uncomfortable. In certain cases, it may even result in relapse. Supervised detox ensures your symptoms are safely controlled through supportive care in a sober environment.

In addition, some medications may be prescribed by your physician to help prevent relapse. During opiate dependence treatment, the following medications may be administered:

  • Buprenorphine: Buprenorphine is a synthetic opioid drug that functions as a partial agonist to create a safe level of opioid effects. With this medication, effects only reach a certain point, which discourages abusing the drug to achieve the desired ‘high’.
  • Naltrexone: Naltrexone is a synthetic opioid antagonist, which works by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain from the effects of euphoria that opiates provide.
  • Methadone: Methadone is long-acting synthetic opioid agonist. It works to reduce cravings and prevents relapse by alleviating symptoms of withdrawal.

Warning signs of Opiate abuse and Addiction

Identifying the warning signs of opiate abuse and addiction is not always easy – especially as the meaning of the two are mostly misunderstood. Abuse of opiates (also known as opioid painkillers), refers to inappropriate usage, such as taking medication that was not prescribed by a certified doctor, or mixing your medication with other mind-altering substances to exaggerate the effects. On the other hand, opiate addiction involves feelings of intense cravings and a compulsive desire to obtain and use the drug, no matter its negative consequences. If you are suffering from opiate addiction, you may be willing to quit, but feel powerless to do so.

Some common warning signs of opiate abuse and addiction include: marked sedation or drowsiness, noticeable euphoria, constricted pupils, loss of consciousness, constipation, slow breathing, mood swings, obtaining multiple prescriptions from several doctors, sudden onset of financial problems, isolation, and engaging in risky activities such as driving under the influence. If you suspect a loved one is abusing or addicted to opiates, it’s necessary to take immediate action. Depending on their level of opiate usage, they might be able to find help at 12-step programmes or intensive rehabilitation centres.

Effects: Short and Long-Term

Opiates are highly effective painkillers when taken according to the recommended dosage. The biggest advantage of opiates is that they’re very effective at controlling pain, and relatively cheap. Opiates have a wide range of clinical effects, but are prescribed mostly because they are highly effective for pain relief. However, the sedative effects that the drug produces can result in future patterns of abuse. The short-term effects of opiates depend on the type of drug (for instance, morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodoneetc.), how it was administered and the amount ingested. The immediate effects typically occur within 15 to 30 minutes and may include: hallucinations, blurred vision, impaired judgment, euphoria, mood swings, drowsiness and confusion.

In addition to drug dependence and addiction, there are other effects that can occur with long-term opiate use. These include:

  • Opioid-induced hyperalgesia, a condition that makes you more sensitive to pain
  • Frequent and severe constipation
  • A suppressed immune system, leading to frequent infections and possible heart and liver problems
  • Opioid endocrinopathy, with symptoms that include decreased libido and possible infertility, anxiety, loss of muscle mass and strength, irregular menstruation and an increased risk of osteoporosis

Why You Should Seek Treatment and Rehab for Opiate Abuse and addiction

You don’t have to wait until something terrible occurs before seeking help. Even though rehab works whenever you choose to seek treatment, there is no better time to begin than right now if you’re struggling with opiate abuse and addiction. Sadly, addiction only gets worse over time. The longer you’re on drugs, the more it affects your brain chemistry, heightening your addiction and making chances of a full recovery even slimmer. In addition, your body builds up a tolerance to the opiates, making you need more and more to achieve the initial feeling of euphoria.

It may be helpful to think of opiate treatment and rehab as an opportunity to discover what your life would be like without addiction. Rehab provides the support and tools you need to start recovery and maintain long-term sobriety. You have nothing to lose in seeking treatment. Rehabs are your best bet, as they offer medical detox and a safe place to break free from the hold of addiction.

