According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, nearly 50,000 people died from opioid-related deaths in the United States. Opioid rehab is an effective guard against the growing cases. Opioid addiction affects all walks of life, with tolerance beginning as soon as a few days.  Fentanyl has become a deadly force to reckon with in the past couple of years. 

The rise in opioid use can be attributed to the overprescribing of these medications. In the late 1990s, large pharmaceutical companies began to aggressively market opioid drugs such as OxyContin and Opana. 

Through the assurance that these prescription drugs weren’t addictive, opioid rates began to rise. The side effects were downplayed despite the growing evidence to contrast these claims. Regulations have been implemented to state laws as a way to limit prescriptions. In 2019, an estimated 1.4 million people in the United States had an opioid related substance use disorder, despite a fraction seeking treatment in some form.

Opioid addiction can be characterized by these aspects:

  • Increased tolerance
  • Opioid use interfering with responsibilities
  • Opioid use posing physical danger
  • Desire to cut down on use

What’s the Difference Between Opioids and Opiates? 

Opioid is typically classified as a broad term, mainly because of any substance that manipulates the opioid receptors in the brain. When opioids enter the body, they interact with the central nervous system.

Opioids can have medicinal effects to treat pain and other conditions. Opioids can contain opiates, which are naturally occurring, specifically from the poppy plant opium. The DEA classifies opioids under the Schedule I-II of controlled substances.

Opiates can come in the form of:

  • Opium
  • Morphine
  • Codeine

While opioids are recognized as:

  • Natural opiates
  • Semi-synthetics (Oxycodone)
  • Synthetics (Fentanyl)

How Does Opioid Misuse Easily Lead to Opioid Addiction?

Opioid misuse can lead to addiction considering how addictive opioids are in the reward centers of the brain. Opioids are prescribed to alleviate pain but they can have an intense euphoric and calming effect. This increases the risks of dependence, ultimately leading to addiction.

Dopamine is released in large amounts when a person uses opioids. Dopamine is a chemical messenger in the brain, known as the pleasure hormone. This can reinforce the person to use the opioids as their tolerance increases.

Once you begin to feel a dependence on opioids, it can be difficult to quit. Considering how much opioids influence your central reward system, the challenges of sobriety have strong risks. Opioid rehab should be considered if you find yourself addicted.

Hydrocodone is one of the most commonly misused opioids, with oxycodone trailing behind. The obstacles of opioid addiction are impacted by accessibility, where people struggling with addiction will look for illicit means to maintain. 

Approximately 4-6% of patients who misuse opioid medication transition to heroin. This increases their risk of fatal overdose or worse, considering the vast market of trafficked goods.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction? 

If you believe a friend or loved one is misusing opioids, it’s critical to look for consistent signs. Roughly 21-29% of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them. A prescription drug intervention can be organized with a strong support system.

Some of the signs of opioid addiction can include:

  • Finishing a prescription early or frequently
  • Isolation
  • Lack of interest in activities or hobbies
  • Using alternative methods to take medication
  • Doctor shopping, or visiting more than one doctor
  • Mood swings
  • Sudden changes in eating/sleeping patterns

What are the Signs of an Opioid Overdose?

  • Shallow or slow breathing
  • Unconsciousness or inability to awaken
  • Dilated pupils
  • Changes in body temperature
  • Discoloration in the fingertips or lips

If you or a loved one have experienced an overdose, there are many factors to recognize. Call for help immediately. It’s critical to be transparent about which drugs were taken to the medical support. An operator may be able to guide you through CPR if the person is not responding.

Naltrexone should be given to the person overdosing to reverse the effects.  A dose between 0.4-0.8mg should be delivered to challenge the symptoms. If the person took a higher dosage of opioid drugs, then a higher dose of naltrexone would be necessary. Naltrexone can be introduced to the body through the nasal cavity or through injection.

What’s the Importance of Attending Opioid Detox Before Opioid Addiction Treatment?

Opioid detox is an incredible resource to combat the changes addiction brings to your life. Detoxification is the process of ridding the body of toxic substances in order to ensure an effective treatment program. Detoxification is typically the first stage of an addiction treatment program.

