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Opioid Addiction

The Tragedy Of Opioid Addiction In Canada

Opioid addiction in Canada has many faces. It is Benjamin, who was prescribed opioids for dental pain and then discovered that they helped him cope with the memories of childhood trauma. It is Greg, who woke up one morning and found his wife dead from an accidental fentanyl overdose. It is Sean, who turned to alcohol and opiates when he lost his pregnant girlfriend in a drowning accident.

The tragedy of opioid addiction is woven through the stories of those who are addicted, the loved ones who are supporting them, and the doctors and social workers who are trying to help them. Some of these stories – including those mentioned above – have been compiled in The Opioid Chapters, a project that attempts to shed light on the humanity of a crisis that is often reduced to statistics.

A Double-Edged Crisis

Addiction to prescription opioids is not as simple to analyze as addictions to other substances. It is easy for us to say that street drugs like heroin and cocaine destroy lives. And this is true: there is no circumstance in which using these drugs contributes to a person’s overall state of health and wellness.

The same cannot be said of prescription opioids, because when used in accordance with medical guidelines, these can provide significant quality of life to people who would otherwise have none. What this means is that society has to strike a balance between solving the opioid addiction crisis and ensuring that the people who need to use the drug for legitimate medical purposes have access to it.

When Does Medicine Become A Drug?

The term “opioids” is generally used to refer to prescription medication that is used to block pain signals between the brain and the body. Opioids that are commonly prescribed include oxycodone, morphine and fentanyl. They are typically used for short term management of chronic pain, pain relief following surgery, and management of pain resulting from cancer.

The risk of addiction arises from the fact that as the medication blocks pain signals, it boosts feelings of pleasure. In an individual who is struggling with trauma memories or stress, this can be dangerous: what starts off as a pain relief medication becomes a substance that is used to help the person function mentally or emotionally.

As the individual uses the opioid medication for a longer time, they may start to increase the dosage to achieve the same effects. And as the doses and frequency of use increase, so does the risk  of decreased heart rate and breathing. This can lead to death. Add other substances like alcohol into the mix, and the danger increases exponentially.

The True Cost Of Opioid Addiction

the true cost of opioid addiction

According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Use & Addiction (CCSA), there were over 15,000 opioid-related deaths in Canada in the years 2016-2019. Over the last five years, emergency room admissions resulting from opioid harm have increased by 27%. It is estimated that in Ontario, the number of opioid-dependent people who gave birth to babies was 16 times higher in 2014 than in 2002. Many of these babies had to be treated for neonatal withdrawal.

The human cost of opioid addiction is undeniable. In addition to the lives lost, there are the lives permanently altered by disability or illness, loss of a loved one, and the breakdown of relationships.

The Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (CAMH) estimates that mental illness and addiction costs the Canadian economy more than $50 billion per year. This includes lost productivity and the costs of healthcare and social services. With an annual amount of $3.5 billion, opioids contribute to the third biggest substance-related cost in Canada, behind alcohol and tobacco.

First, Do No Harm

The obvious answer to this crisis would seem to be, “Let’s get people the help they need.” While society should always have a goal of helping people who are vulnerable, this is not quite as simple as it sounds.

One of the problems is stigma. Although we have come a long way in terms of societal attitudes to addiction, we have not quite managed to let go of the idea that equates addiction with irresponsibility. We routinely see people with addictions being referred to as “junkies” or “deadbeats”, instead of being treated as human beings worthy of being helped.

The tragic reality is that many people who want to seek treatment for addictions hesitate for fear of being ridiculed or rejected. In a lot of cases, trauma has brought them to the point of addiction: having been hurt by some element of humanity, they do not have faith that humanity will treat them with empathy.

Another problem is access to services. Not everyone has the financial means to go to rehab. Not everyone has the option of stepping out of their lives to go into a treatment centre, and when they do, they may find that treatment centres are full.

Therefore, while it is important to ensure that as much help as possible is available for people with opioid addictions, this does not go far enough. We also need to use harm reduction strategies to protect people who use opioids from serious harm or death. Some of these strategies can also serve as a first step in a drug rehab process.

Naloxone

Freely available in most parts of Canada, naloxone is a short-acting opioid antagonist that binds to the opioid receptors, thereby preventing other opioids from binding. This can rapidly reverse the potentially fatal effects of opioid overdose, such as depressed breathing and heart rate. When given soon after possible overdose events, naloxone can save lives. It should be noted that even when naloxone is administered, the individual should receive emergency care as soon as possible, since the effects of naloxone are not long-lasting.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Unsupervised opioid withdrawal can be dangerous and uncomfortable. Individuals who want to break the hold of opioids on their lives may benefit from medication-assisted treatment, in which they are given longer-acting opioids that have less intense euphoric effects. This allows the person to start rebuilding their life while avoiding the worst of the withdrawal symptoms.

medication-assisted treatment

Public Education

One of the most powerful harm reduction strategies for any addiction is educating members of the community about the signs and symptoms of overdose, what to do in the event of such an emergency, and what sequence of events is set in motion when someone calls for help. A lot of people are hesitant to help those who are experiencing overdoses because they fear arrest by the police or stigmatization from family members. Humans have demonstrated over and over again that we fear what we do not understand: public education can reduce the anxiety about assisting people who need it.

Approaching Opioid Addiction Rehab With Empathy

The key to helping people with opioid addictions is empathy. Whether the situation calls for immediate harm reduction or longer term rehab, it is important for the individual to feel that they are in a safe place that is free from judgment, where they will receive the treatment they need.

If you decide that inpatient addiction rehab is the right choice for yourself or a loved one, 1000 Islands Rehab Centre will provide a healing environment, compassionate addiction treatment professionals, and a rehab program that is tailored to your unique needs and circumstances.

It is never too soon or too late to get help. Reach out to us today to begin your journey to recovery.

Related article: What is Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction? | 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab Centre (addictions.ca)

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Opioid Addiction

What Is the Cost of Opioid Addiction Rehab in Toronto?

Permit us to be philosophical with our approach to the question; “what’s the cost of opioid addiction rehab?” Let’s reply to it with another question; What will you give to be free of your addiction to opioids? Think about it, how much do you think is worth getting your health and life back from addiction? Your answer is the cost of getting treatment for your opioid addiction.

The cost of opioid rehab is subject to differing opinions and in some cases, some controversy. Many people believe they are victims of addiction and refuse to see it as the result of their actions. So, they feel they should not have to pay a lot of money to get treatment for their addictions.

We’re not going to judge their opinions as right or wrong, everybody has the entitlement to their opinions. Nonetheless, it won’t change the fact that there is a cost you have to pay for opioid rehab. There’s always a cost for a better healthier life and you’ll have to pay it regardless of your opinion. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re a victim or you think it’s a result of your bad decisions.

Here, we will discuss the various costs of opioid rehab. This discussion will cover all aspects of the pricing for opioid addiction rehab. But before that, we will look at the costs of opioid addiction. What are the things you’re losing to your opioid addiction?

The Costs of Opioid Addiction

Realizing that the continuous use of opioids is taking away more than it gives you is the first step to quitting. However, you’re probably yet to experience this, many opioid addicts fail to do until it’s quite late.

The good news is; no time is too late as long as you’re still alive and can make decisions for yourself. You will end up realizing it, sometimes with external help like we are about to provide now.

The monetary cost

This is the most obvious cost of addiction to opioids. For instance, it costs up to $40 to get 25mcg of fentanyl on the streets. Depending on the severity of the addiction, you may require between 150mcg to 200mcg per day. Doing the calculations, the cost can rack up to a sum between $300 to $500 per day.

Since it is a compulsive behaviour and you can’t help it, you will do whatever you can to get the money to buy the drugs. This is a major problem in Canada and the United States with a lot of residents already addicted to opioids. Recent data from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction indicates that we are in the middle of an opioid epidemic.

For opioid addicts, the need to constantly abuse opioids reflects in their bank accounts. You may have to spend your savings to get money for opiates.

It is often difficult for addicts to keep up with the cost of buying their daily fix. So you may start borrowing money or buying the drugs on credit which in turn leads to debt. This can lead you to a life of crime sometimes at the behest of the creditors to pay off debts. At the end of the day, addiction to opioids will most probably leave you in a financial crisis.

The adverse effect on your health

Ordinarily, the use of opioid medications for health conditions sometimes comes with side effects. Some of these side effects include; sedation, nausea, constipation and many others. These are conditions that generally affect the user’s health. However, the effects of the abuse that accompanies opioid addiction are greater.

First of all, opioid abuse has a huge psychological effect on the user. According to Healthline, anxiety and other mental disorders are common among people who abuse opioids. This is because the continuous use of the drug leads to dependency. So whenever you can’t get your daily fix, you experience fear, mood swings and anxiety.

According to Pubmed, opioid addiction can also have the following effects on the body:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Hyperalgesia
  • Immunologic and hormonal dysfunction
  • Muscle rigidity and many more.

Not to mention the possibility of dangerous tendencies such as self-harm that may result from the drug’s psychological effects. The health effects of opioid addiction are numerous, these are just a few of them. You may not experience some of these effects until later in life. This is more reason for you to quit and get treatment as soon as possible.

Opioid destroy life

Heavy disruption on social life

This is an effect that is very common to all forms of unhealthy addictions. Your opioid addiction will affect your social life and relationship with others. For one, addicts are usually secretive about their addictions. You will always try to hide your addiction from people close to you by withdrawing from them.

You will spend more time alone by yourself, and you will always find excuses to spend time alone. Due to the psychological effects of the drug, you will often be angry and on the edge. You will become antisocial and it will feel like nobody cares about you. Because of this, you will find comfort in your pain eraser (opioids).

These are the symptoms and costs of opioid addiction. If you find yourself doing these things, you may end up losing friends and relationships because of it. You may lose your job, lose your loved ones and social status to your addiction. Do not let that happen to you, and if it has happened, decide to pay the cost of opioid rehab and get it all back.

Loss of productivity

Lack of or reduced productivity is another side effect of opioid addiction. Think of it as a situation when you are yet to have your morning coffee. You’ll probably feel lethargic and lacking motivation until you get that cup of coffee. That is only when you can finally start your day and be productive.

That’s how it works with opioid addiction too. If you’re an addict, you can’t start your days without your morning dose. And at midday, when things get tense, you need another dose to keep going. The same happens at night — you need another dose to be able to sleep peacefully. You will find out that without the drugs, your productivity reduces or disappears.

However, with time, excessive intake of the drugs also affects your productivity. This often happens when you take so much that you start experiencing the side effects. They will hinder your work and negatively impact your productivity.

Loss of life and other dire consequences

According to the Government of Canada, we recorded more than 17,000 deaths resulting from opioid toxicity between 2016 and 2020. This represents an increase from 54% in 2019 to 58% in 2020.