How to Help A Loved One Seek Treatment

If someone you care about is struggling with opiate addiction, your first move should be to offer non-judgmental concern, whilst putting an end to enabling behaviours. This means you need to provide ongoing support and encouragement, but maintain firm boundaries when it comes to their drug-seeking and using behaviours. If you want to help them get the treatment they need, the most common method is to stage an intervention. This approach has to be well-planned and should only include people who can offer concern and loving support to the addict. If your intervention group contains people who cannot show restraint or contain their judgement, your plan could backfire. You can also seek the help of an experienced interventionist to plan and implement the meeting.

If your loved one has gone through detox and rehab for opiate addiction but suffered a relapse, keep showing them that you will be there to provide support through further recovery attempts. It’s quite common for people to relapse a number of times before successfully maintaining their sobriety. You can assist them to re-enter treatment by convincing them that there are different reasons a treatment programme may not have been effective the first time, but a different approach might be more successful for them.

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Why Seek Rehab at a Treatment Centre for Opiate Addiction?

Rehabilitation at treatment centres provides a level of treatment for opiate use that lies comfortably between the focused medical care of inpatient treatment and the flexibility of outpatient treatment. Taking part in an organised drug rehab programme is an essential first step when seeking recovery from opiate addiction. However, you may initially prefer to avoid the professional care of rehab and attempt to detox on our own. In reality, it is extremely difficult to overcome addiction without qualified help. Seeking rehab at a treatment centre is therefore recommended, because it ensures you get the best and safest treatment.

Additionally, seeking help for opiate addiction at a treatment centre comes with numerous advantages. Drug abuse rehab programmes can offer a range of services from which you can benefit, including:

  • Substance use and mental health education
  • Substance use and mental health treatment
  • Drug and alcohol testing
  • Medication management
  • Screening and diagnosis of substance use disorders
  • Screening and diagnosis of co-occurring mental health disorders (dual diagnosis)
  • Transitional services that include discharge planning and aftercare services
  • Case management to provide connection to available resources

What’s Opiate Rehab Like?

If you’re trying to overcome an opiate addiction, it’s usually best to receive care at a professional rehabilitation centre. There are many benefits to opiates rehab, with the most significant being the availability of a structured environment that is free of triggers and other distractions. At a rehabilitation centre for opiate addiction, you can receive round-the-clock care and support as you work on your recovery, and learn useful techniques to live a drug-free life. You’ll also have the opportunity to focus solely on your recovery without the daily stresses and responsibilities of work, home, family or school.

During your opiate rehab, you’ll also receive medical therapy and support, aimed at addressing both the physical and psychological aspects of your addiction. Most opiate rehabs provide a comprehensive treatment approach, combining individual counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, dual diagnosis, drug testing, 12-step support and positive reinforcement. Counsellors or trained therapists are also available to work with you to identify the underlying reasons of your substance abuse and teach you ways to address the issues, without turning to drugs.

Treatment and Therapy Options

Behavioural treatment is one of the treatment options that look to change your behaviour by altering the way you view your life and your relationship with drugs. This form of treatment can be provided in inpatient, outpatient, individual counselling, and group and family therapy settings. Incentives and tangible rewards are used in some programmes to encourage and reinforce abstinence and other aspects of healthy living. For instance, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) aims to help you identify and make changes to the thoughts, attitudes and feelings relating drug use, as well as equip you with effective coping skills for triggers and other stressful circumstances.

Treatment options also include individual or group counselling, where you can talk with a therapist one to one or in a group. It focuses on abstinence, relapse prevention and practicing adherence to your recovery plan. This type of treatment helps you to address the social and interpersonal aspects of drug use, apart from the physical addiction. Counselling generally involves a range of therapies, including 12-step facilitation, motivational enhancement and the use of incentives.

Types of Opiate Addiction Treatment

Depending on your personal needs, you may require different types of opiate addiction treatment throughout your journey to recovery. With so many to consider, making a decision about treatment may seem overwhelming. Here are some of the different types of opiate addiction treatment available and their characteristics, to help you decide:


This is usually the first step before entering treatment. Withdrawal from opiate addiction can be uncomfortable or dangerous, making supervised detox a safer option. Therefore, medications may be used to help the process go smoother and faster, minimising some of the more uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal.

