Opioid Addiction and Dependence

Opioid addiction is a treatable and reversible condition, that affects behavior and is caused by changes in the brain chemistry.  To understand what opioid addiction is, we first need to learn what opioids are and how the condition is caused.


What are opioids?

Opioids are a type of drug, which acts on the nervous system to relieve pain by lowering the number of pain signals the body sends to the brain.  They are usually safe when taken for a short time and as prescribed by a doctor. However, because they also produce euphoria, they are often misused and at a high risk to cause dependency and opioid addiction.

Some example opioids can include:

  • heroin
  • fentanyl
  • oxycodone (OxyContin®)
  • hydrocodone (Vicodin®)
  • codeine
  • morphine
  • methadone
  • tramadol
  • Suboxone and many others.


How to Recognize Signs of an Opioid Addiction?

Opioid addiction is described, as a disorder characterized by the compulsive use of opioid drugs in spite of its negative consequences.  Most people become addicted to their prescription medication through no fault of their own. Regular use generally leads to tolerance, which means the drug’s effects are diminished, and many people escalate use to achieve similar results.

Some physical signs of opioid abuse are:

  • Elation/euphoria.
  • Sedation/drowsiness.
  • Confusion.
  • Constricted pupils.
  • Slow breathing.
  • Intermittent nodding off.
  • Constipation.
  • Loss of consciousness.

Other signs of opiate abuse include:

  • Doctor shopping (getting multiple prescriptions from different doctors).
  • Mood instability.
  • Social withdrawal/isolation.
  • Secrecy
  • Constant body aches and illnesses requiring pain medication.

Long-term symptoms can also include:

  • Weakened immune system.
  • Major Depressive Disorder.
  • Gastric problems ranging from constipation to more severe bowel perforation.
  • Medical issues, secondary to intravenous administration ( localized abscesses,  infection, contraction of blood-borne diseases).
  • Significant respiratory depression.


 Opioid addiction and dependence can be treated safely, effectively and with compassion.



Opioid Addiction Treatment Options

Opioid addiction and dependence is a condition that results from changes in the brain due to prolonged opioid use.  Once an opioid addiction has developed, escaping the cycle of cravings and relapse is typically a arduous process that not many people can overcome on their own.

The three primary available options for opioid addiction treatment include medical detoxification programs, inpatient drug rehab, Maintenance Assisted Therapy/ Opioid Replacement Therapy (MAT or ORP) and outpatient addiction treatment.

Medical Detox: Detox involves withdrawing from the drug. This phase can be extremely challenging, and it should be managed by a medical team.  A tailored medical detoxification can significantly ease the discomfort coming off narcotic painkillers; it can also safely handle patients with additional medical issues, which can put them at higher risk for complications throughout an opioid withdrawal.

One of the most successful available medical opioid detoxes is the Waismann Method. The treatment center combines the availability of an accredited hospital, board certified physicians, mental health professionals and private surroundings through out.  It is one of the only centers that specializes in opioid addiction worldwide, and it provides one of the highest detox success rates to date.

Inpatient Drug Rehab:  Drug Rehab or Residential Treatments, typically lasts anywhere from 30 to 90 days. Much of the time being devoted to peer support including group therapy, 12 step meetings and other activities that help promote recovery from a number of different substances. The success rate is quite low for opioid dependent individuals and the relapse rate quite high. Rehabs often specialize in helping patients with a variety of substance abuse issues. Some facilities are gender or age specific, and some even faith based.  Before entering a drug rehab, patients may first have to undergo a detox treatment.

MAT or ORP: Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and opioid treatment programs (OTPs), combines behavioral therapy and maintenance medications to manage substance use disorders. It is not necessarily a detoxification because patients are maintained on a daily dosage of an opiate drug such as Suboxone (Buprenorphine) or Methadone.

Outpatient Addiction Treatment: Outpatient facilities allow patients to come in for treatment and return home at the end of the day. This method of treatment allows someone to continue to work or fulfill other daily responsibilities while receiving partial treatment.

Outpatient programs can vary from all-day treatment to an hour or two a day. Costs are usually much lower than those of inpatient care because of the fewer services patients receive and very limited staff hours provided in direct care.

The US is presently in the midst of an opioid crisis.

Choosing the Right Opioid Addiction Treatment Program

When considering the right addiction treatment, the first task should be to determine the level of your medical and emotional needs. Then, you should decide if privacy, comfort and available medical resources are some of your priorities. Learning as much as you can about the available addiction programs, can help you make the decision to enter a treatment much easier.

Fortunately the Waismann Method’s medical detox has effectively helped thousands of patients overcome the opioid detoxification phase, in the most comfortable and private manner. The center has been recognized as one of the premier opioid addiction treatments in the world. Located only in Southern California, Waismann treatment offers a variety of hospital based inpatient procedures and programs. Options provided are anesthesia assisted rapid detox, to other modified medical detoxification methods. Patients also recover in an exclusive retreat, with around the clock professional care.

Our total required stay is usually 5 to 10 days, including hospital and recovery center. The goal of the Waismann treatment team is to provide the most effective and compassionate treatment experience. Our patients achieve an extraordinarily high success rate and tour team always put compassionate care and responsible medicine, over blame and punishment.

We offer our patients unsurpassed safety protocols, professional excellence, comprehensive and individualized treatment plans.  We are here to help seven days a week. To receive more information about the Waismann Method advanced opioid addiction treatment options, please call us today at 1-310-205-0808.

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