According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 192 people died due to opioid addiction each day in 2017. The severity of opioid addiction throughout the United States has become a public health emergency. Astonishingly, these numbers may not reflect the true extent of opiate abuse. The CDC doesn't record every death, which means those numbers may be higher. With those figures showing no signs of slowing down, we're here to explain the benefits of opioid addiction treatment and how it works.
The nature of opioid addiction can have devastating consequences for the addict and those who are close to them. Over time, sustained dependence on opiates can result in job losses, criminal records that affect future prospects, and long-term medical injuries. The friends and family of those who suffer from opioid addiction find that they lose the person they once knew. They may also find themselves shouldering the emotional, financial, and social burdens of their loved one's addiction.
Whether you're reading this as the person who is suffering from an addiction or you're hoping to help an addict recover, know that there is hope. At Satori Recovery Centre, we provide opioid addiction treatment in a safe and serene facility. We promote recovery and life-long coping skills through the use of various forms of mindfulness, as well as science-based recovery techniques. By learning more about our approach to opioid addiction treatment, you could help the person you love to place themselves on an empowering path to recovery.
What are opioids?
Opioids is an umbrella term that covers some prescription and illegal illicit substances. In the medical community, medical professional prescribe opioids as painkillers. One example of this is morphine. When a patient takes opioids, they enter their bloodstream, go through a brief period of metabolization, and then they reach opioid receptors in the brain. Although they provide pain relief a patient needs, they also generate pleasurable feelings. For this reason, they're highly addictive to some people who take them. If the patient has a tendency toward addiction they may continue to seek it. If they're unable to get more opioids using a prescription, they may turn to illegal resources.
With regards to illegal illicit substances, the most common street opioid is heroin. Around 948,000 people were recorded as heroin addicts in the United States in 2017. Heroin derives from the milky opium substance of poppy plants. Drug dealers in the United States may source it from countries such as Mexico and Afghanistan, although a small amount is grown in Mississippi.
While opioid analgesics are usually synthetic and heroin is a form of opium, they both have the same effects on those who take them. Your brain contains receptors called mu-Opioids (MORs). When an opiate enters the bloodstream and eventually passes through the blood-brain barrier, it binds to your MORs. In terms of pain relief, this binding essentially distracts the brain from pain. However, it also stimulates your reward center and induces a release of dopamine, which is a feel-good neurotransmitter. Although some people can withstand this stimulation and not want to seek the same experience, others will crave it. When that craving becomes uncontrollable and they begin taking opioids again and again to fulfill it, an addiction forms.
Although it is safe to use opioid analgesics as pain relief for short periods, extended use can also result in addiction. Whether someone forms an addiction or not can also depend on what is happening in their life at the time. For example, if they're moving through a period of emotional pain and they don't have the right coping mechanisms, stimulating their reward center with opioids and instigating a release of dopamine creates a form of escape. This sense of escapism often feels preferable to tackling their emotions and so they repeat the behavior.
Opiate addiction statistics in the United States
It's not an exaggeration to say that the situation of opioid addictions in the United States has reached crisis levels. Opioid misuse costs the United States economy $78.5 billion each year. Around 1.7 million people in the United States with a substance abuse disorder have an addiction to opioid painkillers.
A further look at statistics reveals why opioid addiction treatment is so important:
- Around 21 to 29 percent of people who are prescribed opioid painkillers misuse them.
- Between 8 and 12 percent of people who receive an opioid painkiller prescription develop a substance misuse disorder.
- Around 4 to 6 percent of those individuals will move onto using heroin.
In addition to an increase in opioid addiction-related deaths, there has also been a significant rise in the number of babies born with an addiction due to maternal use. While these statistics are certainly startling, opioid addiction treatment is a reliable way to help addicts reduce their addictive tendencies and develop better coping mechanisms for life's challenges. At Satori Recovery Center, our aim is to help reduce those statistics.
Different types of opioids
There are two main types of opioids: antagonists and agonists. Learning more about them can help you understand addictions and addictive behaviors more easily.
Unlike opioid agonists, opioid antagonists aren't particularly addictive. Although they produce some pain-relieving effects and may even accelerate the pain-relieving benefits of opioid agonists, they don't appear to have the same catastrophic addictive effects of agonists. Interestingly, opioid antagonists prove useful when helping someone with opioid addiction recover. They're also used to promote recovery among those who suffer from alcohol addiction. Examples of antagonist opioids include Naloxone and Naltrexone.
Opioid agonists are highly addictive and often contribute to the number of people seeking opioid addiction treatment. Their agonist nature allows them to activate the opioid receptors in your brain, which means they stimulate your reward center and lay the groundwork for an addiction to form. Their full opioid effect also means they come with some of the dangerous side effects that result in death, such as shallow breathing. Examples of opioid agonists include Fentanyl, Codeine, and Oxycodone/Oxycontin.