The withdrawals can have draining qualities on the body. It could be difficult for you to see through the pain of the internal and external struggle of recovery. Malnourishment is common among addiction patients.

Detox by a means of opioid rehab grants you a chance to finally give your body a moment. Opioid rehab is the time to recover, as your mind heals through the rest of the continuum of care. Relapse is an expected aspect of recovery, where any person with addiction relapses at least once.

What are Some Common Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms? 

The scope of your opioid withdrawal symptoms is influenced by the amount taken, frequency of use, method, and even family history. Physical dependence on opioids can pose drastic changes to the body. The vital systems must adjust to life without the manipulated production of chemical messengers.

Despite the discomfort and pain of opioid withdrawals, they are not likely to be lethal. The symptoms of opioid withdrawals can come in the form of:

  • Nausea
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Fever/chills
  • Insomnia
  • Flu-like symptoms

What are Different Detox Medications that Are Used to Help Treat Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms? 

During opioid detox, a trained medical staff will guide you through the process after an initial evaluation. Medication is available to treat your symptoms. Methadone and buprenorphine can be administered to reduce the cravings to comfortably channel the process.  These medications are underutilized, considering how fewer programs offer them.

Holistic addiction treatment options are available for those who wish to experiment with complementary therapies and alternative medicines. Nutritional therapy is often highlighted in holistic addiction treatment programs. Recognize that holistic addiction treatment has no universal guidelines with inconclusive research to back the findings of efficacy.

It’s important to note that opioid detox will not be one size fits all solution to your addiction. It’s highly recommended to find a behavioral treatment program to help guide you towards insight. The root cause of your addiction will be the north star, as you participate in individual and group therapy.

What are the Different Forms of Opioid Addiction Treatment?

If you find yourself at the crossroads of treatment after experiencing your first intervention; speak with a counselor to determine the best option for your case. It takes immense courage to take these steps toward recovery.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment programs provide intensive care for you or a loved one. Inpatient treatment programs offer 24/7 support, with medical professionals at your side. Inpatient treatment programs can be carried through partial hospitalization.

A patient can expect to participate in individual and group therapy sessions. This will be a great opportunity to introduce yourself to the community and connect with others like yourself.

The cost of inpatient treatment programs will reflect the quality of care they offer. Some inpatient treatment programs offer premier packages and amenities for specific clientele. The location of the inpatient treatment program plays a role in the cost as well.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs are less intensive but structured methods to approach addiction recovery. You can expect to participate in individual and group therapy sessions in a residence. Outpatient treatment programs give you a chance to receive treatment and commit to your responsibilities at home.

Admitting yourself to an inpatient residence for 30-90 days may not be an option. Individuals with children or responsibilities at work will have to make specific arrangements. Outpatient treatment programs use structured schedules to provide you with enough flexibility. 

Outpatient treatment programs are typically more affordable for those seeking support. Intensive outpatient treatment programs are also available for those with moderate to severe cases of opioid addiction. A benefit of outpatient treatment is the ability to use the new skills in the real world after receiving treatment.

Aftercare

Aftercare can be characterized as a general term for additional support. Aftercare can come in the form of sober living homes or long-term medication plans. Medications such as Methadone or Suboxone can be administered consistently through recommended doses. These medications should not be misused as a fighting chance towards recovery.

Consistent reports have suggested that individuals who remain in some form within the continuum of care have increased chances of maintaining sobriety. It will take time to adjust to life without substance use. Crafting a relapse prevention plan will give you an outline of steps to take if you find yourself craving to misuse.

Regular therapy sessions can offer more insight into the growth you’ve made after completing your first stint of addiction treatment. The time you previously spent misusing opioids will have to be replaced with healthier coping mechanisms such as hobbies or volunteering.

Your support system will be a welcome addition to your recovery, as you navigate these challenging times. Make sure to be transparent about how you’re feeling with someone trustworthy. There’s a buffet of stressors and triggers that may affect your recovery process.

Discover Treatment Through Harmony Ridge

The opioid crisis in the United States has heartbreaking echoes throughout the nation. The rise in addiction treatment and affordable options are guiding the front towards change. Harmony Ridge is here to be an excellent resource for your needs. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, feel free to contact us today.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK448203/
https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526012/