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Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioids are used in medicine for severe pain management but have become the impetus for the drug epidemic rattling neighborhoods throughout the country. Opioids reduce pain and the negative emotional response in your brain. This analgesic property of heroin and morphine was largely discovered during the Civil War, which also exposed their addictive nature. Prescription opioids are sometimes used to treat severe or chronic pain. They’re either semi-synthetic or fully synthetic -- meaning they’re man-made -- although some, like morphine and codeine, are derived from the opium poppy plant. There are three main formulations of opioids, based on the way they are produced:

  1. Natural opioids derived from the opium poppy plant like morphine, heroin, and codeine
  2. Semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone
  3. Fully synthetic opioids like fentanyl, tramadol, methadone, and buprenorphine

Opioids are effective in reducing pain signals in the brain, but they’re not intended for long-term treatment. Opioids can have several negative effects and consequences with prolonged use.

Some of the most common effects of opioids include:

  • Euphoria
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Reduced heart rate
  • Shallow breathing
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Dry mouth
  • Itchiness
  • Lightheadedness

Long-term use of opioid painkillers puts you at significant risk for dependence and addiction. Since most opioids produce feelings of euphoria and well-being, potential for abuse is extremely high. The DEA categorizes opioids as Schedule II drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. This designates them as having high potential for abuse and addiction.

Signs You Need Opioid Addiction Treatment

Over time, opioid use leads to increased tolerance. More opioids are necessary to achieve the same effect. Another potential effect of long-term opioid abuse is increased sensitivity to pain. You may become more sensitive to pain, needing to take more opioids for growing tolerance. Opioid misuse and addiction also increase your risk of drug overdose. Fatal opioid overdoses occur when respiratory depression and low heart rate become so severe that you stop breathing. Symptoms of opioid abuse may include:
  • Dangerously low blood pressure
  • Significantly reduced heart rate
  • Constricted (pinpoint) pupils, especially in dim light
  • Slurred speech
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Slurred speech
  • Nodding out (intermittent periods of sleep and wakefulness)
  • Confusion
  • Pale, clammy skin
  • Difficulty maintaining balance
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Blue or purple fingertips or lips
Addiction treatment is necessary when you continue to abuse drugs despite negative consequences. You don’t need to hit rock bottom to get help for opioid abuse. The following are some indicators that you need opioid treatment.
  • New or worsening legal troubles related to obtaining or using opioids
  • Relationship troubles related to opioid use
  • Continued opioid abuse despite negative consequences
  • Accidental injury due to opioid use
  • Financial troubles resulting from buying opioids
  • Reduction or loss of work because of opioid abuse
  • Increasing preoccupation with opioids over family, work, and relationships
  • Reduction or inability to care for oneself and dependent loved ones
  • Obtaining overlapping opioid prescriptions from multiple providers
  • Taking more opioids than directed
  • Overdose
Opioid overdose is a serious and well-known risk for people abusing the drug. Certain factors that increase the chances of a fatal overdose include:
  • History of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Current or past mental illness
  • Using other drugs to enhance the effects of opioids
  • Using inappropriate methods of taking opioids like crushing and snorting pills, or diluting and injecting pills
Addiction is a serious disease that is chronic and continues to get worse without effective treatment. All of the above examples are valid concerns about opioid abuse and enough cause to seek addiction treatment.

Effects of Opioid Abuse

One of the most dangerous effects of opioid abuse is dependence which can lead to intense and painful withdrawal symptoms without opioid drugs. While it’s not life-threatening, opioid withdrawal symptoms can be painful and may include:
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Body and muscle pain
  • Increased anxiety
  • Cold sweats
  • Intense cravings
Opioid withdrawal symptoms can be so unpleasant that some drug abusers go to extreme measures to get more opioids and avoid worsening withdrawal symptoms. Long-term effects of opioid abuse can cause problems with your physical and mental health. Regular opioid abuse can increase your risk for:

What Is Opioid Addiction Treatment Like?

Opioid addiction treatment provides important tools, skills, and therapies that help you better understand addiction and maintain long-term recovery. Treatment for opioid addiction can help you:

  • Discover and address underlying traumas and issues contributing to substance abuse and addiction
  • Identify and address mental health disorders with behavioral therapy and medication management if needed
  • Manage stress better
  • Learn life skills
  • Learn about the disease of addiction
  • Understand relapse triggers and how to avoid or manage them
  • Learn healthy activities and practices that support sobriety
  • Manage your anger and other uncomfortable emotions
  • Build communication skills
  • Repair relationships with loved ones through family therapy
  • Obtain resources for sober support after treatment

Recovery from opioid addiction is a life-long journey and it often includes relapses even after a treatment program. Research shows that the most effective treatment for opioid dependence is long-term, lasting at least 90 days. Long-term opioid addiction treatment programs are typically designed with the following steps: The time you stay in a level of treatment depends on your individual needs.

Opioid Addiction Treatment at Vogue Recovery Center

At Vogue Recovery Center, opioid addiction treatment is highly personalized with a treatment plan that’s most effective for you. We treat opioid addiction with a holistic approach that helps you heal mind, body, and spirit. You’ll recover in home-like comfort with peers who understand what you’re going through and a treatment team that’s truly invested in your care and success. Our behavioral health professionals will work with you to determine the most effective treatments for opioid dependence based on your physical and mental health and individual life experiences.

Each client’s treatment plan is tailored to their needs, but may include:

Does Insurance Cover Opioid Addiction Treatment?

Substance abuse and mental health treatment are covered like other medical conditions by many insurances these days. Treatment for opioid use disorders may fall under the “medical necessity” category in your insurance plan. Most insurances will also cover medication for opioid dependence that the FDA approves like suboxone, methadone, or buprenorphine. The best way to determine your benefits for substance abuse treatment is to call our admissions team. We’re trained to navigate the complexities of insurance and will work directly with your carrier to understand what is covered and any out-of-pocket costs.
Jessica Elbe

Medically Reviewed by Jessica Elbe, LCSW

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