What is opioid addiction

It’s a common fact that opioid addiction can be difficult to treat. Opioids can be found in prescription painkillers, such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, also, street drugs, like heroin and opium, which are commonly found in many areas. Sufferers often find it difficult to break away from the addiction problem as the symptoms of withdrawal can be quite intense. There are many different strategies and methods to treat people with opioid addiction in rehabilitation centres, but successful drug rehab centres use many of the following steps to treat opioid addiction:

Is there a difference between an opioid and an opiate?

Opium Flower

An opiate is a drug naturally derived from the flowering opium poppy plant. The most common drug of this form includes heroin, morphine and codeine.

On the other hand, an opioid is a broader term, that includes opiates, but generally refers to any substance that binds to the brain’s receptors responsible for controlling pain, reward and addictive behaviours.

How opioid addiction is treated in rehab

A pledge to stay clean: This is the basic starting point for any rehabilitation program. Addicts must consciously have the desire to finally stay clean. This is mandatory because if addicts don’t have a strong will to change, they won’t change. Breaking away from an addiction problem can be a monumental task, so it is important that addicts need to have more involvement in the program.

Drug therapy medication: This is a common way to overcome the opioid addiction problem. Addicts could be given substitution drugs, such as Suboxone and Methadone. These can help to minimize the feeling of craving for opioid substances.

Inpatient treatment: This takes places in the hospital or treatment facility and involves a supervised detoxification process by a qualified medical team. Traditionally, this lasts for about one month, but the latest advances in treatment methods may allow for shorter stays, but still depending on the severity of the case. People who need to undergo inpatient treatments usually have freebased opioids, have psychiatric issues, failed at previous outpatient treatment and are using other illegal substances.

Contingency management: This method is based on rewarding people who failed the drug screening test, by offering prizes if they are able to stop the use of illegal drugs. Tangible prizes like cash and vouchers could actually further motivate some people to stop using illegal drugs and opioids. The value of the rewards can be small at first, but they could increase over time. This method is a complementary component that can improve attendance in treatment programs.

Ultra-rapid detoxification: In general, detox isn’t a complete treatment, but ultra-rapid detoxification could be quite successful in many cases. Patients are given opioid antagonists, such as Naltrexone and general anaesthetic sedation. This could help in speeding up withdrawal symptoms and skip various side effects.

Ultimately, the best way of treating opioid abuse is by combining various effective therapies. Drug detox programmes, therapies, inpatient services and community support may help in freeing people from their opioid addictions.

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