Opiate addiction treatment is a multifaceted journey. If you’re new to learning about opioid addiction and the various treatment options, there’s a chance you’re feeling slightly overwhelmed. The best first step someone can take in their recovery is learning as much as they can about available options. Whether you’ve become dependent on opioids yourself, or you’re trying to gain information to help a friend or a loved one, you’re in the right place.
Addiction to opioid drugs is a significant issue for many people in the United States. Because of the easy access and availability of opioid drugs over the past several years, the abuse of prescription opiates and heroin has spread from coast to coast. Furthermore, the lack of understanding of the possible drug effects leads people to use opioids continuously. This daily use quickly turns into tolerance, dependence and eventually addiction.
Additionally, it is not uncommon for patients to become dependent on opiates after undergoing surgery or a medical procedure, rather than developing a bad habit from prior drug use. Regardless of how a person’s experience with opioid addiction began, the good news is there are effective treatment options.
First, you should explore the effects of opiate addiction may have on you physically, emotionally, and even socially. Next, gain an understanding of the difference between peer support and real treatment. Learn about opiate addiction treatment options, patient safety during detoxification, and how to choose the best facility for a specific situation.
The Effects of Opiate Addiction
Once an opioid dependence occurs, the brain’s pathways and chemical makeup are affected. Opioids stimulate the pleasure center and initiate the release of dopamine. When used properly and in small doses, opioids block uncomfortable symptoms and help us better deal with feelings of pain. However, becoming dependent on these drugs is incredibly easy because opioid drugs send signals to our brains of pleasure and reward.
Our chemical balance becomes dependent on these positive feelings of reward and encourages us to use opiates again and again. This repetitive cycle can quickly lead to an Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) before people actually realize it. This can result in a destructive pattern of drug addiction.
Unfortunately, without immediate and effective addiction treatment, users are at great risk for a number of negative effects from opioid abuse. From impaired driving, excessive tiredness and abdominal issues, opioid addiction can pose a series of negative consequences; from major health risks to financial, emotional, and social deterioration. Often, opioid addiction can easily become life-threatening.
Let’s explore several common side effects of opioid abuse.
Common Side Effects
Although side effects of opiate addiction may vary greatly from person to person, there are several common symptoms that users typically display:
- Excessive fatigue
- Depression or symptoms of depression
- Liver damage
- Abdominal bleeding
- Brain damage
- Respiratory depression
Next, it’s important to understand the difference between peer support and actual treatment for opiate addiction. For example, take into account receiving advice and love from your family members versus a certified and licensed therapist. Furthermore, there is a wide distinction in receiving medical care and treatment during the detoxification phase at an accredited hospital versus an outpatient rehab facility. All of these factors can significantly alter the level of safety and results that you receive during your treatment journey.
What is the Difference Between Peer Support and Drug Treatment?
Although there is frequently confusion about the distinction between peer support and actual treatment, the differences are evident and significant. For example, you may feel comfortable talking to a close friend about your problems. However, a trained therapist is more equipped to help you understand the root of the issue and guide to a healthier emotional state. Although you may be seeking advice from both your friend and the therapist, you can recognize that one is more qualified and capable in providing you with the guidance you need to solve the issue you have.
A similar comparison can be made for patient support, which is often offered at various outpatient rehab clinics. Their staff were often patients themselves and may offer opinions and encouraging words based on their own experience, instead of professional guidance based on your unique needs. Ultimately, a drug rehab is not a medical facility with experienced and expertly trained medical professionals.
When someone is undergoing withdrawal symptoms, it’s imperative that they are in a safe, secure medical facility. In a full-service hospital, doctors can provide specific medications, including sedatives which allows for a much more comfortable and successful opioid detox treatment. Additionally, at an inpatient medical facility, doctors manage withdrawal symptoms adequately as well as patients’ vitals. Each step of the detoxification process should have its own unique requirements and levels of support.
Ultimately, opiate addiction treatment is usually a unique and complex journey which should be tailored to meet your individual needs. Furthermore, emotional, psychological and psychiatric issues that often lead people to substance abuse, rarely get solved in 30, 60 or 90 days. Overcoming opioid dependence with an effective medical opioid detoxification gives patients the best opportunity for adhering to a productive emotional health treatment. Be sure to thoroughly research various types of opiate addiction treatment centers before committing to one certain program.
