Addiction Treatment
Addiction Treatment

What is Opiate Addiction Treatment Like?

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Medically reviewed: 02/28/2019
Last updated: 05/13/2019
Author: Medical Review

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Opiate addiction is a serious issue in our society today, but with treatment, you can put an end to this problem.

How Does Opiate Addiction Treatment Work?

Opiate addiction treatment often starts out with medically assisted detox. Patients are given medication to minimize the withdrawal effects associated with this drug, as they can be considerably painful. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “It is not recommended that clinicians attempt to manage significant opioid withdrawal symptoms without… effective detoxification agents,” and this often needs to be taken care of before anything else.

Some individuals stay on their medications while others are slowly weaned off them. Behavioral therapy also becomes an important part of treatment, allowing patients to change the way they think and feel about their opioid abuse. In addition, rehab programs also focus on helping patients through their recoveries by addressing different issues, including financial, occupational, educational, and social problems and working to change them.

What Methods Are Used in Opiate Addiction Treatment?

Opiate Addiction Treatment

Methadone maintenance can be offered in an outpatient setting for those with less severe opiate addictions.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Several options are available for effectively treating prescription opioid addiction.” These options come from the same rehab methods used to treat heroin abuse. In most cases, a number of different methods will often be utilized together to create a personalized program for the needs of the patient.

  • Medications: Methadone and buprenorphine are both medications that can be used as detox drugs or maintenance drugs. According to Harvard Medical School, methadone maintenance is still one of the most popular options for opiate addiction treatment, despite its many stigmas. Medications are extremely beneficial methods in the treatment of opioid abuse because they can help stabilize a patient and allow them to make significant changes in their lives without having to constantly fight the issues of cravings, withdrawal symptoms, etc. In addition, those who have a strong desire to put an end to their opiate abuse can also use naltrexone, a strong medication that blocks the opiate receptors in the brain.
  • Behavioral therapies: Behavioral therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management, and group therapy can help patients immensely in fighting against the potential for relapse and changing harmful attitudes. These treatment options are extremely important because they can truly help patients adopt safer, more beneficial behaviors and learn to cope with the issues that may have helped lead to their substance abuse in the first place.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Care

Not everyone will need inpatient care for opiate addiction treatment, but it is important to consider your specific needs when it comes to recovery and how severe your addiction and situation are in order to be sure. According to a study from the medical journal Psychiatric Quarterly, patients who are lacking a strong support system at home or who are grappling with intense psychological issues on top of their addictions should consider inpatient care. However, many individuals choose methadone maintenance and visit a clinic daily to receive their treatments. The need for more intensive care depends highly on your specific situation.

Do I Need Opiate Rehab?

If your opioid abuse has gotten out of your control, you may very well need treatment in a rehab facility in order to put an end to it. Many people start off taking prescription opioids as recommended but then turn to abuse, and this has become a serious epidemic in our society today (NIDA). Without the proper treatment, it can be extremely difficult to put an end to one’s opioid abuse, especially because of the extreme availability of these drugs coupled with their addictiveness.

If you have been misusing your or someone else’s prescription regularly, it is important to consider how the drug has affected your life. Opioids can be deadly; even one large dose can cause fatal respiratory depression. And because these drugs are so much more likely to cause these problems in individuals who abuse them, treatment can be highly necessary to a safe recovery.

Recover Safely and Effectively––With Our Help

You don’t need to go through this alone. Opioid addiction treatment is extremely effective and has helped many people put an end to their abuse. Let us help you find the right treatment program for your needs.