Not to scare you but, you must know that opioid addiction can lead to death. Overdosing on opioids usually has dire consequences and the worst is death. Some people can be lucky to escape with their lives but they usually end up with permanent scars. These come in the form of mental health disorders that they will nurse for life.

We do not want any of these conditions to happen to you. We sincerely hope that you get rehab as soon as possible. To help you, we will talk about the cost of getting opioid rehab. We will also talk about how you can afford the cost if it seems overwhelming for you.

Related Article: 6 Warning Signs of Opioid Addiction

Cost of Opioid Rehab: How Much Can You Expect to Pay.

It’s great that you decided to get clean, it is brave and worth commending. Now it’s time to answer the big question “how much does opioid rehab cost?”.

To understand the overall cost of opioid rehab in Canada, you have to understand what constitutes the cost. These are what you may call the main factors that influence the cost of opioid rehab.

Type of opioid rehab

This is the most important factor that determines the cost of opioid rehab. It plays a major role in determining the amount you will have to pay for your treatment. Various types of opioid rehab employ different elements and methods of treatment. Each is quite effective and it’s difficult to pick which one is best.

However, there are two broad categorizations for the types of opioid rehab available. These are the in-patient opioid rehab and outpatient opioid rehab.

In-patient rehab involves admitting the patient into a care facility for the period of treatment. This care facility may or may not be a designated hospital or clinic. However, it will have the necessary equipment for your accommodation and care.

In-patient opioid rehab employs elements of detox, medication and various therapies to care for patients. The most popular therapy it employs is group therapy. Group therapy is useful for providing support, feedback and encouragement for the patients. There, you will get the support you need every step of the way to your recovery.

Due to the accommodation, feeding and treatment fees, the cost of this type of opioid addiction treatment is on the high side. The cheapest ones often cost around $6,000 for a 30-day program. But some programs charge up to $20,000 for 30 days of treatment. The long-term programs that last for 60 to 90 days can cost between $12,000 to $60,000.

The outpatient program is however pretty different from the in-patient program. While also very broad, it employs a common premise that involves no admission of patients for treatment. During the duration of treatment, you will be free to go about your other businesses. You will only need to come in for your treatment per the schedule with your treatment care providers.

You should opt for this type of opioid addiction treatment if you need to go about your daily business while receiving treatment. However, this type of treatment is most effective for mild to moderate opioid addiction. It may not be effective for extreme addiction.

Since there’s no accommodation fee, it’s cheaper than inpatient treatment. You will often find this type of treatment for $5,000 for a duration of three months. The high-end outpatient treatments may cost you up to $10,000. Keep in mind that other factors also contribute to the cost.

There are other types of treatments such as detox, individual therapy and many more. They also influence the cost of opioid rehab but not to a large extent. If you’ll be going for inpatient treatment, prepare to spend a lot of money. The outpatient program is cheaper, however, it may not be effective for extreme addiction.

The method of treatment

The cost of opioid rehab will also depend on the method of therapy your treatment provider recommends. There are different ways to treat addiction issues. But most facilities use a variety of combinations of these different methods. Typically, opioid rehab can involve the use of therapy and even medications.

Usually, therapies provide the cheapest ways of treating addiction. However, they only work best for mild addictions. They work best for new addicts who are yet to develop a lifestyle around substance abuse. The cost may range from around $50 to $300 per session depending on the therapist.

There are other types of treatment that work for severe addictions. They may involve the use of medication, detox, alternative therapies and many more. All these methods of treatment vary in their effectiveness. So what works for someone else may not be effective for you.

Most in-patient rehab centers use a combination of all the methods of treatment. While outpatient centers rely a lot on therapy and medications. Of course, this disparity also reflects in the cost of opioid rehab.

rehab therpist group

The level of facilities available

The facilities and amenities the treatment centers provide don’t come for free. You should not expect to have access to them for free. The cost of purchase, operation and maintenance of these facilities are all part of the total cost of opioid rehab.

Some of these facilities and amenities include; physical therapy centers, pools, sports facilities and many more. They are usually provided by in-patient treatment centers as alternative treatments for the patients. Some outpatient centers also offer some of these facilities to provide an alternative treatment to patients.

You can expect to find all these facilities and more at luxury rehab centers. These high-end treatment centers are for people who can afford a luxurious lifestyle. Sometimes, they feature beaches, mountainside views, and even exquisite cuisine by popular chefs. You can expect to pay tens of thousands every month for opioid addiction treatment at these centers.

Detox and medication

Detox and medication are more expensive than therapy. This is because they’re more intensive and also require the use of drugs. Detox is a process of getting rid of the drug from the body. For cases of severe opioid addiction, it takes a while to remove all traces of the drugs from the body.

Medications are useful for making the detoxification process faster and less painful. Doctors use various drugs to reduce the effects of withdrawal and the risk of a relapse. As you can already guess, these drugs are a little bit expensive. You can only get them with a prescription from a qualified doctor, so they’re not easy to get.

Some of these drugs include:

  • Methadone: The main effect of this drug is that it reduces drug cravings and eliminates withdrawal symptoms. It does this by creating a similar effect to the opioid on the receptors in the brain. This way, it gives users what they want minus the euphoric effects of the opioids. This drug often costs about $159 for a weekly dose.
  • Buprenorphine: This works similarly to methadone. You can even call it an alternative or complementary drug to methadone. It also works on the opioid receptors in your brain and reduces withdrawal symptoms. Taking this drug twice a week, you will be spending around $115 every week.
  • Naltrexone: This is the strongest and most expensive of the medications on this list. It also has a stronger effect than the two other drugs on the list. It works by blocking the activation of opioid receptors in your brain, effectively shutting down all cravings for opioids. You will spend an average of $1,180 per month for this drug.

You have to pay for the purchase of the drugs and the support during the detoxification process. If you’re at an in-patient facility, the medication and detox costs are part of the total cost for the program. However, for the outpatient program, the cost of medication is often separate from the treatment cost.

When you consider all the factors we stated, you can easily deduce what the cost of opioid rehab will be. It is easier if you view these factors as a pricing guide for opioid rehab. Take them into consideration and decide how much you can expect to pay for opioid rehab.

How to Afford the Cost of Opioid Addiction Rehab

Yeah, we’ve been going on and on about the cost of opioid rehab for a while now. And we keep mentioning amounts in thousands of dollars. You’re probably thinking “ I know how much I should pay for opioid rehab but how can I afford that?” The cost seems like a daunting prospect. Well, it won’t be with the financing aids we will explain below.

Use existing health insurance

Good news! You can use your existing health insurance to cover the cost of your opioid addiction rehab. Health insurances usually provide cover for substance abuse treatment just like every other treatment.

Yes, there will be a little bit of bureaucracy and formalities with the process. But your health insurance should provide the cover you need for your opioid addiction treatment.

However, note that your insurance may not be sufficient to cover the entire cost of your treatment. In this case, you will need to seek alternative means to get the remaining fees. Also, insurance may not cover some types of treatments depending on the insurance contract. For example, some insurance may not cover the cost of holistic forms of opioid therapy.

Apply for rehab scholarships

Many clinics provide rehab scholarships to patients. These are clinics that receive grants from various organizations to help with the fight against substance abuse. All you need to do is to seek out such clinics and apply for treatment with them. They will provide free treatment for your opioid addiction.

Don’t worry, you won’t need to file for insurance to get treatment at the clinics. The sole aim of these clinics is to support people who can’t afford the cost of opioid rehab. You’re sure to get free treatment as long as they have free scholarships available.

Apply to Government-funded facilities

There are various state and federal government-funded programs for addiction treatment. You can apply to any of those through the public health department. However, you may need to meet certain requirements to be eligible for treatment under these programs.

Also, keep in mind that government-funded programs may not be entirely free. You may also need to cover some of the cost by yourself. Nonetheless, they provide sufficient subsidies on the cost of opioid rehab and treatment.

Related Article: The Timeline for Opioid Addiction Treatment

Conclusion

The cost of opioid rehab shouldn’t scare you off deciding to get help. It may seem daunting at first, but when you consider it, it’s not. Compare it to the impact of addiction on your life and you will see that it is negligible.

Do you or anyone you know need help getting rid of opioid addiction? Please feel free to contact us or check out our opioid addiction rehab services. Here at 1000 Islands Rehab Centre, we have the mandate to assist and support you throughout your recovery journey. Your wellness is of paramount priority to us. Get in touch with us today!

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Opioid Addiction

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction?

In addition to behavioural therapy, the use of medications like methadone can help to treat opioid addiction. Medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction is a cost-effective method of treating opioid dependence. The medications help to reduce severe withdrawal symptoms making it the best treatment for opioid addiction. Also, incorporating medications into opioid addiction fosters recovery and reduces the risk of relapse.

There are several misconceptions about using medications to treat opioid addiction. Contrary to the myths, using medications isn’t the same as substituting one addictive drug for the other. Rather, you can liken it to using medications to control a particular ailment. In this article, we will debunk some misconceptions surrounding medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction.

Want to know how medication helps with opioid addiction? This article discusses the types of medications used in medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. Here, we will answer all your questions on medicated-assisted treatment for opiates abuse.

What is Medication-Assisted Addiction Treatment?

Medication-Assisted Treatment for opioid addiction can also be known as MAT or MATOD. It is using drugs like naltrexone, methadone or buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction.

Not only do these medications treat opioid addiction, but they also help in maintaining the results. Because opioid addiction affects the patients’ brains, sudden withdrawal can be life-threatening.

Furthermore, what medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction does is that it helps to normalize the brain’s chemistry. Also, the medications block the euphoria patients get from using opioids and normalize their body functions.

You can use naltrexone, methadone or buprenorphine for several years or a lifetime. However, should you decide to discontinue the use of the medications, consult your doctor first.

opioid drugs

How Medicated Assisted Addiction Treatment for Opioid Addiction Works

According to an NCBI report, people who are addicted to opioids are likely to relapse after detoxification if they decide to abstain from opioids. Although relapsing is part of recovery, it can also be dangerous especially when the patient overdoses on opioids.

Substituting opioids for buprenorphine or naltrexone can help in the reduction of withdrawal symptoms. For instance, naltrexone works by hindering the opioid receptors from activating.

While naltrexone can be referred to as an opioid antagonist, buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. Presently, these are the only recommended medications used in combating opioid addiction. Although naltrexone, methadone and buprenorphine work in reducing withdrawal symptoms, they have different functions. Also, they are administered in different ways.

Furthermore, for severe withdrawal symptoms, buprenorphine is the best treatment for opioid addiction. While methadone is used to detoxify patients from opioids that last long like morphine. Finally, with diseases like diabetes, respiratory deficiency or head injuries should be given these medications with caution.

Also, we don’t underemphasize the importance of counselling. The reason is, patients who don’t undergo therapy have higher risks of relapse. While medications assisted treatment can help with opioid addiction, it works hand in hand with therapy.

