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How to treat opiate addiction

If you’re looking for information on getting help for opiate addiction, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll outline some of the signs of opiate addiction, where you can go for help and point you toward resources that can help you overcome the addiction. Then, we invite your questions about treating opiate addiction at the end.

Opiate Addiction Treatment: Are you even addicted?

A true opiate addiction can only be diagnosed by a qualified professional. However, if you suspect you may be addicted to opiates, there’s a good chance you are. But, how do you determine whether or not you are addicted to opiates? Here are a few signs you need to look for.

  • A good deal of your time is connected to your drug use. This may include time spent using, trying to locate, or recovering from the effects of the drug.
  • Attempts to slow down your drug use or quit altogether have been unsuccessful.
  • You continue to use the drug, despite the fact that you know it causes physical, psychological, financial, and social problems.
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms when you don’t have the drug. These withdrawal symptoms are usually alleviated when you take the drug again.
  • You’re more interested in using the drug than anything else. Your drug use may even interfere with your professional or personal obligations.
  • You’ve developed a tolerance to your drug of choice, and you need larger amounts of the drug to achieve the same effect as when you first started using it.

Treating Opiate Addiction

Treatment for opiate addiction takes time and requires committment. Effective treatment programs involve treating an individual’s physical addiction as well as underlying psychological problems. When combined, pharmacological therapies (medications) and psychotherapy can be successful in treating opiate addiction

1. Medications to treat opiate addiction

Depending on the severity of the addiction, medications can be very helpful during opiate addiction treatment. They can help alleviate physical symptoms during withdrawal, and may even help speed up the detoxification process. Methadone is one of the most well known medications used to treat opiate addictions, but buprenorphine and naltrexone may also be used. Short-acting benzodiazepines and antidepressants may also be prescribed during the treatment of opiate addiction.

2. Psychological and behavioral treatments for opiate addiction

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A big part of opiate addiction treatment is psychological. Recovering addicts will often undergo individual, group, and/or family counseling during the course of opiate addiction treatment. Additionally, behavioral therapy is imperative while treating addiction, as it can help addicts become more equipped to abstain from using their drug of choice.

Treatment for opiate addiction

Where can you go to seek treatment for opiate addiction? There are a number of different resources that can be used to overcome an opiate addiction. Keep in mind that no one type of addiction treatment is perfect for everyone, and some types of treatment may work better for you. Many individuals also need a combination of the following treatment options in order to fully recover from their addictions. For help with opiate addiction, seek advice from:

Opiate Addiction Treatment Centers

Inpatient and outpatient opiate addiction treatment centers are rehabilitation facilities that are dedicated to treating opiate addictions. They are staffed with qualified professional addiction counselors and other mental health professionals.

Opiate Detox Centers

Physical withdrawal symptoms during opiate detox are typically very uncomfortable and may even be serious or intense. An opiate detox center allows you to detox safely and more comfortably under the supervision of medical professionals with access to medications.

Mental Health Professionals

Mental health professionals, such as psychologists and psychiatrists, can help you understand addiction and provide you with tools on how to overcome it. During opiate addiction treatment, individual counseling, behavior counseling, and family therapy is usually necessary.

Opiate Addiction Support Groups

Support groups allow you to discuss your addiction and difficulties overcoming it in a comfortable, non-judgmental setting.

Licensed Clinical Social Workers

Clinical social workers can not only offer addiction counseling, but can also help you locate additional opiate addiction resources in your community.

Your Physician

One of the best places to start on your journey toward opiate addiction recovery is your physician. He or she can help you with your withdrawal symptoms and refer you to additional treatment resources, such as addiction rehabilitation centers and mental health professionals.

How to treat opiate addiction questions

Now that we’ve covered some of the basics of opiate addiction treatment, we invite your questions or comments. Not sure where to start? Just ask. Do you have an experience you’d like to share? Feel free to tell us your story. We’re here to help you along every step of your journey, and we’ll try to answer any questions you may have about opiate addiction.

Reference Sources: DOI: Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
Medline Plus: Opiate Withdrawal
NIDA: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment

Photo credit: dcamacho

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2 Responses to “How to treat opiate addiction
6:33 pm April 15th, 2014

I have smoked marijuana for years, but quit smoking when I found my true love- Oxycontin. It has gripped me and my live more than I imagined.

1:08 pm April 16th, 2014

Thanks for your testimony, Zoe. We hope that you find treatment and recovery from OxyContin addiction, the sooner the better.

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