Residential and Inpatient Treatment Programmes

This type of treatment removes you from enabling friends and environments, and provides a safe habitat for you to recover from your addiction. You may be required to leave your life outside of treatment and pass through a difficult transition period. However, this type of treatment is one of the most effective.

Outpatient Treatment Programmes

Your treatment and support is provided outside of a traditional clinical environment. Schedules in outpatient treatment tend to be less rigid and you will generally be required to take responsibility for managing your sobriety. Also, there is more freedom, as you can stay at home and continue working, even though this could mean constant exposure to temptations and enablers.

Holistic Treatment and Alternative Treatment Programmes

This introduces new approaches to addiction treatment, which complement traditional therapy methods. However, it should not be used as a standalone treatment option for overcoming addiction. It can introduce you to practices that can help you to cope with any triggers.

When to choose: inpatient vs. outpatient

Inpatient and outpatient treatment are both beneficial approaches to addiction treatment, and their major differences can be found in their level of care. Inpatient treatment provides you with 24 hour care at a residential facility. It’s very effective because it provides a very defined and structured environment that can help you focus on your recovery.  With inpatient treatment, constant medical supervision is placed over each resident. On the other hand, outpatient treatment offers a level of flexibility that is desired by many. A form of outpatient treatment may simply include visiting a counsellor, who is trained in drug addiction recovery.

When you’re trying to choose between inpatient and outpatient treatment, things to consider include:

  • How severe is your condition? Inpatient treatment may be necessary in highly severe cases, where constant medical treatment is required.
  • How much are you willing to spend? Generally, outpatient treatment is cheaper than inpatient treatment, mainly because housing is not included and fewer hours of treatment or fewer therapy types are needed.
  • How much effort are you willing to put in? Attending inpatient treatment is different from outpatient treatment, in that you are under constant supervision and far from tempting substances. With outpatient treatment, there is always the chance of giving in to your cravings for drugs, especially during the early stages of treatment.
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Choosing the Best Opiate Rehab Centre

Opiate addiction treatment requires great care and commitment, making it crucial to choose the best opiate rehab centre for you or a loved one. There are a wide range of options to consider, which can make narrowing down your list quite a complicated task. A starting point is to visit some of your preferred choices to discuss and get a feel for them. You can also request to be put in touch with recovering addicts to get a good idea of how their programme works. Hearing from people with tangible experience can provide clarity and help you feel more confident about your choice.

When talking with potential treatment programmes, some guiding questions to ask may include:

  • How is the treatment plan built?
  • Is there a minimum amount of time required to stay in the programme?
  • Do clients develop life skills to support independence?
  • Is it an inpatient or outpatient programme?
  • Are clients offered either educational or vocational opportunities?
  • Does treatment utilise holistic approaches in recovery?
  • Are staff on-site at all times?
  • Are there gender-specific or age-specific treatments available?
  • Does the programme utilise experiential therapy or dual-diagnosis?
  • Are clients given the chance to discovernew passions and hobbies?

Specialised Treatment and Therapy Options

If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to overcome opiate addiction on your own, you can reach out to professional medical care practitioners, who will refer you to specialised treatment and therapy facilities. The types of specialised treatment available will vary according to location, but will typically provide a structured programme to target a range of your needs, with regards opiate addiction, especially if you have not responded to previous recovery efforts. Abstinence from opiates and other addictive substances is a core part of recovery, but specialised treatment approaches do not only help you achieve that. You may also be facing other underlying issues that may have appeared along with your substance abuse problem, such as financial or legal troubles, damaged family relationships, employment problems and debilitating physical or mental conditions.