Types of Medications Used in Medication Addiction Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction surrounds three major medications. They are naltrexone, buprenorphine and methadone.

In choosing the right medication, there are specific regulations and supply chains that should be considered. These drugs affect patients in different ways hence their varied recovery rate.

Buprenorphine

The combination of buprenorphine and buprenorphine-naloxone has been used to treat patients with opioid addiction. Unlike methadone, buprenorphine is more accessible and has a reduced chance of further abuse.

Also, compared to other medications for opioid addiction, buprenorphine has better side effects. This medication is characterized by its high receptor affinity that means its effects last longer.

Furthermore, buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. After taking buprenorphine, you will start to experience milder withdrawal symptoms. Also, the administration of buprenorphine prevents other stronger opiates from having an effect on  your brain.

Buprenorphine is recommended for patients with mild opioid addiction withdrawal. Hence, it’s less effective when used for strong opiates like heroin.

Patients are to avoid using respiratory depressants in combination with buprenorphine. Since buprenorphine has a reduced risk of dependence, it is safe to use for HIV or AIDS opioid users.

Also, buprenorphine, unlike methadone, can be dispensed or prescribed in the doctor’s office.

The process of stopping the use of buprenorphine is referred to as tapering. Only a doctor or addiction expert is allowed to assist the patient during this process.

Naloxone

Naloxone works by blocking the euphoria accompanied by taking cosine, morphine or heroin. Not only does Naloxone block opioid receptors in the brain, but it also binds them. Unlike methadone and buprenorphine, naloxone does not activate the opioid receptors. One advantage of Naloxone is that it is non-addictive.

Naloxone can reverse and prevent the effects of an opioid in case of relapse or overdose. It does this by quickly detoxifying the body of the opioid. Also, in the space of 2 minutes, Naloxone can quickly stop respiratory depression that is induced by morphine.

Naloxone has few side effects and is considered safe to use as medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. Also, the availability of Naloxone has reduced death from opioid overdose to 40%. For opioid addiction, Naloxone is administered as an extended-release intramuscular injectable. It can only be administered by a licensed medical practitioner.

Typically, Naloxone will be given to you once in four weeks by a medical practitioner. One benefit of this medication is that it doesn’t cause any withdrawal symptoms when you abstain from it. With Naloxone, there’s no risk of diversion of potential. However, patients below 18 aren’t allowed to use Naloxone as medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction.

There’s a word of warning that comes with using Naloxone. If you stop using it, you will have a reduced tolerance for opioids. This means there’s a risk of overdose with a relapse. Taking the same amount you used to consume can have fatal consequences.

In addition to this, you must abstain from consuming other opioids or alcohol while on Naloxone treatment. The same goes for sedatives, and tranquilisers. If you’re going to be taking other medication with Naloxone, it’s important to inform your doctors.

Conclusively, the use of naloxone can last several months or years. It all depends on how effective the medication is for your unique condition. Also, as long as recovery is stable, there is no need for patients to taper off naloxone.

naloxone

Methadone

Methadone isn’t a new medication for opioid addiction as it’s been in use since 1964. It’s a long-lasting opioid that works by binding opioid receptors present in the spinal cord and the brain.

It activates them while reducing the cravings and withdrawal symptoms caused by the opioid. Also, methadone reduces the high feeling that accompanies the use of opioids.

Furthermore, methadone medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction is safe, effective and efficient. It is administered once a day but only through a licensed opioid treatment program. Also, more than half of opioid addicts are under maintenance treatment with over 60% of them receiving methadone. Under the maintenance treatment using methadone, there has been a decrease in the abuse use of opiates.

The result is reductions in problems associated with opioid use such as crime and intravenous drug use. Methadone treatment helps in normalizing how opioid addicts’ immune systems function. It also alters how they respond to stress.

Additionally, methadone helps patients perform well in difficult cognitive tasks. Just like buprenorphine, methadone is highly effective. However, the use of methadone can restrict the hormones that release gonadotropin. According to an NCBI journal, this can cause a decrease in testosterone levels.

In conclusion, methadone can prolong polymorphic ventricular tachycardia or QT. Opioid patients who are experiencing prolonged QT are to switch to another treatment that has buprenorphine. The reason is buprenorphine doesn’t have any effect on QT. Purified methadone otherwise known as Levomethadone can be used as an alternative treatment.

Related Article: The Timeline for Opioid Addiction Treatment

Advantages of Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction

One advantage of medication for opioid addiction is that it reduces withdrawal symptoms. It is more like weaning the patient off opioids rather than cutting it off completely. Also, medications can help you complete the detoxification process quickly and easily.

However, each medication has its advantages which may differ from the rest. Here are the advantages of the different drugs used in medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction.

Advantages of methadone

  • It gives a better chance of complete recovery from opioid addiction
  • It allows patients to focus more on addiction treatment seeing as they don’t have to worry about withdrawal symptoms.
  • It makes stability during early recovery stability a possibility.
  • It improves the patient’s quality of life.
  • It decreases the outbreak of infectious diseases.

Advantages of buprenorphine

  • It helps in ameliorating the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
  • It is cost-effective.
  • The possibility of respiratory depression is low compared to methadone.
  • The overdose potential of buprenorphine is low.

Advantages of naloxone

  • It doesn’t cause dependency or tolerance
  • It has reduced the risks of complications.
  • Its accessibility has reduced the rate of fatal overdoses.

Medication-Assisted Treatment Misconceptions

It’s normal for people to know the wrong things about what medication-assisted treatment is. This is due to many misconceptions in the media about the treatment method. In many ways, the misconceptions about medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction have overshadowed its benefits.

Myth 1- People who use medication-assisted treatment are weak and lack discipline.

Addiction stems from the misuse or abuse of opioids which isn’t the best decision. However, addiction changes the brain and causes real pain. Although quitting opioid use on your own is possible, it’s dangerous. Many patients undergo several phases of relapse and recovery which can be life-threatening.

Furthermore, the process of recovery is easier especially when the patient receives medication-assisted treatment. This treatment method is safer compared to opioid abstinence without assistance. Also, it has prevented deaths from dangerous practices associated with opioid use and overdose.

Myth 2- Medication-assisted treatment isn’t the right moral choice.

The different perception of opioid addiction is responsible for the negative stigma of medication-assisted treatment. Typically, addiction is a result of repeated use of certain drugs alongside other environmental and genetic factors. Also, it leads to changes in the opioid receptors that are present in the brain.

Owing to this, it’s only right that addiction is perceived as a medical disease that should be treated medically. Just like other diseases, addiction should be treated with the use of medication.

On the other hand, people also view addiction as a spiritual or moral problem. This perception views patients who decide to use medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction as weak. The reason is patients are still going to be using another “drug” consistently.

Myth 3- Medication-assisted treatment is substituting one addiction for the other.

Many patients don’t understand why doctors are administering opioids to them when they have an opioid addiction. Medications like methadone and buprenorphine are opioids and they are also used in treating opioid addiction. However, it’s wrong to conclude that these medications are another addiction.

In fact, there are other non-opioid options for patients who don’t want opioid medications. A typical example of a non-opioid medication is naltrexone. It is equally as effective as methadone and buprenorphine.

Myth 4- Because the medication-assisted treatment doesn’t end drug addiction immediately, it’s not effective

Medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction is not a cure. It helps to know that addiction is the same as a severe disease. Like other chronic diseases, the medications given to manage them aren’t regarded as the cure. For instance, people with diabetes are given insulin shots to manage the disease.

Also, high blood pressure patients have to take medications for years to manage their condition. In the same vein, opioid addicts may have to continue taking medications for years. The drugs don’t particularly cure the addiction, rather it helps you manage it.

opioid drug cap

Myth 5- People receiving medication-assisted treatment have a high risk of overdosing.

Medication addiction treatment helps in reducing deaths caused by opioid overdose. Therefore, it debunks the misconception of MAT being the cause of overdose. On the contrary, opioid addicts who don’t receive medication-assisted treatment are at a higher risk of overdosing.

Frequently Asked Questions on Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction

When going into a new treatment, having lots of questions is completely normal. Here are some of the most asked questions on medication assisted treatment for opioid addiction.

Can Methadone get me high?

When methadone is given in its proper dosage by a licensed professional, it cannot get you high.

How long does medication-assisted treatment last?

Depending on your type of addiction treatment, medication-assisted treatment differs from person to person. However, the longer you spend during medication-assisted treatment, the higher your chances of recovery.

Is methadone safe for pregnant women?

When a pregnant woman undergoes medication-assisted treatment, no harm of any sort is done to the child. Studies have shown that exposure to methadone does not impair cognitive and developmental functions in the child. Instead, it reduces the chances of death and illnesses in the mother and child.

What are the side effects of methadone?

Contrary to popular opinion, methadone increases the physical health of a patient after usage. For patients with underlying conditions like poor dental care, poor nutrition and poor medical conditions, they can become obvious after methadone is administered.

How do I start medicated-assisted Treatments?

First, you need to see a licensed professional who will examine the nature of your addiction and permit you to get them. Under a pharmacist’s supervision, your drug dosage will be given to you.

Remember that these medications are to be used in continuation with addiction rehab and therapy programs. Therefore, if you enroll in an in-patient opioid rehab program, you’ll be getting daily supervision and monitoring while using your drugs. For outpatient rehab, you may have to go in for treatments on set appointment dates.

What are the effects of medication-assisted treatment on driving?

During treatment, professionals advise that you stay away from driving. These drugs can affect your driving skills in the first week of administration..

When can I leave Medication-assisted treatment on opioid dependence?

Before quitting medication-assisted treatment, there’s a need to hold a conversation with your opioid addiction doctors. The doctors will give you criteria to meet before you quit medication.

Common criteria include when you:

  • Use psychosocial interventions.
  • Do not have issues with alcohol use.
  • Have had time to deal with underlying issues.
  • Withdraw over months, rather than the common weekly or daily withdrawal.

It is important to note that quitting medication prematurely can cause a relapse. Ensure you complete your medication for successful treatments.

Related Article: 8 Myths about Opioid Addiction

To Sum It Up

The best treatment for opioid addiction is the use of medications like naloxone, methadone and buprenorphine. Usually, when you try to abstain on their own, the withdrawal symptoms are severe. Medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction works by normalizing the brain’s chemistry. Also, the medications help patients to sustain their recovery and lead normal lives.

Asides from preventing adverse effects of withdrawal symptoms, MAT helps patients to improve the quality of their life. Patients who are stable in their recovery can return to society and also return to normal activities. However, if a patient relapses while on this treatment, it can be very fatal. The reason is buprenorphine, methadone and naloxone decrease patients’ tolerance to opioids.

Just like other severe diseases, addiction isn’t cured with the use of medications. Rather the medications help patients manage the disease. Also, it helps when people see addiction as a disease other than a moral problem. Opioid addiction isn’t a death sentence as patients can overcome their addiction.