Explore Opiate Addiction Treatment Options
There are several different types of opiate addiction treatment choices. Each person’s health, social and emotional history are unique, so it’s important to consider what type and level of care you will potentially need. The most common options are:
- Outpatient program that offers patient support only rather than intensive around-the-clock treatment.
- Drug rehab
- In-patient medical opioid detoxification (for example, at a medical facility)
- Rapid detox treatment (aka anesthesia-assisted opiate detox)
Once you’ve explored treatment facility options, it’s time to consider patient safety elements. Some issues to consider in terms of patient safety include whether or not a patient will be receiving treatment from an experienced physician in a full-service hospital and what type of medical resources are available throughout treatment.
Is Opiate Addiction Treatment Safe for Patients?
It can be difficult to know what to expect at an opiate addiction treatment center. Detox and withdrawal are challenging enough on its own, the last thing a patient should worry about is whether or not all of their needs will be met while they work towards their recovery. To become better prepared, consider some of the following questions when researching opiate addiction treatment facilities.
- What are the treatment success rates of the facility? For example, the Waismann team has a greater than 98% patient success rate. This is because the facility concentrates on the root causes of addiction rather than the symptoms, or reasons they became addicted.
- Are detoxification protocols offered based on an individual person’s needs? Be sure you or your family member is going somewhere that provides the treatment they need.
- Can the center handle your specific health needs? For example, if you’re a senior and have high blood pressure, will they be able to safely treat you?
- What specific types of medications does the doctor provide to help you detox? Are they all non-opioid and non-addictive blockers? The answer to that question should always be “yes.”
- Is the medical facility JCAHO accredited? This is important as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), is a non-profit organization that sets stringent quality standards for medical facilities.
The best way to ensure you or your loved ones will receive the proper, expert opiate addiction treatment that you need, is by doing extensive research and asking the right questions. Although it can feel a bit overwhelming, it’s worth looking into all of these important elements before committing to a treatment facility.
Waismann Method® offers proven treatment plans to patients, including rapid detox and other forms of medical detoxification protocols, in a private accredited hospital. Treatment protocols are tailored to meet each patients’ specific needs. Therefore, patients never feel like just another number in a rehab center. Your recovery matters to our team. In fact, our board-certified medical director treats one patient at a time, so you always get the attention you need.
How to Choose the Best Opiate Addiction Treatment Center
The Waismann team prides itself on providing the most dignified, efficient and caring experience possible for patients battling opiate addiction. From our extensive pre-detox procedures to our exclusive recovery center, we never cut corners on our patient’s recovery support.
Before committing to a specific treatment facility, be sure to ask yourself several important questions about treatment safety, privacy, comfort and success. Additionally, consider whether you’ll be receiving peer support or professional medical treatment. Finally, ask the provider if the center is able to provide proven treatments such as under anesthesia or any other medical detox that would be appropriate for you.
To summarize, the best way to find the right treatment center for you, is by clearly understanding available options and program differences. Detox followed by counseling or other therapy, as well as education and support, can help a person maintain their new opioid-free life, according to American Addiction Centers.
Learn more about rapid detox today and become better informed about your treatment options for opioid addiction.
Published on Nov. 20, 2018
Reviewed by Clare Waismann, CATC, Founder of Waismann Method® Advanced Treatment for Opiate Dependence
All topics for the Opiates.com blog are selected and written based on high standards of editorial quality, including cited sources. Articles are reviewed by Clare Waismann, CATC and founder of Waismann Method®, for accuracy, credibility and relevancy to the audience. Clare Waismann is an authority and expert on opioid dependence, opioid use disorder, substance dependence, detoxification treatments, detox recovery, and other topics covered on the Opiates.com blog. Some articles are additionally reviewed by one of Waismann Method®’s specialists, depending on their field of expertise. For additional information and disclaimers regarding third-party sources and content for informational purposes only, please see our Terms of Service.