What Kind of Treatment Will I Get for an Opiate Addiction?

What Kind of Treatment Will I Get for an Opiate Addiction?The treatment for opiate addiction is slightly different than with other addictive agents because the detox process usually involves an alternative, non-habit-forming substance. Before jumping into medically assisted detox though, it is important to ensure that you have a good understanding of what is considered an opioid.

Opioids are pain-relieving medications that reduce the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain. As a result, the sensation of pain is diminished. Medications included in the opioid designation include the following:

  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Diphenoxylate

Medically Assisted Detoxification

Detoxification (commonly referred to as detox) enables you to stop taking an addictive substance as quickly and safely as possible. In the case of opioids, this cannot be done utilizing a cold turkey approach, or the safety of the individual will be dramatically compromised. While there are other options, the most common medication used is buprenorphine.

In the case of opiate addiction, it is vital to appreciate the difference between addiction and physical dependence. If this is not understood, a medically assisted detox might be see as nothing more than exchanging one addiction for another. Addiction is a neurobiological disease that included compulsive use of a drug and an inability to manage use of the substance resulting in erratic personal, social and familiar actions. In contrast, dependence is simply when the body is accustomed to a certain substance at a certain frequency. It is an inconvenience, not a life threatening condition.

When an opiate addict moves to , the addictive behavior often stops. Physical cravings tend to come to an end in part because of the long duration of action for buprenorphine. As a result, the drug seeking behaviors—those events that are most harmful to the addict and her loved ones—will dissipate or be eliminated entirely. Buprenorphine moves a person from addiction to dependence, and that dependence can eventually be tapered down over time.

There Are Risks With Buprenorphine

As with any unnatural substance, there are risks with the use of buprenorphine. These effects are minimal particularly in comparison to the risk of an opioid addiction.

Though rare, some individuals are known to have had an allergic reaction to buprenorphine. The signs of an allergic reaction include the following:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediately medical treatment.

Immediate Treatment Can Be Necessary Apart From Allergies

An allergic reaction is not the only risk for a buprenorphine addict. The largest risks, particularly if taken in conjunction with other opioids, is weakened respiratory function. However, these other symptoms also require medical attention:

  • Weak or shallow breathing
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Jaundice
  • Dark urine or clay colored stool
  • Loss of coordination
  • A limp feeling
  • Pounding heartbeats
  • A fluttering in your chest
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Runny nose and watery eyes outside of allergies or the common cold
  • Muscle pain
  • Extreme cold or hot body temperature

It’s Not All About the Burprenorphine

Treatment for an opiate addiction is not solely dependent upon buprenorphine or another replacement medication. As with any other treatment program, individual and group therapy sessions form an important part of the recovery process. Moving on from an addiction is literally about building a new and different kind of life, one founded on better and wiser choices.

These choices do not just happen in a vacuum. Like any other skill, making choices for a clean life requires learning and practice. Counseling sessions are the practice field of life, where you can walk through specific and realistic examples of the battles you will face daily at you seek to reestablish yourself back into your normal routines.

Get a Reality Check

If you are reading this article, the odds are that you or someone you love is battling an opiate addiction. Let this article serve as a wake up call for you, a reality check from the Internet. An opiate addiction is not something to be taken lightly or to get to when you have down time. It needs to be addressed now.

It is time for you to seek professional help. There are seasons where exercising or journaling are just not enough. There are moments when there is no catharsis but only unending emotional turmoil. When you find yourself in this season, this is when you should seek professional help. The help could be in the form of a counselor or psychologist.

When life becomes too much to deal with, help is available, and you should seek it out. If you think you might have a drug problem or those who love you have told you to seek help, you need to change. The cost of addiction is too high. There is no reason to continue living a subpar life when health is within your reach.

You are not alone. We can help you. We can answer your questions. The admission counselors at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can help you learn more about addiction. They can help you find your way. Please call now.