Do you need more information on how medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction works? Our addiction treatment experts at 1000 Islands Rehab Centre can answer any questions you have. Contact us today!

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Opioid Addiction

How To Intervene If You Love Someone Who Abuses Heroin and Is Addicted

A substance use problem starts small but usually snowballs into a significant problem. It is why you must intervene if your loved one abuses heroin and is already addicted.

In cases like this, it is not a moment too soon. There are many substances of addiction like alcohol, marijuana, and opioids. While all of them carry an inherent danger, heroin is peculiar.

Every time your loved one shoots up, snorts, or smokes heroin, they risk a potential overdose and subsequent death. Therefore, when dealing with such a situation, time is of the essence.

Now, you may want to help, but it is not unusual to not know where to begin. You may have worries about how your loved one will perceive your intervention. Beyond this, you may simply not know how to help someone who abuses heroin.

That is fine. We will be discussing how to intervene if someone you love abuses heroin. We will start from knowing how to recognize signs of such dependency, all the way to the possible options for treatment.

Recognizing Heroin Addiction: What to Look Out For

Heroin is a substance that has wide-ranging effects on anyone who consumes it. You can expect to see mental, behavioural, and physical changes in someone who has become addicted to the drug. The mind-altering properties of heroin have long been established. This makes the mental and the behavioural changes the most obvious and the most disturbing effects.

Most of these behaviours are seen as erratic. Heroin addicts are under a compulsion to want to use the drugs at all times. This means that depending on the severity, most of their actions are intended to get drugs. Being evasive and secretive is also quite common among heroin addicts.

The critical signs to look out for include:

  • Unwarranted change in behaviour
  • Wide mood swings
  • Abstaining from activities that were previously enjoyed
  • Glassy eyes and pinpoint pupils
  • Stuffy nose
  • Problems concentrating at work or school
  • Unpredictable bouts of anger
  • Lethargy
  • Disinterest in proper grooming
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Impaired judgment and decision making
  • Unusual change in spending habits

Of course, seeing these signs in someone you love is not sure-fire proof they are abs using heroin. However, you may get more concerned if the person has a high risk of developing an addiction.

To know if anyone is prone to developing such a problem, you should look out for any of these:

  • A family member that has developed an addiction
  • Previous traumatic experiences such as abuse (physical, sexual, or emotional) or neglect
  • Mental health problems like depression
  • A history of using drugs

Anyone that fits into any of these categories is more likely to develop an addiction. A combination of these with the signs listed above may be a basis for a correct guess that heroin addiction is in play.

How to Intervene If Someone You Love Abuses Heroin

Upon realizing the problem, you have to talk to your loved one about the heroin addiction. This is usually the first option that is available to you.

However, you must not take such a discussion lightly. The outcome of the conversation may considerably colour any other effort you may make to provide help and support. So, you must proceed cautiously.

At this stage, a good idea is to consult an expert heroin addiction interventionist. This is a professional with experience and expertise in confronting people with addiction. Together with other loved ones, they can help addicts decide on getting treatment for their habit.

Confronting a drug addict can become a dicey situation, so it must be properly managed. Many times, close friends and family make costly mistakes if they decide to discuss the problems by themselves.

They may quickly resort to blame or get too emotional with the person, which leads to unwanted results. A professional can guide you on what to say and how to say it. They will also advise where and when the intervention will happen.

Whether you involve an interventionist or not, you must prepare to help your loved one get through their problem. You can do this in the following ways:

  • Learn about addiction: Many times, it is difficult to understand heroin addiction. Without experiencing it, you will easily be baffled as to why your loved one continues in a habit they know is harmful. With such a mentality, you are more likely to throw the blame on them. If you confront them with criticism, you will most likely get the wrong results.

By learning about what addiction does to a person, you will better understand what they are going through. You also get to know about the different drugs and how they affect people differently. Educating yourself also involves appreciating what caused them to turn to drugs in the first place. Of course, you will also learn how to intervene in your loved one’s heroin abuse problem.

This information prepares you to help the person. It also makes you more confident to face the problem, which is always necessary as addiction recovery is not easy – for both the addict and their loved ones.

  • Offer support and encouragement: When you have a conversation about the addiction, you must take a position of support. Heroin addiction often causes your loved one to withdraw from people they know. It can even strain their interpersonal relationships. This makes it easy for them to forget just how much you — and everyone else — cares for them.

When you talk to them, remind them you care for and support them, and wish them to be better. Encourage them to seek treatment. You may gently hint at how troubling the problem has become, using examples from previous events. Let them know you are there to support them throughout their journey to recovery

Your goal in the conversation is to help them realize the problem. On many occasions, they also know there is a problem but are unable to stop. You should then help them decide to get help. If the attempt to get them into heroin rehab is to be successful, they must decide themselves. But by offering your support and encouragement, they can go the long-haul.

Furthermore, the support does not stop once they check in to rehab. It is usually immensely beneficial for an addict to have their loved ones involved for the entirety of the process. Driving them to the center, participating in meetings and support groups are just a few ways to remain involved.

  • Look after yourself: Without a doubt, addiction recovery takes a toll on both the addict and the caregiver. The emotional turbulence you experience with your loved one’s changing behaviour can leave you drained. Having to pick up after them while also figuring out how to intervene in their heroin abuse can be a burden on you too.

Therefore, you have to take care of yourself too. You may also sign up for therapy if you need it. Taking self-imposed breaks to relax and refresh will be much beneficial. Great food, adequate sleep, and exercise are wellness activities to try. You need to be in the best state to render as much assistance as you possibly can.

Related Article: Is There Hope for Someone Dealing With Heroin Abuse?

Barriers To Intervening In Heroin Addiction Of A Loved One

Many times, you know of your loved one’s problem, but you are hesitant to make a move. There are possible reasons for this hesitation. Some of these are:

Choosing to protect yourself

For you to notice heroin use by a loved one, it must either be someone close or someone deeply loved. This means the loved one battling heroin addiction has a level of influence over you.

As such, trying to help a loved one struggling with heroin addiction can expose you to using this substance. This is even more crucial for anyone with an addiction history. As much as you are trying to intervene if someone you love is abusing heroin, it is not safe to jeopardize your health in the process.

Avoiding ruining the relationship

Anyone on heroin or any other drug is usually in denial of their present condition. The use of these substances leads to a reconditioning of their brains into believing they are doing the right things.

As much as you intend to help your loved one deal with a heroin addiction, it may not sit well with them. An addict may, due to the influence of heroin, think you are judgmental. They may equally guess you are trying to separate them from the heroin. Their reaction to your steps of heroin intervention can come as a form of retaliation.

The heroin addict may choose to sever ties with you because you are intervening. This can be sad and hurtful. Thus, many people, especially people with low emotional stability, are usually torn on how to intervene if someone they love is abusing heroin.

Fear of saying the wrong things

Approaching a loved one struggling with heroin addiction is a crucial step to take. The bone of contention usually lies on how to talk about the heroin abuse with them.

The next thought revolves around the choice of words that will be best to utter. Most people withdraw from helping a loved one because they do not know what to say.

Most importantly, they are scared of saying the wrong things that can make the conversation go south. The severity of the situation necessitates picking the right words. If you can’t have this, you may as well opt-out of intervening with the loved one that abuses heroin.

Pushing the help to someone else

In situations where you are not the closest person to the loved one, you may choose to take some steps back. This is simply an acknowledgment that there are other persons with a better and more intimate relationship with the addict.

This is a costly assumption, especially when the other persons may also be thinking you would intervene in your loved one’s heroin abuse.

If there appears to be a history of being shunned on very personal matters, this can happen. The person may rely on the past and decide to not intervene in issues as private as the heroin addiction.

Thus, you could walk up to other persons with closer relationships with the addict to report the observations. If you are a friend, it could be safe to tell the spouse, parents, or siblings. This can help ensure something is done despite not being actively involved.

Remaining in a state of denial of the addiction

The realization that a loved one is a heroin addict can be shocking and hurtful. In situations like this, some people often choose denial over acknowledgment. Even though it is evident the loved one is abusing heroin, they decide not to see, talk, hear or react to it.

This is a traumatic experience for most persons that is triggered by the shock. Often, the love they have for their loved ones can catch them off-guard. For others, it is the expectations. The level of expectation they had for the addict made the observation a shocking realization. This makes them remain in denial.

You can only proffer a solution when you see, understand, and accept a problem. Thus, denying the presence of an issue means no solution. It means there will be no heroin intervention.

Heroin Rehab and Intervention

Once you accept to help your loved one struggling with heroin addiction, the next step is getting treatment. This often happens by convincing the person to sign up for heroin rehab and treatments.

There are several practical steps in heroin intervention. These include detoxifying the addict, placing them on medications, engaging in therapy, and joining communities or a rehab center.

Detoxification

This is the first step to advise while trying to intervene if someone you love is abusing heroin. This process requires the presence of professionals who are skilled in the process. Usually, detox happens under the supervision of these professionals. This ensures their experience helps to decipher the peculiarities of each addict and treat them accordingly.

Also, considering the level of effect heroin has on the body and brain, an addict can take wrong steps without proper supervision. Their inability to reason logically can warrant a situation where they contravene the rules of detoxification.

This is why inpatient heroin detox comes more highly recommended compared to outpatient detox. However, in instances where the duration of consumption and the quantity consumed are minimal, an addict can opt for outpatient addiction treatment.

Since detoxification means depriving the addict of the drug, there is usually a resultant deep craving. Heroin addicts under detoxification can exploit any manipulative option to get the substance into their body.

Withdrawal symptoms start surfacing when detoxification commences. Typically, the severity of these symptoms varies amongst addicts. These symptoms include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
  • Uncontrollable and intense craving for the drug
  • Cold flashes with chills
  • Extreme restlessness, irritability, and instability

While these symptoms start from being mild to being debilitating for most persons, it is not a hard and fast rule. Some people have more uncomfortable symptoms from the beginning compared to others.

Also, the period for withdrawal is not the same for everyone. While some people stop having these symptoms after a week, it could be more or less for others. Thus, the addict needs to go through it with the help of professionals.

Medications During Heroin Intervention

Detox is the most crucial step in heroin intervention, and it is quite unpleasant. Drug Abuse.gov report that some medications can be administered to make it more bearable. These drugs are:

  • Methadone: This drug has been in use for many years in the treatment of heroin addiction. It is also an opioid and works similarly on the same receptors as heroin. But it does not produce a high like heroin becomes its effects come on much slowly. It is used as a long-term treatment to reduce cravings for heroin and relieve withdrawal symptoms.
  • Buprenorphine: Buprenorphine is fast coming up as the drug to use in medication-assisted heroin treatment. It is a partial agonist of the receptor on which heroin works. This means it produces a heroin-like effect, but at a much lesser intensity. Like methadone, it is also used to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms during detox. It is not as strong as methadone but can be habit-forming too.
  • Naltrexone: This is a long-acting opioid antagonist. It is commonly used to reverse the effects of opioid poisoning. It does the same for heroin. By blocking the receptors, heroin is unable to act as it does, so no high. It does not cause physical dependence.
  • Suboxone: This is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, an opioid antagonist (like naltrexone). The mix is also used to help with withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.

