Opiate addiction rates have taken on global proportions, affecting the economic and social welfare of most all societies. Data collected by the National Institute on Drug Abuse show anywhere from 12 to 21 million people across the globe abuse opiates. Within the United States alone, 1.9 million people suffer from prescription opioid drug addictions while 359,000 are addicted to heroin as of 2010.
The use of opioid medications as pain relief treatments accounts for the high prevalence of opioid-type addictions. Not only do these drugs help relieve pain, but they also alter essential brain functions. People addicted to opiates often lose jobs, relationships and eventually their sense of self as the drug’s effects take over. As a result, people seeking opiate addiction treatment have a difficult time regaining control of their lives.
Part of the opiate addiction treatment process entails addressing the effects of opiates on the brain. Without the proper treatment, these effects can have both short and long-term consequences for the user. Even in cases where someone tries to stop using opiates, the withdrawal effects from the drug all but drive a person to use in order to gain relief from withdrawal symptoms. Opiate addiction treatment can help minimize the effects of withdrawal so a person can stop taking the drug.
Opiate addiction treatment options also provide the type of therapies needed to help a person address the issues that drive addictive behaviors. Psychotherapy and social support groups offer recovering addicts the tools they’ll need to make it through recovery, both now and in the future.
Among the wide range of opiate addiction treatment program options available, short-term residential and intensive outpatient treatment programs offer recovering addicts the best chances at recovery. Short-term residential programs offer round-the clock care within a live-in facility. For the length of the program, participants take part in psychotherapy and support group work designed to help addicts take control of their addiction. Short-term residential programs also offer medication therapy to help relieve withdrawal effects from the drug. Some short-term facilities also offer detox treatment for people who need help getting off opiates.
Intensive outpatient options for opiate addiction treatment offer many of the same services as short-term residential care except participants have more freedom to maintain family and work obligations. Rather than living at the facility, participants can set up a treatment schedule that fits around their daily routines.
Someone just starting out would most benefit from short-term residential opiate addiction treatment at the start. From there, many naturally transition into intensive outpatient treatment programs.
Medication-Assisted Treatment Options
Medication-assisted options for opiate addiction treatment use drugs specifically designed to reduce opiate cravings and withdrawal effects. The types of medications used are synthetic, opiate-based substances that work to wean the body off of opiates without creating an addictive effect. Some of the drugs used for treatment include:
Considering the ongoing withdrawal effects opiate addictions bring, many recovering addiction remain on medication treatments for months or even years after entering recovery.