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Opioid Addiction Treatment Program FAQs
The devastating problem of opioid addiction can affect every facet of the lives of those who suffer from this type of dependency. Some individuals fall into addiction attempting to treat chronic pain, while others use it to escape their problems and become hooked. Treatment programs can be an effective recovery tool, and understanding the answers to a few common questions about how the addiction is managed may helped loved ones feel more confident about the outcome.
What are opioids?
There are many different types of opioids, and most can be obtained legally with a physician’s prescription. This class of drugs treats moderate to severe pain by blocking receptors in the brain, which provides relief. Some common drugs in this class include hydrocodone, codeine, oxycodone and fentanyl. Heroin is also a common opioid; however, unlike other forms, it is an illegal substance, and people usually become addicted through experimentation or when other opioids are no longer strong enough to satisfy the addiction.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 2.5 million people abuse opioids. The organization further explains that this issue also results in thousands of overdoses, most of them accidental, each year. This type of drug abuse is becoming more common as opioids are used to treat pain in hospitals and emergency clinics, leaving patients addicted in the aftermath. Some individuals fall into heroin abuse because of their environment or due to a family history of addiction problems.
How is opioid abuse treated?
When inpatient care begins at a treatment center, patients or their loved ones are typically screened so that doctors can know more about their physical and mental history and how long they have been using. The questions can vary from patient to patient but often include these common queries:
- Is there a history of drug abuse in the family?
- Was there a trigger that started the drug problem?
- Does the individual have any other addictions, such as to alcohol?
When loved ones answer these questions to the best of their ability, the resulting treatment can be more effective.
What to know about treatment
Not everyone experiences opioid addiction the same way, so treatment usually varies as well. However, there are some standards usually seen. Most treatment plans are at least 90 days in length, and patients who are discharged from inpatient care may continue with therapy and support programs that help them stay clean. Depending on the help individuals require after the initial program, some may depend on these aftercare services for years afterward.
Opioid treatment usually includes a variety of tactics, including prescription medication. There are several different medications that may be used for treatment. Methadone is similar to morphine. It helps addicts manage their withdrawal symptoms, which can include muscle cramps and vomiting, and make these problems less severe. Some narcotics, such as Buprenorphine, are used during opioid addiction treatment to lessen the severity of cravings. They can also reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms during the early stages of treatment.
Opioid addiction affects people from all walks of life. Recovery is possible, and understanding the treatment process can give addicts and their loved ones peace of mind as they move into a healthier state of both mind and body.
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