Specialised treatment options are designed to target all of these – and other issues – along with your recovery, so that you’re adequately prepared for long-term success after your treatment is completed. This type of specialised treatment can provide vocational and educational skills training, marital counselling, help with legal and financial troubles, post-treatment living arrangements, vocational and educational skills, and medical attention for any physical conditions.

Withdrawal from Opiates

As a result of the effects opiates have on the brain, addiction is both physical and psychological. Before you can undergo any further treatment, you must first go through the process of withdrawal. Depending on how long you’ve been abusing opiates and in what quantity, you may need the help of qualified medical personnel to undergo this process, lest any serious complications occur. The three main techniques of treating withdrawal from opiate addiction include slowly weaning you off the drug, administering light medication to help with the physical symptoms of withdrawal and making use of the Waismann method. With the latter method, you are placed under general anaesthesia, allowing for rapid detox to occur whilst you’re unconscious.

Overcoming an addiction to opiates is highly possible, especially if you seek the help of a licensed medical detox programme. Such programmes help you through any withdrawal symptoms you may experience. Symptoms of opioid withdrawal include anxiety, nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain. While symptoms can be severe, they aren’t life-threatening. Detox programmes provide a foundation for you to graduate to further addiction at any treatment centre of your choice.

Continuing and Follow-up Care

Opiate addiction treatment doesn’t end after you successfully complete a drug rehabilitation programme. Addiction is a lifelong condition, and without the right continuing and follow-up care, relapse can occur and you may resume using opiates. Drug rehabilitation does not subject you to any sort of social stigma as a result of your previous lifestyle. Therefore, the best aftercare options for you post-treatment will be organised and implemented in a discreet manner, without making you feel like your ambitions or activities need to be restricted.

Generally, the best form of continuing care is regular individual or group counselling. After you return to your normal life after an inpatient or outpatient recovery programme, there are several options available for maintenance care, including family therapy, group therapy, individual counselling, and support groups. Other forms of continuing and follow-up care (after treatment for opiate addiction) include religious or spiritual counselling. With guidance, you can find new interests like certain sports or hobbies, which offer a productive alternative to coping with the psychological symptoms that could otherwise cause you to resume addictive behaviour.

Relapse Prevention

The most important thing you can do to prevent relapse during recovery is to take better care of yourself. Whether or not you’re dealing with chronic pain, your main reason for abusing opiates may be as a way of escape, to relax and unwind. Therefore, if you do not take care of yourself and allow situations that are mentally and emotionally draining to occur, relapse becomes a real possibility. If any such situations continue for too long, you’ll begin to think about using again. This means, you should be taking care of yourself, eating healthy food, practicing good sleeping habits, and so on. You’ll need to let go of some of your fear and stress through some form of relaxation. With proper self-care, you can avoid feelings that could potentially lead to relapse.

In addition, when you feel the urge to use, don’t keep it to yourself or try to go through it on your own. Call a trusted friend, your therapist or someone else in recovery. Narcotics Anonymous is a group you can join to find a safe place to share what you’re going through. The benefit of sharing is that when you begin to talk about your thoughts with regards using drugs, your urges start to lessen.

Opiate Treatment Costs and Payment Options

Opiate treatment costs vary from one centre to another. Certain programmes are free, while others can cost up to a thousand dollars per day. The opportunity to recover from opiate addiction is accessible once you know the resources that can help you. A number of rehabs offer financial aid, have financing options or accept payments from insurance providers. Whatever your budget, there is a centre for you. Insurance is one of the most commonly used methods of paying for rehab. The amount covered by your insurance policy depends on your provider and what the treatment centre is willing to accept. Some types of insurance that may cater for addiction treatment include: Medicare, Medicaid, Private insurance, Military insurance and State-financed health insurance.

Getting sober gives you the tools to get your life and career back on track. Even if you don’t have insurance, there are still effective ways to get the help you need. A free or low-income rehab centre or other programmes offering financing options are two options you can consider. Financing is a preferred option, because free rehabs often have waiting lists and you may be unable to get the help you need in time. A lot of inpatient rehab facilities offer financing options, even if you are without insurance.

