Drug addiction is a serious epidemic we can fight together.
Opiate Family: What’s Included and What Isn’t
Most people think of heroin when they hear the word “opiate.” OxyContin and other similar prescription drugs also come to mind. While heroin and oxycontin have contributed to the opiate epidemic, so have other commonly prescribed drugs. These include 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, it’s a way for the body to get a rush of a brain chemical called “endorphins.” In some cases, opiates release one thousand times more endorphins into the body than a human produces on his or her own. That flood of endorphins has a cumulative, negative effect on nerves and brain cells. When the system becomes flooded with that many endorphins, the drug abuser begins to enjoy sensations they can’t experience any other way.
Those addicted to opiates need help because, by being exposed to unnaturally large amounts of endorphins, the body will stop producing them naturally. They eventually run out of endorphins- until they take more opiates. When someone struggling with opiate addiction enters our program, not only are they being taught to quit the drug, they are also taught how to regain a feeling of normalcy without a reliance on drugs. Without proper treatment, those that abuse opiates in this way will always be stuck in a vicious cycle of destructive behavior. Withdrawal symptoms are also a main reason to enter a treatment program. The symptoms of withdrawal from opiates can include physical pain, depression, restlessness, stress, and even suicidal thoughts. Opiate addicts trying to quit without entering a treatment program almost always find themselves tempted to take just one more hit. As a result, entering treatment at Resurgence Behavioral Health is invaluable. We help our patients manage withdrawal symptoms in a safe, monitored, and supportive environment.
The Body’s Chemical Changes
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 untreated opiate addicts won’t feel comfortable unless they are feeding their addiction.
Studies show that opiate addicts can handle as much as 10 times the amount of endorphins their body currently holds. As a result, they are constantly at war with their body. An addict’s tolerance to opiates builds over time, meaning that the lower dosages of opiates no longer gives them the same high they once did. A comprehensive opiate addiction treatment program, like ours at Resurgence Behavioral Health, is most often the only way for people to overcome this addiction.
Treatment Suggestions for an Opiate Addict
An opiate addiction treatment program can take months to complete. The most comprehensive treatment programs, like ours at Resurgence, can instill lifelong, healthy habits in patients, allowing them to escape the grip of their addiction, once and for all. Here are some suggestions we have:
- Staying healthy gives the recovering addict the best chance to stay clean. This includes not only giving up the drugs completely, but also having a healthier mind and body.
- A positive attitude is crucial to any opiate addict’s recovery. The more positive an individual is before they enter treatment, the better, but at Resurgence, maintaining hope and developing positive thought processes are part of our treatment. A desire to change and get better can go a long way in making the recovery process a successful one, and that’s where we can help.
- Professional treatment is almost always necessary for anyone addicted to opiates. While it is not impossible to beat the addiction without professional treatment, it’s extremely rare, and those who seek treatment will find that the road to long-term sobriety is much easier. Relapsing can be extremely dangerous and even deadly at times, and the best chances at avoiding this are with the help of a drug treatment facility. Our treatment program provides our patients with a safety net to keep them from resuming their opiate abuse.
- Considering all available options and discussing these with the addiction specialists on our staff is usually the best course of action. There are few things more challenging than recovering from an addiction to opiates, whether one enters professional treatment or not. Our program offers several ways to help our patients beat addiction. 12 step programs, alternative to 12 Step support group, and drug replacement therapy are proven to be successful ways to quit, and stay clean and sober long term. Our Detox, Inpatient, and Outpatient levels of care have been proven through research and scientific data to be effective.
- Detox by itself is not enough to help most opiate addicts successfully quit. A common misconception is that the disease has been beaten once you achieve sobriety, but that is only the beginning of the journey to recovery. The team at Resurgence Behavioral Health knows detox is only one small part of the recovery process. We know that the best, most effective programs include aftercare that helps addicts in recovery maintain their progress and continue to build on understanding the reasons why they were addicted to opiates on a psychological level.