How is Opioid Addiction Treated?

Substance Addiction: How is Opioid Addiction Treated?

Opioids are a highly effective medication for chronic and severe pain, but they also hold a high abuse risk. Around 2 million Americans were abusing prescription pain relievers in 2015, based on findings by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.  With so many people addicted to the substance, it raises the question, “how is opioid addiction treated?”  Opiate addiction treatment centers use the latest in behavioral therapy, alternative treatments and opioid replacement therapy to help break a cycle of addiction. With the help of caring professionals at rehabs such as WhiteSands, you can restructure your life and avoid the dangers of addiction.

How is Opioid Addiction Treated?

How is opioid addiction treated when a person is at a rehab such as WhiteSands? Treatment at rehab usually begins with an assessment of the patient. This is to establish their current mental and physical health, the severity of their addiction and other elements that might affect recovery.

With the completion of the assessment and if a medical detox was deemed necessary, the patient will have access to several medications to help the individual through the withdrawal symptoms. A medical detox is especially important if the person has medical conditions, the addiction is severe and if relapse is a concern.

After a period of about a week, the withdrawal symptoms become much more manageable and most of the symptoms subside. This is when further treatment needs to be implemented in the patient’s care plan. Treatment from this point on is usually done in an inpatient or residential setting to allow for the maximum effectiveness of the treatment. Cravings for opioids continue until the patient is able to learn alternative coping skills, which serve as relapse prevention techniques for future times.

Once the issues that the person faces have been dealt with through therapy and alternative treatment programs such as art or music therapy, the patient is then more prepared for the outside world. From this point on, the recovering person either begins an outpatient program to further their recovery or moves into a sober living environment, sometimes both. During outpatient or sober living programs, the recovering individual is able to adjust to their new life without substance abuse, transitioning to their future way of life.

Addiction never truly goes away like many mental disorders and thus requires years and sometimes a lifetime of management. This is made easier with the use of support groups such as the ones in the 12-step program. At any time, the person is able to see a counselor or have further therapy at opiate addiction treatment centers if they feel that support groups and their current relapse prevention strategies are not enough – especially in times of crisis and stress such as losing a loved one.

Opioid Addiction and Dependence Opioid Replacement Therapy

The use of opioid addiction and dependence opioid replacement therapy can be very effective at treating severe opioid addictions, especially when there has been previous relapse. But how is opioid addiction treated with the use of medications?

Medications including methadone and buprenorphine are commonly used as replacement drugs for opioids. Instead of the person going cold turkey, they are given a replacement opioid such as methadone to replace the abused opioids. Over time, the patient is given decreasing quantities of the drug, slowly weaning them off the substance until they are ready to give it up altogether. This process can take months and even years depending on what the person needs.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.