Therapy

You should know that after the detox, the addict will feel the urge to take heroin regularly. It takes perseverance, discipline, and self-control to not give in to the craving. This is what

therapy, rehab centers, and support groups teach an addict.

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a frequent treatment option for heroin addicts. It helps to understand the behavior patterns that encourage the addiction. It also makes an addict come up with ways to avoid the urge to use the drug.

Other methods used in therapy include giving out incentives for sustaining their abstinence to motivate them to continue. Some therapy sessions may also involve family or close friends to make them recognize how they contribute to the problem. Suggestions are also made to remove triggers and generally prevent a relapse.

FAQs on Heroin Addiction

Here we will answer questions you may have about addiction and how to intervene if your loved one abuses heroin.

How do I know if they have heroin addiction?

Heroin addiction often manifests in a way you will notice if you pay attention to your loved ones. You will see physical signs of a drug problem such as reddish or glassy eyes, flushed skin, dry mouth, and short breaths. They also are not able to try to keep a good appearance, so that’s another sign.

Addicts may also have altered mental status, so you may notice they are mostly anxious and irritable. They often have trouble speaking correctly, and their judgment is impaired. These signs are not easy to hide and may help to identify that they have a problem.

Should I conduct an intervention for my loved one who is an addict?

An intervention is a useful method to get your loved one into recovery. However, they must be done carefully for the best results. You should try to include an interventionist as they can bring their experience to bear.

You should know that interventions should not be aggressive. Also, you should not be surprised if your loved ones do not respond positively to your suggestion of rehab. You may have to conduct multiple interventions before they finally agree.

The earlier they start to receive treatment, the greater the chances of a smooth recovery. So you should organize the intervention as early as possible.

What do I do if my loved one asks for help?

Knowing how to intervene in your loved one’s heroin abuse is essential so that you can immediately provide help if they ask for it. It is usually best to act fast in such a situation because they can easily change their mind.

Here, you should look up certified health professionals they can talk to. Alternatively, you may take them to rehab facilities and get them checked in to treatment.

You should praise them for their courage in opening up to you and seeking help. You may also prepare them as the journey to recovery isn’t an easy one. Finally, you should reassure your loved one of your support during their healing.

Related Article: How Do You Know If Someone You Love is Addicted to Heroin?

Help Your Loved One Get Off Opioids Today

Intervening if someone you love abuses heroin may be the only way to save their life. If you have an addict around you, you should make haste to get them help.

Here at 1000 Islands Rehab Centre, we understand the delicacy of talking to a loved one about heroin rehab and recovery. As such, we can draw up an intervention plan that works. Contact us today to get started!

Categories
Opioid Addiction

The Timeline for Opioid Addiction Treatment

Are you wondering how long opioid addiction treatment will take? Or you want to consider the timeline for opioid addiction treatment before enrolling for in-patient rehab? For starters, there is no standard answer as to how long withdrawing from opioid addiction will take. As a result, it is harder to determine how long the process for opioid addiction will take.

Generally, the opioid withdrawal timeline is dependent on several factors. Sometimes, a person’s withdrawal symptoms may last just a few days. Whereas for others, it may last up to a month or more in severe cases.

The opioid addiction withdrawal process is different for everyone. It doesn’t just depend on some factors; it requires consistency and determination, as well. Typically, the symptoms may appear the same, and everyone’s stories may sound similar. However, everyone’s recovery from opioid addiction is different. It’s a personal experience, and how long it takes to recover isn’t set in stone.

Well, it’s no news that opioid withdrawal is not friendly, but it’s also not life-threatening in most cases. Several people describe the condition as having severe flu with nausea, muscle pain, aches, fever, etc.

Taking that huge step to stay clean from opioids is the most crucial step you can take. Chances are, you’ve tried to quit or control how you use it but unable to do so. This is totally normal. One of the significant symptoms of any addiction is the inability to quit or control use.

While this can be very disturbing and probably make you go through adverse effects, it’s crucial you understand that you’re no failure. You’re just chemically dependent on a substance that’s hugely addictive. Understanding the opioid addiction symptoms and withdrawal process is the first step to recovery.

Here, we have put together everything you need to know about the timeline for opioid addiction treatment. With this information, you start the addiction treatment process with a better understanding of what’s to come.

What is Opioid Addiction?

Opioid addiction, otherwise known as Opioid Use Disorder, is defined by the illegal misuse of opioid medications. In most cases, people who do this have the intention of avoiding withdrawal symptoms or getting high.

With opioids, there’s a psychological and also physical addiction. Psychological dependence is known as addiction. As an addict, you tend to go through several uncontrollable cravings for opiates. Notwithstanding the risk or harm it brings to you, your system will ask for it now and again.

Going through these experiences can only mean your intake level is more than the doctor’s recommendation. If left unchecked, it may even cause an overdose. Also, addiction to opioids means that you go through illegal steps to obtain more drugs.

If you indulge in using opioids over the long-term, you may develop a tolerance to this medication. Essentially, tolerance means you will always need to increase your doses to attain the necessary pain relief you want.

In some cases, this addiction can include cocaine, heroin, and other illegal drugs. However, opioid addiction can as well involve different prescription medications often used in treating pain. Some of these drugs include:

  • Oxycodone
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Methadone.

Additionally, as you continually use this drug, your body will become dependent on it. This means you will experience different opioid withdrawal symptoms if you decide to stop using the drugs.

In general, you can be physically dependent on opioids even when you use your medications according to prescription. If you feel you’re becoming dependent, it’ll be good to consult your specialist or physician. This way, they can help you reduce the possibilities of developing an Opioid Use Disorder — OUD.

Here are a few symptoms of opioid misuse or abuse include:

  • Edging the medicine over other activities at home, school, or work,
  • Taking more drugs than the given prescription
  • Using opioid medication for different reasons
  • Using other opioid medications whenever you’re out of your prescribed drug
  • Feeling that the opioid medication limits your daily functioning, etc.

What Are the Symptoms of Opioid Addiction Withdrawal?

Essentially, opioid withdrawal symptoms come between six to thirty hours after your last dose. However, this may vary depending on the opiates you’ve been taking. Furthermore, you may experience prolonged symptoms even after 72 hours of your last dose. These symptoms can extend up to a week, depending on your level of addiction.

Additionally, the withdrawal symptoms you’ll go through often depend on the withdrawal level you’re experiencing. Several factors may dictate the duration over which you’ll go through the withdrawal symptoms. This is why everyone experiences withdrawal differently. Notwithstanding, there’s usually a timeline for withdrawal progression and symptoms.

The Early Stage Symptoms of Opioid Addiction

Symptoms of Opioid Addiction

Early signs usually start between the first 24 hours after quitting the usage. The symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Yawning Often
  • Runny nose

Later Stage Symptoms of Opioid Addiction Withdrawal

Other symptoms, which can be more intense, start after the first day or beyond. They include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Goosebumps appearance on the skin
  • Possibly blurry vision
  • High blood pressure
  • Diarrhea

Even though it’s painful and very unpleasant, opioid’s symptoms usually improve within 72 hours. However, you’ll notice a significant decrease in acute pain and symptoms.

The length of time you will experience withdrawal symptoms depends on the severity of the addiction and frequency of use. This also includes your wellbeing or overall health.

For instance, heroin is usually removed from your body faster, and symptoms will kick-in after 12 hours of the last usage. If you’re using methadone, it may take a day and a half for symptoms to start.

Some experts point out that addiction recovery takes at least six months of total abstinence. During which you may experience several withdrawal symptoms. This is known as protracted abstinence. So, if you’ve any ongoing symptoms, it’s crucial to discuss the symptoms with your addiction treatment provider.

For the best result, starting your recovery journey at an early stage will help prevent future problems. All you need to kickstart your recovery is to register at a professional rehab center. For instance, here at 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre, we provide opioid addiction treatment in Canada and beyond. Our team consists of experts with vast knowledge and experience of opioid withdrawal and timeline.

Factors that Affect Opioid Withdrawal

Factors that Affect Opioid Withdrawal

The symptoms of opiate withdrawal can range from mild to severe, depending on how addicted to the drug the user is. This level of dependency can be linked directly to several factors:

  • Your dosage level
  • How long you’ve been taking the drug
  • Your method of consumption
  • Battling old traumas or living among unsupportive friends and family
  • Living a stressful lifestyle
  • Biological and environmental factors such as family addiction background, etc
  • Having any underlying mental health problems or other medical conditions
  • The type of opiate consumed, etc.

Recovering from opiate addiction is one of the most challenging phases of addiction treatment. However, it’s crucial to remember these two tips correctly:

  • You are not alone, and
  • There are several individuals and organizations ready to help you every step of the way.

What to Expect During Opioid Addiction Treatment

When you stop depending on substances like opioids for anything, your body will experience a detox period. This is where your body tries to get rid of the substance from the system. Notably, the detox stage in addiction recovery is essential for you to reach sobriety. So, what is the procedure for opioid detox treatment?

Detoxing involves withdrawal symptoms that often vary in intensity and length. For several people who struggle with addiction, the withdrawal process is a severe and daunting, difficult battle. However, detoxing from substances like opioids is better in a professional environment. Rehab facilities will give you the resources and tools you need to defeat this hurdle and reach sobriety.

Here is a procedure for opioid addiction treatment and what to expect during opioid addiction treatment:

Detoxification Procedure

The first step of opiate addiction treatment is to undergo detoxification. During the detox process, you will be monitored and treated safely for withdrawal symptoms. This includes extreme fatigue, bone and muscle pain, insomnia, flu-like symptoms, anxiety, depression, and severe drug cravings.

These symptoms can kickstart within a few hours and peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose. They will often recede after about a week, but some individuals may experience persistent symptoms for months.

Furthermore, if you’re very dependent on opioids with a poor health history, you may face a deadly risk following sudden withdrawal. This is why experts are better at overseeing the detox process. They will monitor your withdrawal and ensure you’re safe and as comfortable as ever.

It is essential to understand that detox alone is not an effective form of opiate addiction treatment. Detox addresses the physical dependency your body has on opiates. Still, counseling and behavioural therapy are needed to address the psychological addiction and the reasons behind your drug use.

As the detox progresses, the process becomes more uncomfortable. Here are a few symptoms you may experience:

  • Dilated Pupils
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Fever
  • Elevated Blood Pressure, etc.

Medication and Maintenance

During opiate detox, you may have to use certain medications to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. The most prevalent drugs used during opiate detox are suboxone, buprenorphine, and methadone. These drugs are also useful for eliminating severe cravings after detox.

