Finding the Best Opioid Addiction Treatment
In order to find what the best opioid addiction treatment is, you first need to understand how dependence and addiction works.
Several years ago, opioid addiction treatment programs had a such a low success rate that you could almost refer to them as ineffective — or even harmful. Because of the ineffectiveness of these programs, medication-assisted treatment (M.A.T) was often the standard of care. Instead of real detoxification, substitute opioids became the norm and as many critics agreed, M.A.T. became another form of substituting one drug with another.
America’s opioid epidemic — the deadliest drug crisis in this country’s history — has led to a lot of rethinking about how we view and treat addiction. “Considering addiction, a personality defect or a failure of willpower is not just wrong, but cruel. We cannot allow stigma and judgment to become hopelessness; also, we cannot allow hopelessness to become despair. Despair often leads to demise “
Is Opioid Addiction a Disease?
Opioid addiction is not a disease, but a reversible condition that affects the brain and eventually how one responds and behaves. The central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, has opioid receptors. These receptors mainly specially to pain stimuli and can also produce euphoria by disrupting the reward and pleasure centers. Repeated use or abuse of an opioid can affect how an individual’s brain chemistry works. It can also lead to physical and psychological dependence.
There are several steps towards developing an opioid addiction:
- The first step is tolerance. Tolerance occurs when a person increasingly uses larger doses of the drug to experience the effect as they initially did.
- The next step is physical dependence. Dependence means if you stop using the opioid your body will enter into a physical withdrawal.
- Finally, the addiction. Addiction causes powerful cravings which makes you obsessively seek out the drug, regardless of the adverse effects, it can cause in your life, health, or relationships.
“Patients should not fear the dreadful pains of withdrawal. There is no therapeutic value for unnecessary agony”
Addiction and Withdrawal
We are continually referring to addiction as a supreme force; as a negative power beyond our control. Consequently, drug users simply surrender to drug abuse. They maintain a defeated attitude, a sad way of thinking: “What is the point of fighting a losing battle? Why should I go through the hardship of treatment when recovery in unattainable?”
Times have changed, science has evolved, and there are effective and dignified forms of opioid addiction treatment. Patients don’t need to fear the dreadful pains of withdrawal. There is no therapeutic value for unnecessary agony. Au contraire, unassisted withdrawal keeps people from seeking help, it may be medically risky, and it can lead to relapse. After a period of not using opioids, tolerance may be much lower and immediate relapse may increase the risk for a fatal overdose.
Opioid Addiction Treatment
Opioid treatment should focus on the individual patient. No single form of treatment works for everyone. Since addiction is a condition caused by tolerance and dependence, that affects physical and emotional components; treatment needs to be comprehensive. Also, opioid withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the individual and the severity of the addiction.
There are several opioid detox options, and some may provide more assistance than others. A hospital-based medical detox, for instance, offers an abundance of medical specialists in a safe and comforting environment. But to find the best opioid addiction program, you need to understand the different available options.
Understanding Medical Opioid Detox Differences
Opioid detoxification is usually a safe process when undergone in a supervised medical facility. Since the detoxification phase for some individuals can be potentially challenging — and in some cases, risky — it’s not advised to detox at home with no medical direction.
Many drug treatment centers explain their programs as “medically supervised.” – Medically supervised detoxification simply means that there is available monitoring for vital signs, adequate hydration, and that trained medical professionals can be available in the event of a medical complication. It “does not” mean the program is in a proper medical facility.
Medical Detox is a method of treatment that is much safer within a hospital setting. Detox protocol will depend on the specific type of opioid, patient’s age, health history, and preferences. Also, before detox, there should be a comprehensive physical assessment performed to determine the best, most comfortable and safest way to proceed. In a hospital, doctors are able to use certain drugs at higher dosages, and often require medications to ease the severity of the withdrawal.
Rapid Detox is a detox technique that utilizes a combination of anesthesia and antagonists. The process rapidly induces an opioid detoxification, while the patient sleeps. When the patient awakens, the receptors are entirely clear of opiates and yet, there is no awareness of experiencing the severe withdrawal syndrome. Also, naltrexone maintenance can be immediately initiated to block cravings and reduce the risk of relapse.
“Addiction is the consequence of an untreated issue and unless the problem is appropriately treated, relapse is imminent.” Clare Waismann
What is the Waismann Method ® Treatment for Opioid Addiction?
The Waismann Method focuses on each patient-specific need, instead of the addiction. Addiction is the consequence of an untreated issue and unless the problem is appropriately treated, relapse is imminent.
Our medical director admits patients to a full service accredited hospital where they receive medical monitoring and individual assessment. At that point, we make a decision on which is the best detoxification treatment for the patient. Some patients benefit from an inpatient medical detoxification, where withdrawal is medically controlled and managed through a period of a few days. Once the patient is physically stable, they continue to receive care through the transitional period at our private retreat.
If rapid detox treatment is the chosen path, a full day of pre-examinations and pre-medication occurs, while the patient is comfortably in their private hospital room. In most cases, on the second day, our medical director (anesthesiologist) puts the patient under sedation so that he or she can sleep comfortably through the detoxification and while withdrawal syndrome occurs. The patient remains in the ICU hospital for another night for additional medical assistance. The day after the rapid detox procedure patients often feel “under the weather” and start their regulation phase.
This phase is critical to the success, comfort, and safety of the patient. Waismann Method gives its patients the opportunity to spend the next few days at our exclusive recovery retreat. Post detox, individuals feel hypersensitive to any physical discomfort and emotional triggers. Having an experienced professional can make this period much more manageable. At Domus Retreat, our guests typically feel noticeably better every few hours. After a brief few days of recuperation period, they are much stronger to return home and embark on a healthy life.