The Heart of the Crisis
Opioid addiction is at the heart of the mental health crisis. More people die of drug overdoses than car accidents, firearms, and accidental falls. The reason opioid dependence has risen to such an epidemic is because of the rampant overprescription of painkillers. This is an equal opportunity crisis, and no one is immune to this addiction.
How People Become Addicted to Opioids and the Symptoms
People are often introduced to pain pills through medical treatment for a legitimate illness or injury. Dependence sets in when this person’s drug use makes their life unmanageable — their attendance at work declines, bills go unpaid, and other priorities fail to get fulfilled. Much of an addict’s time is spent thinking about using and how to use.
The hefty price of prescription painkillers on the street prompts people to turn to heroin for the same high at a cheaper price. Opioids are depressants and slow down breathing and other life functions, this makes them one of the easiest drugs to overdose.
Recovery Options and How They Work
In order to safely and comfortably come down off of opioids, a detox facility, where patients are monitored by by medical staff, is necessary. Most hospital medical staff are not well-educated on substance abuse and detox, which is why a detox facility or a rehab center that has an on-site detox facility is crucial to this process.
Though most opioid withdrawal is not lethal, it can be agonizing. At a licensed detox center, patients receive medical treatment to make them more comfortable and ensure their withdrawal symptoms are not a threat to their greater health. They are also given psychological support throughout the process.
Inpatient rehab consists of living at the facility during the duration of a patient’s stay. The main focus of inpatient rehab is to provide psychological help through individual and group therapy to give patients the tools to sober living, while addressing what triggered the addiction in the first place. Other recreational activities are designed to address the physical, psychological, spiritual, and social aspects of their disease.
Studies have shown that inpatient rehab is the most effective form of help because it isolates patients from the potential of relapse. The longer they are away from opioids and other addictive substances or behaviors, the less likely they are to return to them. Ninety days or more of inpatient rehab produces the best success.
There are varying levels of outpatient rehab. Partial-hospitalization (PHP) is the most intense. Intensive-outpatient (IOP) is the second most intense. Outpatient (OP) is the least intense. Outpatient rehab can be an asset in that it allows patients to recover while still being a part of the outside world. Outpatient rehab requires a lot of discipline, so for some people it is best used as a supplement to inpatient rehab.
Sober living homes are places where newly recovering individuals live together. Sober living homes provide structure, accountability, and the ability to live among people who understand them. These homes typically charge an affordable rent and occasionally other fees. Household chores are divided among the residents. Abstinence, attending meetings, and holding a job are typically required of the people who stay there.
Medication is the newest, and most controversial, form of addiction treatment. Drugs (e.g. methadone, suboxone, vivotrol, etc.) are used to suppress withdrawal and eliminate cravings. They work by attaching to the same receptors in the brain that opioids do. Many people have found sobriety with medication assisted treatment (MAT) because of the foundation it allows them to build as they wean themselves from the addicted drug.
The disease is often considered a family disease because the entire family is affected in many different ways. Family members often fall into their own category of codependency, where they become preoccupied with the addict to the point that their own health and sanity are sacrificed. Rehab centers provide family support, which can go a long way to helping family members find their own healing paths. Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, and other support groups are available for family members as well.
Addiction and behavioral healthcare are within reach when you join us at New Vista Behavioral Health. A far-reaching horizon and new perspective toward addiction recovery, wellness and restoration. We are a national and renowned family of treatment centers focused on distinctive patient care, evidence-based treatment modalities and unwavering compassion.
If you are ready to pursue a life committed to your health, relationships and emotional well-being, you have a team that is willing to walk alongside you and restore hope for your future.
Let us help you in taking the first step in your journey to recovery.