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Live a Sober Life Again: Call Now for Treatment Options

Sobriety can seem like an impossible goal when you’re struggling with opiate addiction. However, recovery is within your reach, no matter how hopeless your situation may seem. With the right treatment, support and by examining the root causes of your addiction, you can create the change you need. Even if you’ve tried and failed before, never give up. The path to recovery is often littered with pitfalls and setbacks. The most important part of treatment is making the difficult decision to seek treatment in the first place. If you can do this, then you’re already on your way.

It’s essential to seek help before abruptly cutting down or stopping opiates usage altogether. By ‘help’, we mean the advice and assistance of a qualified professional. This is because when you suddenly stop something your brain and body have become accustomed to, you expose yourself to potentially dangerous consequences.

Opiate Addiction: Statistics and Facts

  • Statistics show that up to five million individuals in the United States are affected by opioid dependence each year, which is also responsible for 17000 deaths in the US yearly.
  • In 2010, over 210 million prescriptions for opiates were filled, with roughly 12 million people disclosing abuse due to non-medical opiate usage. In the same year, the amount of painkillers prescribed was enough to fully medicate every American each day for one month.
  • According to the CDC, three out of four recent heroin users were former opiate abusers.
  • Deaths resulting from opiate painkillers outnumber the combined deaths from illicit drug use.
  • Abusing opioids begins during adolescence or early adulthood and continues into middle and late adulthood.
  • Americans make up less than five percent of the world’s population, but use up eighty percent of the world’s opioid supply. The country therefore has one of the biggest opioid crises in the world.


What are the Effects of Opiates on the body?

Opiates have a number of effects on the body, including reducing pain and creating a sense of numbness. High doses of opiates also cause euphoria and drowsiness.

Are Opiate Rehabs Private and Confidential?

Not all opiate rehabs are private and confidential. However, some facilities offer private rooms.

Do I Need an Inpatient Opiate Rehab Facility?

Inpatient rehab facilities offer medical detox, where medications can be administered to help with withdrawal symptoms. This could be helpful for you if you’re going through withdrawal.

Are Opiates Addictive?

With consistent use, opiates cause changes in the brain which can lead to addiction.

How Do You Know if you’re Addicted to Opioids?

Some signs of opioid addiction to look out for include: appearing tired, difficulties at work or school, lack of interest in activities, compulsively seeking to obtain opioids, cravings for more of the substance etc.

How Much Does Opiates Treatment Cost?

The cost of opiate treatment depends on a number of factors, including whether you are choosing inpatient or outpatient treatment.

What are the Street names for Opiates?

Some of the street names for a variety of opiates include: Smack, Skag, Hammer, Rock, Gear, Horse, and Nose Drops.

What Is Opiate Treatment?

Opiate treatment is aimed at treating the physical problems and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that accompany opiate addiction.

What Does Opiate Treatment Include?

Opiate treatment includes medically assisted detox, inpatient or outpatient treatment, different types of therapies – and in some cases, aftercare services.

Why Are Opiates Addictive?

One of the main reasons why opiates are so addictive is that they are very effective at lessening pain and flooding the brain with strong and desirable feelings.

How long does Opiate Rehab take?

The general length of rehab programmes are: 30-day/60-day/ 90-day programmes. However, the specific length will be determined by your condition.

What Types Of Opiate Addiction Treatment Programmes Are Available?

The two main types of treatment programmes are inpatient and outpatient programmes.

Is there an ideal length for Opiates rehab?

Rehab treatments generally vary in length, but studies show that a longer stay can offer more benefits than shorter treatment periods.

Are There Opiate Treatment Programmes for Teens?

There are opiate treatment programmes for teens, many of which involve the entire family and help them to learn communication, problem-solving, conflict management and other coping skills.

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