The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recognized America’s opioid crisis as a significant public health emergency of epidemic proportions. Between 2016 and 2017, the number of overdose deaths associated with opioid use skyrocked by 30 percent. The physical components of opioid addiction may be the easiest to treat since several different medications exist that can ease the uncomfortable symptoms associate with withdrawal. The psychological components of opioid addiction are far more difficult to deal with. One of the most effective approaches is residential treatment at facilities like Pinnacle Drug Rehab.
What Is Opioid Addiction?
Opioid addictions often start out slowly. You may have been prescribed pills like Tylenol with codeine, Vicodin, Percocet or Lortab by your physician following an injury or a surgical intervention. These medications work by binding to endorphin receptors in the spinal cord and brain.
These pills are very effective in controlling pain, and they also create a sense of euphoria in many people. If you’re one of those people, you may find yourself taking pills more often than your physician advised, and doubling or even tripling up on your doses. Some people enjoy this sense of euphoria so much that they will seek medication refills even after their pain has abated.
Meanwhile, your endorphin receptors are becoming habituated to the opioids you’ve been taking. You find yourself needing higher and higher dosages to achieve the high that’s the reason you started misusing your medication in the first place. If you stop taking opioids suddenly, you may experience sweating, nausea, diarrhea, chills and intense feelings of depression. Collectively, these symptoms are known as “withdrawal.”
A significant number of opioid users will turn to illicit channels if they can no longer get the pills they crave through a physician. They will buy pills on the black market; they may even turn to dangerous narcotics like heroin. (Heroin is an extremely strong opioid in an injectable form.)
For these people, their lives soon come to revolve entirely around obtaining the opioids to which they have become addicted. Their health, professional lives and social relationships degenerate. They have no compunctions about putting themselves at risk of a deadly overdose. A residential Addiction Treatment Program represents the only hope that many of these people may have of curing themselves of their dangerous opioid habit and resuming a normal life.
Residential Treatment Programs and Opioid Addiction
Residential treatment programs have higher success rates than outpatient treatment programs. Whereas 65 percent of the addicts who enroll in a residential program will complete that program, only 35 percent of enrollees complete outpatient treatment programs. Residential programs owe their higher success rates to the fact that they address the behavioral dysfunctions associated with the addict lifestyle as well as the physical symptoms of addiction.
Residential programs offer a chance for addicts to immerse themselves in a milieu where sobriety is the norm. Additionally, they offer medical detox, individual and group therapy, addiction education and follow-up care, which give addicts the support they need to change negative behaviors.
- Medical detox: Withdrawing from opioids can be an extremely unpleasant process. Many residential addiction centers offer medically supervised detox programs that have the potential to minimize the symptoms associated with withdrawal. Treatment programs that are able to help clients manage withdrawal symptoms are associated with more positive outcomes for clients.
- Individual and group therapy: Therapy is key to helping opioid addicts understand the psychological factors that contributed to their drug dependency. Addiction frequently exists alongside of other conditions like depression and chronic anxiety. Therapy can be particularly effective in helping addicts understand the ways that addiction may start as an attempt to self-medicate these other conditions.
- Addiction education: Addiction education enhances addicts’ understanding of the damage continued drug abuse can have on their minds, bodies, and professional and social relationships. A great deal of misinformation exists about the specific effects of drugs and their potential for harm. Addiction education can also help those in recovery recognize the environmental factors that have the potential to undermine their commitment to sobriety so these situations can be avoided in the future.
- Follow-up care : The most effective residential rehab programs understand that treatment doesn’t end when a client walks out the door. The transition between the cloistered treatment center and the outside world can be a difficult one to navigate for people who are in the early stages of recovery. Aftercare services like individual and group therapy and sobriety fellowships are designed to help former addicts avoid relapses.