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Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a serious epidemic we can fight together.

Opiate Family: What’s Included and What Isn’t

Heroin is the drug that most people think of when an opiate addiction is suspected. OxyContin and other similar prescription drugs are also things that come to mind concerning opiates. Oxycontin has contributed to the opiates epidemic but so have other drugs. This includes oxycodone, buprenorphine, morphine, codeine and methadone. Opiates are the main ingredient in all of these drugs.

Opiate Addition: What Needs to Be Known

Anytime an opiate is abused, the prescription painkillers become a way for the body to get more endorphins. In some cases opiates release one thousand times more endorphins into the body than a human produces on his or her own.  The flood of endorphins has a negative effect on nerves and brain cells. When the system becomes flooded with endorphins the addict begins to enjoy sensations they couldn’t experience any other way.

Those addicted to opiates often need help because being exposed to unnaturally large amounts of endorphins the body will stop producing them naturally. When someone enters a treatment program for opiate addiction, not only are they being taught to quit the drug, they are also taught how to regain a feeling of normalcy without relying on the drugs to do it. Opiate addictions who fail to enter a treatment program will always be stuck in a vicious cycle of destructive behavior. The reason for this is that they have no more endorphins until they take more opiates.

Withdrawal symptoms are among the main reasons those trying to quit opiates need to enter a treatment program. The symptoms of withdrawal when opiates are suddenly not being taken result in an addict feeling sensations in their body that are uncomfortable. The sudden lack of opiates often causes physical pain, depression, restlessness, stress and even suicidal thoughts. Opiate addicts trying to quit without entering a treatment program often find themselves tempted to take just one more hit. As a result, opiate addiction treatment centers are invaluable. A treatment center can help its patients manage their withdrawal symptoms through methods such as making recommendations to speed up the withdrawal process and managing their expectations.

The Body’s Chemical Changes

Chemical levels of one’s body are always monitored. Any imbalances in an addict’s body produce chemicals that counteract the body restoring chemical levels to normal. Opiate addicts always have chemicals flooding their body, which cuts down on the production of endorphins, since the body is constantly receiving more. This means that opiate addicts won’t feel happiness unless they are feeding their addiction.

A New Zealand Institute of Chemistry study determined that opiate addicts can handle as much as 10 times the amount their body currently holds. As a result, opiate addicts are at war with their body constantly. An addict’s tolerance means that lower dosages of opiates will do nothing for them. Opiate addiction rehab is most often the only way for people to overcome this problem.

Treatment Suggestions for an Opiate Addict

An opiate addiction treatment program can take months to complete. The most comprehensive treatment programs can instill healthy habits in patients that cause them to stop taking opiates for the rest of their lives. Here are some suggestions for opiate addiction treatment options:

  • Staying healthy gives a former addict the best chance of sobering up. The issue of recovery from an opiate addiction is an all encompassing one. It includes not only giving up the drugs completely, but having a healthier mind and body. The healthier an individual is the more likely they are to be able to recover from an addiction to opiates.
  • A positive attitude is crucial to any opiate addict’s recovery. The more positive an individual is before they enter treatment, the better. A desire to change and get better can go a long way in making the recovery process a successful one.
  • Professional treatment is necessary for anyone addicted to opiates. While it is not impossible to beat the addiction without professional treatment, those who seek it will find that the road to sobriety is much easier. It is also the best way for an opiate to avoid relapsing after they have made a commitment to quit. Relapses after sobriety are at best, dangerous, and at worst, deadly. A treatment program provides its patients with a safety net to keep them from resuming their opiate abuse.
  • Considering all available options before choosing one is usually the best course of strategy. There are few things more challenging than recovering from an addiction to opiates, whether one enters professional treatment or not. The best programs have several ways to help patients beat their addiction. 12-step programs and drug replacement therapy have not been proven to be successful ways to quit. Inpatient opiate addiction treatment programs should use methods that have been proven, through research and scientific data, to be effective.
  • Detox recovery by itself is not enough to help most opiate addicts successfully quit. There is a false belief that this is all one needs to beat their addiction. Some people mistakenly believe that entering a detox center for opiates and becoming sober briefly is all that they need to do to completely recover from their addiction. yet this is virtually never the case. The more successful opiate addiction programs consider detox only one small part of the recovery process. The best programs for opiate addicts are the ones in which the staff is well aware of what needs to be done in order to ease withdrawal symptoms. The staff that run these programs are always certain that sobriety is one part of a much more complicated and elaborate equation. Effective programs include aftercare that helps former addicts handle and understand the reason why they were addicted to opiates on a psychological level.

Any additional questions about the process of recovering from an opiate addiction can be answered by contacting the nearest detox center for opiate addicts. The behavior of an addict can and should be addressed as part of a comprehensive plan to lead one to sobriety.

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