Continuous Treatment

Continuous Treatment

If you’re trying to overcome an addiction to opiates, it is often best to receive care at a residential treatment center. There are several benefits of getting residential addiction treatment in Canada. However, the most crucial advantage is that it provides a structured environment free of temptations and distractions.

Residential treatment for opiate addiction offers 24/7 care and support to help you focus on your recovery. There, you’ll learn new skills needed to live a drug-free life. It also provides a temporary escape from the daily stresses and responsibilities of home, work, family, and other relationships. This way, you can solely focus on recovery.

During residential treatment, you’ll receive medical support and therapy to address not only the physical effects of your opiate addiction but the psychological effects as well. A comprehensive approach that combines behavioural therapy, individual counselling, 12-Step support, drug testing, dual diagnosis, and positive reinforcement is the most effective way to treat opioid addiction.

Related article: Addiction Treatment: What to Expect During Opioid Withdrawal

Timeline for Opioid Addiction Treatment

Imagine the countdown for the opioid addiction treatment starts from your last use of the drug. From that moment, the withdrawal symptoms may kick in. Similarly, most people may not even notice the changes between the first few hours. However, that moment when you stop marks the beginning of the new era, i.e. the detox process.

Generally, the type of opioids you take will determine the moment the withdrawal symptoms will begin. For instance, people who use heroin may experience withdrawal symptoms after six hours of last use. In contrast, those with long-acting pain-killers addiction may not notice any withdrawal symptoms for up to 24 hours.

Below is an overview of the timeline for the opioid addiction treatment process:

The First Stage

The beginning of the first stage of opioid addiction treatment often varies at your first trial to quit. This mainly depends on the type of opiate consumed and their severity level — mild to severe. Severe opiates, like heroin, cause withdrawal symptoms as quickly as 12 hours after your last use. Less severe opiates, like methadone, cause withdrawal symptoms after about 30 hours.

In most cases, you may experience more severe withdrawal symptoms at the initial stage. You may experience flu-like severe symptoms, which include an intense fever and even hallucinations. Also, other symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, and nausea are likely to occur.

Somehow, first stage symptoms are often more severe because your body; after getting used to a new source of endorphin, has stopped creating natural endorphins. This is because of the natural ability of opiate to create a euphoric effect similar to the one your body produces.

Upon cleansing your body from opiate thoroughly, you may struggle with a chemical imbalance within your system. This happens because your body will have to do extra work to fill the natural production gap.

Fortunately, the initial stage will only last for about five to six days at max. However, using a professional detox service will help you go through this tasking process with ease. For most people recovering from opioid addiction, getting support from the first stage may be just what you need.

General symptoms you may experience during the beginner’s stages of opioid addiction treatment:

  • Tiredness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Body aches
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Sweating

Trouble sleeping

The Second Stage

After pushing your way entirely through the first stage, your body will feel alive and gain more natural balance. This is when your body will start creating natural endorphins to stabilize your mood. It’ll also help kill most of the physical pain you experienced naturally, thus making you feel better after the detoxification period.

However, don’t get it twisted. Your body isn’t yet back to its stable state. It will sometimes crave opiates and even react in negative ways to their absence. Most common second-stage opioid addiction treatment symptoms include:

  • Less severe fever
  • Paranoia or fear
  • Clammy hands
  • Cramps mainly aimed at your legs
  • Sudden chills
  • Continuous depression
  • Less severe fever
  • Goosebumps
  • Dilated pupils

Even though the severity level of these above symptoms isn’t as problematic for everyone, still, they may cause a relapse. In light of this, most addiction treatment providers often provide inpatient and outpatient rehab services to help you manage this stage of the addiction.

If you find it hard to cops with the second stage, you can check yourself into an opioid addiction treatment center in Canada.

The Third Stage

The last stage of the timeline for opioid addiction treatment is even more relaxing. At this stage, your body is getting much better, and recovery is going on well. Typically, your physical and mental symptoms will reduce drastically after the second stage. All forms of physical pain will be gone as well or perhaps become more comfortable to handle.

However, you are not yet out of the dark. It’s essential that you go through the third stage to complete the timeline for opioid addiction treatment. Luckily, this stage is the least severe of all.

Still, it’s capable of causing psychological and mental problems, such as insomnia and anxiety. As such, the symptoms that come with this stage of addiction treatment can last up to two (2) months or more. In fact, this third stage can extend to a lengthy period that usually makes this phase more difficult for some people.

Once you scale through this stage, you’re likely going to feel more balanced and incredible again. At 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab, we focus more on aftercare procedures during this stage. Aftercare services include learning how to avoid relapse, staying drug-free, getting familiar with returning to your everyday activities, etc.

What are the Factors that Determine the Timeline for Opioid Addiction Treatment?

The exact timeline for opioid addiction treatment can vary from one person to another. However, this depends on the particular drug used abs the method of use, i.e. smoking, snorting, or injection.

Additional determinant factors, such as co-occurring mental conditions, biological and environmental factors, history of trauma, and when you receive medical care during detox, may all influence the severity and length of symptoms you may experience.

Ultimately, the amount of time it’ll take you to complete the detox depends on the following factors:

  • Your overall wellbeing
  • Your usage timeline
  • Your addiction severity
  • Your choice of opioids
  • The quantity of opioids used

Medical Factors that can Determine the Timeline for Opioid Addiction

Are there severe medical conditions that can influence the timeline for opioid addiction treatment? Yes! There are, and they are risky factors that every rehab often puts into consideration.

Here are a few factors to consider when determining how long the procedure for opioid addiction treatment will take:

  • History of seizures
  • Use of other drugs
  • An existing problem with breathing and heartbeat
  • Older age at the time of withdrawal
  • Existing dehydration problems

If you are experiencing any of the above factors, you must undergo therapy at a professional rehab center. This way, you’ll be able to get the essential support necessary to help you through your recovery journey.

Wrapping it Up

Generally, the timeline for opioid addiction treatment varies from person to person and its dynamic. Person A can undergo two months of opioid addiction treatment, while person B may go through more than two months of recovery.

From the above section, we have been able to analyze the different factors that determine the timeline. This means you may have to consider the factors and your current condition to see where you fit and how long opioid addiction treatment will take.

So, what are the things to expect during opioid addiction treatment? Well, there is a lot to expect during opioid treatment. However, as we’ve described above, the procedure for opioid treatment is dependent on your condition.

Still, quitting is the first step to recovery. To be completely free from any addiction, you have to make up your mind to stop no matter what. Secondly, you need to understand the withdrawal process and how it works for different people.

Opiate withdrawal is not always life-threatening. However, it’s capable of causing complications if you refuse to take proper treatments. Generally, there are several addiction treatment services available for treating opioid addiction. Still, the withdrawal symptoms often determine the treatment approach.

The severity of opiate withdrawal can be intense, so it’s better to have an expert supervise your progress. Just like other addictions, opioid addiction treatment requires consistency and hard work. So, going through this recovery process with experts will help you attain sobriety without risks. Call 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: 6 Warning Signs of Opioid Addiction

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Opioid Addiction

Addiction Treatment: What to Expect During Opioid Withdrawal

Opiate withdrawal signs can be very intense. To get through the process, you need knowledge of what to expect during opioid withdrawal. With this knowledge, you can prepare for the possible severity and side effects of opioid withdrawal. 

Generally, most people are aware of how unpleasant the opioid withdrawal process can be. But, it can get worse. The opioid withdrawal process can be life-threatening. During withdrawal, death can, and does, happen. In most cases, it’s usually because opioid withdrawal complications are monitored inadequately and sometimes underestimated.

The opioid withdrawal symptoms include a flu-like illness that is objectively moderate but subjectively intense. Some of the symptoms include lacrimation, nausea, piloerection, insomnia, dysphoria, pupillary dilation, muscle aches, rhinorrhea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.

So, what can you do to prevent death during opioid withdrawal? The answer is right there in the final two clinical symptoms above — vomiting and diarrhea. Typically, continuous vomiting and diarrhea may result in hypernatraemia, dehydration, and eventually heart failure if you refuse to undergo proper treatment.

Where possible, it’s better to work with healthcare professionals to manage withdrawal syndrome. This way, you can come off opiates addiction gradually to lessen the symptoms.

Withdrawal is definitely not a cakewalk. However, it’s possible to go through with consistency and dedication. Fortunately, you’re taking a massive step by reading this article. Learning about what to expect during opioid withdrawal and tips to get through it is key to a successful detox. 

Understanding Opioid Dependence and Addiction

Opioids are significantly effective at relieving pain. Most especially, short-term pain relating to post-surgical pain or injuries. 

If you indulge in using opioids over the long-term, you may develop a tolerance to this medication. Essentially, tolerance means you will always need to increase your doses to attain the necessary pain relief you want. Over time, it is very easy for this situation to lead to addiction especially when the drug usage is poorly monitored.

In some cases, this addiction can include cocaine, heroin, and other illegal drugs. However, opioid addiction can as well involve different prescription medications often used in treating pain. Some of these drugs include:

opioid addiction

  • Oxycodone
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Methadone.

As you continually use this drug, your body may become dependent on it. This means you will experience different opioid withdrawal symptoms if you decide to stop using the drug. 

With opioid usage, there’s psychological and also physical dependence. Psychological dependence is known as addiction. As an addict, you tend to go through several uncontrollable cravings for opiates. Regardless of the risk or harm, it brings to you, your body will always crave opioids intensely. 

Going through these experiences can only mean your intake level is more than the doctor’s recommendation and may cause an overdose. Also, addiction to opioids means that you go through illegal steps to obtain more drugs.

In general, you can be physically dependent on opioids even when you use your medication according to the prescription. If you feel you’re becoming dependent, it’ll be good to consult your specialist or physician. This way, they can help you reduce the possibilities of developing an OUD (Opioid Use Disorder).

Understanding Opioid Addiction

Opioid addiction, otherwise known as Opioid Use Disorder, is defined by the illegal misuse of opioid medications. In most cases, people who do this have the intention of avoiding withdrawal symptoms or getting high.

Random signs of opioid misuse or abuse include:

  • Taking more drugs than the given prescription
  • Using other opioid medications whenever you’re out of your prescribed drug
  • Using opioid medicines for different reasons
  • Feeling that opioid medication limits your daily functioning
  • Picking the drug over activities at home, school, or work
  • Not abstaining from the drug even when it causes mental problems or increasing physical issues. 
  • Using the medication even when it causes issues between you, your friends, or your family.

What is Opioid’s Effect on Your Body?

Opioids usually attach themselves to the opioid receptors in the spinal cord, brain, and gastrointestinal tract. Whenever opioids bind to these receptors, they exert their effects. 

Your brain manufactures natural opioids responsible for a whole host of influences, including decreasing pain, lowering the respiratory rate, and even preventing anxiety and depression.

Nevertheless, your system doesn’t produce opioids in large quantities. This means the production is not enough to treat any severe pain, for example, a broken leg. Also, your body doesn’t produce opioids enough to cause an overdose. Opioid drugs and other illegal medications mimic natural opioids.

These medications may influence your body in several ways:

  • Opioids may affect the brain stem, which controls breathing and heartbeat, reducing coughing or slowing breathing.
  • Opioids may also act on some regions of the brain known as the limbic system. The limbic system controls emotions and creates relaxation or pleasure.
  • It works to lessen pain by altering the spinal cord, which communicates with the rest of the body from the brain.

What are the Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal?

The withdrawal symptoms you’ll go through often depend on the withdrawal level you’re experiencing. Additionally, multiple factors may dictate the duration in which you’ll go through the withdrawal symptoms. This is why everyone experiences withdrawal differently. Notwithstanding, there’s usually a timeline for work progression and symptoms.

Early signs usually start between the first 24 hours after quitting the usage. The signs include:

  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive seating
  • Yawning 
  • Runny nose
  • Eyes tearing up (Lacrimation)

Other symptoms, which can be more intense, start after the first day or beyond. They include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Goosebumps appearance on the skin
  • Possibly blurry vision
  • High blood pressure
  • Diarrhea

Even though it’s painful and very unpleasant, opioid’s symptoms usually improve within 72 hours. However, you’ll notice a significant decrease in acute pain and symptoms. Also, how long opioid withdrawal will take depends on your addiction severity and frequency of use. 

For instance, heroin is usually removed from your body faster, and symptoms will kick-in after 12 hours of the last usage. If you’re using methadone, it may take a day and a half for symptoms to start.

Some experts point out that addiction recovery takes at least six months of total abstinence. During this period, you may experience several withdrawal symptoms. This is known as protracted abstinence. So, if you’ve any ongoing symptoms, it’s crucial to discuss the symptoms with your opioid addiction treatment provider.

Related article: 8 Myths about Opioid Addiction

Timeline for Opioid Withdrawal: How Long Does it Take?

Generally, withdrawal symptoms will begin to develop immediately after opiates leave your system. The amount of time it’ll take you to complete the detox depends on the following factors:

  • Your overall well being
  • Your usage timeline
  • Your addiction severity
  • Your choice of opioids.

The Early Stages

Through the early stages of opiate withdrawal, the signs begin between 6 to 30 hours after quitting the drug. Still, the timing is dependent on the kind of opioid you’re using.

During the beginner’s stages of withdrawal, you may experience:

  • Tiredness
  • Sweating
  • Body aches
  • Irritability or anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle pain

The Later Stages

About 60 to 72 hours after you stop taking the drug, symptoms are typically at their worst. During this time, your early signs can become more severe. Also, you may experience new symptoms such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomachache
  • Chills

The Complete timeframe

The first week of withdrawal is usually the worst. However, be ready to experience symptoms that last longer. Typically, symptoms can last up to one month and linger for several months. 

Opioid withdrawal symptoms that may last longer than one week include depression, tiredness, anxiety, and trouble sleeping.

What to Expect During Opioid Withdrawal

When you quit after becoming dependent on a substance like an opioid, your body will experience a detox period. This is where your body tries to get rid of the substance from the system. Notably, the detox stage in addiction recovery is essential for you to reach sobriety. So, what happens during opioid detox? 

Detoxing involves withdrawal symptoms that often vary in intensity and length. For several people who struggle with addiction, the withdrawal process is a severe and daunting, difficult battle. However, detoxing from substances like opioids is better in a professional environment. Rehab facilities will give you the resources and tools you need to defeat this hurdle and reach sobriety.

Here is a procedure for opioid withdrawal and what to expect during opioid withdrawal: 

The First Stage – Detox

The First Stage - Detox

The first step of opiate rehab and recovery is to undergo detoxification. During the detox process, you will be monitored and treated safely for withdrawal symptoms. This includes extreme fatigue, bone and muscle pain, insomnia, flu-like symptoms, anxiety, depression, and severe drug craving. 

These symptoms can kickstart within a few hours and peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose. They will often recede after about a week, but some individuals may experience persistent symptoms for months. 

Furthermore, if you’re very dependent on opioids with a poor health history, you may face a deadly risk following sudden withdrawal. This is why experts are better at overseeing the detox process. They will monitor your withdrawal and ensure you’re safe and as comfortable as ever.

It is essential to understand that detox alone is not an effective form of opiate addiction treatment. Detox addresses the physical dependency your body has on opiates. Still, counselling and behavioural therapy are necessary to address the psychological addiction and the reasons behind your drug use.

As the detox process progresses, the process becomes more uncomfortable. A patient in detox may experience:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Goosebumps
  • Fever
  • Feeling hopeless.

The Second Stage – Maintenance and Medication

During opiate detox, you may consider using some medication to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. The most prevalent drugs used during opiate detox are suboxone, buprenorphine, and methadone. These drugs are also useful for eliminating severe cravings after detox.

The Final Stage – Continuous Treatment

If you’re trying to overcome an addiction to opiates, it is often best to receive care at a residential treatment center. There are several benefits of residential treatment. However, the most crucial advantage is that it provides a structured environment free of temptations and distractions. 

Residential treatment for opiate addiction provides 24/7 care and support to help you focus on your recovery. There, you’ll learn new skills needed to live a drug-free life. It also provides a temporary escape from the daily stresses and responsibilities of home, work, family and other relationships so you can solely focus on recovery.

During residential treatment, you’ll receive medical support and therapy to address not only the physical effects of your opiate addiction but the psychological effects as well. A comprehensive approach that combines behavioural therapy, individual counselling, 12-Step support, drug testing, dual diagnosis and positive reinforcement is the most effective way to reduce opiate abuse.

Tips on How to Manage Opioid Withdrawal

Once you’re ready to kick your opiate habit, be aware that support is essential in managing opiate withdrawal. The more support you have, the better your chances of overcoming your addiction.

Below are a few tips on how to manage opioid withdrawal:

Professional Care

Rather than going through the withdrawal alone, consider registering at an opioid addiction treatment facility around you. In there, you’ll be monitored closely by a team of healthcare providers who will help keep you safe and help relieve your withdrawal symptoms.

However, if you’re going through your withdrawal at home, always ensure you keep in contact with your doctor. Keep the doctor up-to-date about everything going on with you, new symptoms if any, etc. Also, discuss medications they can prescribe that may be of help to you.

To cap it off, avoid being too confident about what to do and what not to do. This is because any mistake from your end may lead to relapse or recurrence. So, whatever you do, ensure your doctor has prior knowledge of it.

Hydration

During opioid withdrawal, you may lose bodily fluids through diarrhea and vomit. Drinking plenty of water is essential to maintain hydration within your body. Ultimately, it’s best to drink water that contains electrolytes, for instance, coconut water.

Hydration

Take Hot Baths Regularly

Taking a hot bath will help alleviate the pain and muscle aches in the body. You can include Epsom salts in your water to provide magnesium for your body and help to soothe your muscles. 

However, ensure to stay clear of hot water baths whenever you’re having a fever. Instead, you can use a heated compress to soothe your aching muscles.

Enjoy Proper Nutrition

If you consume high quantities of opiates, you may be deficient in specific nutrients during withdrawal. Eating a range of nutrient-dense foods, significantly those high in calcium, magnesium, and potassium, may help your body during recovery.

Engage in Daily Exercise

Mid or gentle exercise can help relieve some signs of withdrawal. Generally, exercise releases endorphins. These endorphins lessen anxiety and improve mood. Also, exercise can help you control your agitation.

Get a Healthy, Handful Distraction

Most of the symptoms of opioid withdrawal can be very challenging. Engaging yourself in activities that take your mind off these signs will provide relief. You can decide to do anything from watching a funny film to reading a book or hanging around supportive friends and family.

Ultimately, joining a support group and hanging around people going through somewhat similar experiences is helpful. It helps you feel relaxed and more comfortable sharing your experience with others.

Treatment Options for Opioid Withdrawal

Several treatment options are available for opioid withdrawal. These include:

In-patient Treatments

In-patient therapy is a type of treatment where you reside at the treatment centre. In-patient treatment is often helpful for people suffering from severe addiction. Also, it’s useful for those who struggle with specific challenges of mental wellbeing. 

Undertaking your recovery in a rehab centre helps you avert the influences and temptations that provoke daily substance abuse. Also, living in a serene environment will aid your recovery faster.

Licensed in-patient rehab facilities often provide 24-hour intensive care and support. They also combine three stages of recovery into their rehab programs, i.e. growth, reflection, and detox. In-patient facilities focus on teaching you how to adopt a substance-free lifestyle and maintain sobriety. 

This treatment plan typically involves a step-down method to help your transition from in-patient care to group or individual counselling.

Group therapy

Group therapy is a specific form of counselling used to treat psychological disorders, including substance abuse and addiction. Typically, it involves regular sessions where therapists work with several individuals receiving treatment for the same health issue. 

People who participate in a therapy group usually take turns to share their feelings, struggles, goals, and experiences. Sometimes, therapy groups may focus solely on a specific recovery topic. An example is recognizing and avoiding triggers, or handling complicated family, peer, work, and other interpersonal relationships.

One of the most significant benefits of group therapy for addiction recovery is that groups give you the ability to bond with others. It also gives you an avenue to build a support system to connect with once you leave treatment.

Individual Psychotherapy

Generally, people suffering from addiction usually benefit from meeting a psychologist. Psychologists are experts with optimum training on how to help you learn coping mechanisms. 

This will assist you in managing your life and mental health issues effectively without any shortcomings. They can also help with several other mental challenges common among people with opioid addictions.

Below is a quick highlight of what to expect during opioid treatment using individual psychotherapy:

Managing Your Pain 

Several people start taking opioids because they are living with pain. Chronic pain is emotionally and physically challenging to manage. However, psychologists can help you learn strategies to maintain pain, attain a better quality of life overall, improve sleep, and function well, notwithstanding the pain.

Treating Other Problems

Most people dealing with drug addiction often have other mental issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc. Psychologists can assist you in managing or overcoming those conditions.

Addressing Drug Abuse Disorder

Typically, psychologists can help you understand why you started abusing the drug in the first place. They will take you through your history and help identify common triggers that often drives you to continue using the drug. Also, they can help you develop techniques to avoid common triggers or places.

Conclusion

Typically, opiate withdrawal can cause a range of distressing and uncomfortable symptoms. However, now that you know what to expect during opioid withdrawal, getting through the process is easier.

Knowing what to expect is the tip of the iceberg. As said earlier, opiate withdrawal is not always life-threatening. However, it’s capable of causing complications if you refuse to take proper treatments. Generally, there are several addiction treatment services available for treating opioid addiction. 

Opioid withdrawal symptoms may come between 6 to 30 hours after your last dose. However, this may vary depending on the opiates you’ve been taking. Furthermore, you may experience prolonged symptoms even after 72 hours of your last dose. These symptoms can extend up to a week, depending on your level of addiction.

The severity of opiate withdrawal can be intense, so it’s better to have a doctor supervise your progress. Just like other addictions, opioid addiction treatment requires consistency and hard work. So, going through this recovery process with experts will help you attain sobriety without risks.

Call 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: 6 Warning Signs of Opioid Addiction

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Opioid Addiction

8 Myths about Opioid Addiction

There are various myths about opioid addictions going around. You’ll hear loads of things about what opioid addiction is all about. Guess what, most of them turn out to be more myths than fact. However, you can’t blame those you hear them from. They don’t know any better.

That’s why we’re here. In this post, we’ll examine eight popular myths about opioid addictions. We’ll also let you know what the facts are. This way, you can make better choices and stay informed.

What is Opioid Addiction?

Just before we get to the myths, you may be wondering what opioid addiction is. Well, it’s simple. It’s a situation where you get extremely dependent on opioids. In such circumstances, you may be unable to perform necessary brain functions without opioids in your body.

Now, you’re most likely wondering why opioid addiction is prevalent. Well, it’s simple. It’s thanks to the effect it has on your body.

Naturally, opioids are medications designed to help you with pain. However, they do this by creating an experience of euphoria. Usually, it’s this euphoria that gets people addicted to opioids.

The drill is simple. You enjoy the euphoria, and you want to keep experiencing it. As such, you keep using it. In turn, you’ll develop a habit of improper use that we call addiction.

So, in clear terms, opioid addiction occurs when you exhibit a compulsive tendency to use opioids. In such cases, you ignore the adverse effects it has on your body. Your focus becomes to experience this euphoria as many times as possible.

You should know that an opioid is a group of drugs rather than just one pill. As such, it ranges from a synthetic compound such as hydrocodone to natural prescription such as heroin. Other examples that you may come across include codeine, fentanyl, morphine, and oxycodone.

Also, you should know that opioid addiction isn’t final. Opioid addiction treatment can help those struggling with this kind of substance abuse problem. Typically, these treatments will include:

  • Medication such as naltrexone, buprenorphine, and methadone
  • Behavioural and counselling therapies 
  • Residential or hospital-based treatments
  • Medication-assisted therapy (MAT) which involves a holistic approach to treatment

Myths About Opioid Addictions 

Opioid Addiction

Now that you know what opioid addiction is all about, let’s get straight up to the tale. Today there are multiple myths about opioid addiction. They are myths because you believe they are correct. 

Unfortunately, they are quite far from reality. Even more, some of them expressly contradict opioid addiction facts. 

Wondering what news you have heard but are false? Here are eight popular myths about opioid addictions that you should let go of.

Myth 1: Opioids are generally bad

If you’re someone that pays so much attention to the media, you’ll probably think opioids are all bad. Most headlines about opioids present it as a bad drug. You’ll see talks about addiction, death from an overdose, and investigations into opioid prescriptions.

Well, this is one of the most popular myths about opioid addictions. However, in reality, opioid isn’t always bad. Opioid has various benefits. It can prove useful in the management of acute pains such as cancer pain. 

Myth 2: Opioid addiction is inevitable 

Another myth you’ll find making waves is the idea that opioid addiction is unavoidable. You’ll most likely find yourself believing that once you use opioids, you’re getting addicted. So, you might even refuse a legitimate treatment all because it involves opioids. 

Well, the fact is that taking opioids doesn’t mean you’ll get addicted. As long as it’s prescribed, your doctor will most likely take steps to avoid addiction. 

They usually screen you to find out if you’re likely to get addicted. Also, they will monitor your use of opioids. For instance, doctors apply various addiction restrictive strategies such as:

  • Urine tests
  • Pill counts
  • Regular office visits and thorough examination

So, using opioids for treatment doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get addicted. 

Opioid addiction is inevitable 

Myth 3: No need to worry about opioids addiction

Well, this is one of the most common myths about opioid addictions. You’ll hear people say that it’s coming from a doctor. So, you can’t possibly get addicted. This is because people believe that you only get addicted if you start using opioids with improper intention. 

Well, in reality, that’s not the case. You can get addicted even if you begin with proper intentions. This is especially true of cases where there’s no proper monitoring and screening of opioid use.

Myth 4: More opioids brings better ease to chronic pain 

Especially during your first use, high doses of opioids may bring more ease to pain. It can also improve functionality compared to when you take a lower dose. However, this doesn’t mean that long-term and high doses of opioids provide better ease of pain.

Unfortunately, this is just one of the many myths about opioid addictions. When you take high doses of opioids over a long period, it becomes less effective. Research even shows that it has the same level of effect as when you take lower doses.

So, yes, don’t keep taking high doses of opioids to reduce pain. Opioid addiction facts state that it doesn’t work better than a low dosage. You’re only getting more addicted.

Related article: 6 Warning Signs of Opioid Addiction

Myth 5: Opioids work best for pain control

There’s so much chatter about opioids that it becomes easy to assume people use it because it works best. Well, this is just one of the myths about opioid addictions. In reality, various other options work just as well and even better for pain control. 

For instance, various non-medication options work effectively. Examples include:

  • Exercise 
  • Psychological support 
  • Massage
  • Structured physical therapies 
  • TENS units
  • Other treatments like chiropractic care and acupuncture 

Even more, other medications for pain include:

  • Tylenol (Acetaminophen)
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Ibuprofen
  • Over-the-counter drugs and topical prescription
  • Antidepressants 

Myth 6: Opioid addiction and dependence are similar

Opioid addiction and dependence are similar

You’ll also hear reports in conversations about how opioid addiction and opioid dependence are similar. Well, it’s just one of the many myths about opioid addictions. 

The fact is that both situations are different. Opioid dependence is more physical, and it involves situations where you depend on opioids to perform physical activities. 

Usually, opioid addiction will lead to opioid dependence. In such cases, if you try to stop using opioid suddenly, then you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms. Precisely, you’ll be unable to perform regular physical activities. 

On the other hand, opioid addiction is wider. It includes a wide range of other actions beyond opioid dependence. For instance, there’s the case of compulsive use. In such cases, you will continue to use opioids regardless of the negative consequences. 

Myth 7: Only addicts experience opioid addiction 

You’ll also find reports that you’re immune to opioid addiction as long as you don’t have a history of addiction. This is another of the many myths of opioid addiction.

No doubt, a history of addiction increases the likelihood of opioid addiction. However, that doesn’t mean you not having a history of addiction makes you immune. 

Myths 8: Opioid drugs have a similar risk for addiction and abuse 

Opioid drugs have a similar risk for addiction and abuse 

One of the most popular myths about opioid addictions is that you face the same chance of addiction with all opioids. Well, that’s not the truth. 

Like we stated earlier, there are various opioids from heroin to morphine to fentanyl. And according to opioid addiction facts, the risk of addiction differs.

This is because these opioids have different formulations. For example, some will work immediately and then fade off. On the other hand, some will take time and work long term. So, depending on the strength of the formulation, these opioids may pose different risks.

For example, fentanyl and hydromorphone are far stronger compared to morphine. As such, it’s easier to get addicted to fentanyl and hydromorphone compared to morphine.

Final Thoughts 

Unfortunately, misinformation has far-reaching consequences, and that’s the case with opioid addiction. Some believe they are immune from opioid addictions (since they have no history of addiction). Well, as you now know, that’s not the case. 

In this post, we discuss 8 myths about opioid addiction. With this information, you can make better choices. However, if you believe you have a problem with opioid addictions and need help, 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre is at your service. Check out our opioid addiction rehab in the USA and Canada. 

Contact us today to speak to an expert about your opioid addiction issue.

Related article: The Timeline for Opioid Addiction Treatment

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Opioid Addiction

6 Warning Signs of Opioid Addiction

Opioids are a type of medicine that are commonly used to help relieve pain. To do this, opioids alter the signals being sent between the body and the brain, thus relieving the intensity of the pain and discomfort felt. Opioids also have the ability to alter the way the brain responds to pain, and are commonly prescribed for individuals suffering from surgery, injuries, dental procedures and cancers.

There are a wide range of substances that are included in the opioid category. These substances include: Methadone, heroin, opium, fentanyl, morphine and oxycodone.

When used properly, opioids can be extremely helpful to relieving pain and getting people back on their feet. However, opioids can also become very addictive, and those who misuse their prescriptions can become dependent on them overtime.

Not everyone will recognize their dependency on an opioid, or they may refuse to come to terms with their addiction. Individuals who are unsure whether an opioid addiction is present might consider these 6 warning signs of opioid addiction to get a better idea of the seriousness of their situation:

Related article: 8 Myths about Opioid Addiction

  1. Avoiding Responsibilities

When an individual begins to develop a dependency to an opioid, they often start dedicating a lot of their personal time to getting high or locating more of the substance. When this starts to happen, other responsibilities that they used to value start to become less important, and less time is dedicated to activities they used to love.

This can be true of activities like favorite hobbies and sports, but may also be true of more important things like family responsibilities, work duties, pets and other important parts of life. These kinds of changes are some of the more obvious signs for close friends and family.

  1. Neglecting Friends/Family

An addiction can be a very private matter, and individuals who are suffering from one might try to keep the problem hidden from those closest to them. In order to do this successfully, a person might neglect their friends and family for days and weeks at a time, and begin lying to them about their whereabouts.

  1. Lack of Personal Hygiene

When an individual is focused on getting their next fix, things like personal hygiene are of little importance. Friends and family may notice that a person begins to wear the same clothing, or dirty garments, and that they aren’t showering and tending to their outward appearance as much as they used to.

Onlookers may even notice that the individual has unusually bad breath, smelly clothing and bad body odor.

  1. Psychological Changes

Many of the drugs categorized under opioids tend to give users feelings of euphoria and energy, and as the drug wears off they begin to “crash”. Onlookers might notice these psychological changes when a person begins in a positive and elated mood, and then immediately begins to demonstrate lethargy, abrupt mood swings and paranoia.

Of the 6 signs of opioid addiction, these outward changes in mood are some of the most obvious that chemical imbalances are at play.

  1. Change in Circle of Friends

A user who has dedicated a lot of their time to using will often experience a loss of friends and partners, who do not understand their new habit. Simultaneously, they may begin to hang around a new group of friends who demonstrate similar addiction behaviors and physical attributes.

  1. Depending on Opioids to Function

If an individual can no longer function properly without the use of an opioid, then dependency has taken over. This is a sure sign of an addiction, as the body now believes that it cannot perform regular tasks without having the sensation of being ‘high’.

Those who feel a loved one may be addicted to opioids may want to keep an eye out for these 6 warning signs of opioid addiction. While the effects differ between users, physical and behavioral changes will become more obvious as the addiction worsens. Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

 

Related article: What to Expect During Opioid Withdrawal