Common signs and symptoms of opioid abuse
If you're concerned that someone you care about requires opioid addiction treatment, it's a good idea to learn about the common signs and symptoms of opioid abuse. Some of the signs and symptoms you may want to watch out for include:
- Spending time with a different group of people, who may be enabling their addiction.
- Avoiding spending time with family and friends in an attempt to cover their addiction.
- Losing interest in their usual hobbies and activities.
- Poor performance at work or increased absenteeism.
- A decline in their usual hygiene, including not changing clothes as often, not bathing as frequently, and failing to brush their teeth.
- Changes in appetite, which can include either eating more or less than usual.
- Experiencing signs of financial hardship.
- Getting into trouble with the law regularly.
- Failing to meet their usual obligations.
- Attending appointments with different doctors to try and get new prescriptions.
- Stealing opioid-based medications from friends and family.
- Constricted pupils (pupils becoming smaller) when using the drug.
- Itchy skin.
- Signs of nausea and vomiting.
- Breathing slower than usual.
- Increased instances of constipation.
- A slower-than-usual pulse rate.
- Inability to focus or concentrate.
- Appearing confused or disorientated.
- Mood swings, anxiety, and paranoia.
You don't have to notice all these signs and symptoms to suspect that someone requires opioid addiction treatment. However, noticing a few of them is an indicator that someone may need your help.
When some of the signs above worsen, they indicate a need to act quickly. It isn't unusual for someone with opioid addiction to lose their job or social standing due to their changes in behavior. When they begin reneging on their financial responsibilities or getting into trouble with the law, they may harm their future prospects too.
With regards to the physical symptoms, confusion and changes in breathing are particularly worrying. They may act as the early signs of an overdose, too, which should hasten your desire to seek opioid addiction treatment for the person concerned.
What does opioid addiction treatment involve?
Successful opioid addiction treatment requires a combination of pharmaceutical therapies, talking therapies, and support programs. It can take place on both an inpatient and outpatient basis, with many people finding that residential opioid addiction treatment is the best solution. Many people who use residential opioid addiction treatment will then transition back into their communities using outpatient sessions, as this allows them to move seamlessly from the comforting environment where their recovery takes place to their home environment.
If opioid addiction treatment interests you, understanding more about it is an empowering way to support your loved one in using it.
Drugs used during opioid addiction recovery
Using the right drugs during opioid addiction recovery can help patients reduce their withdrawal symptoms and avoid some of the dangerous side effects of withdrawing. Although not every patient needs to use them, they do prove useful in many cases. They include:
While some drugs make recovery feel more comfortable, others will block the effects of opiates and decrease the patient's desire to take them again. The type of drugs each doctor prescribes varies according to the patient's needs.
12 step programs
As a seemingly timeless approach to opioid addiction treatment, 12 step programs still prove useful today. Although the original program came from Alcoholics Anonymous, they're always modified to meet the requirements of the addiction at hand. Overall, they focus on:
- Admitting to the addiction
- Recognizing a greater power can overcome the addiction
- Making a decision to improve their lives
- Soul-searching and creating a moral inventory
- Admitting to the nature of their wrongs
- Asking a higher power for help in removing character defects
- Asking a higher power for help in challenging shortcomings
- Making a list of people harmed and being willing to make amends to them all
- Making direct amends to those individuals, unless it would result in further harm to others
- Continuing to make a personal inventory and admitting to wrongs
- Improving consciousness through prayer and meditation
- Having a spiritual awakening and carrying the message to other addicts to help them recover
Although the 12-step program has a religious basis, even those without firm religious beliefs can benefit from it.
Talking therapies and group therapies
Many people who suffer from opioid addiction have complex reasons for their addiction forming. Some may be struggling to cope with childhood traumas, PTSD, and other psychological strains. Others may be facing challenges in their personal or working lives, but haven't succeeded in finding strong coping mechanisms to tackle them.
Talking therapies and group therapies form an important part of opioid addiction treatment. They help patients discover their feelings surrounding their addiction, as well as the potential causes for that addiction forming. During these therapies, they may also come to realizations regarding the people who are enabling their addictions. Talking around other addicts during their recovery can induce a sense of empowerment and reduce the feeling that they're alone.
Relapse prevention following opioid addiction treatment
After opioid addiction treatment, many patients benefit from further talking therapies that reduce the risk of relapse. Transitioning into the outside world increases the risk of being around the persons and problems that resulted in addiction. By continuing to build their coping mechanisms, former opioid addicts are less likely to slip back to bad habits.
Why choose Satori Recovery Center for opioid addiction treatment?
At Satori Recovery Center, our clients benefit from medically-supervised around-the-clock treatment at our inpatient recovery center. We take every step to make sure our clients feel comfortable throughout the process and benefit from ongoing support. Our approach to therapies includes individual therapies that promote the exploration of emotional pains, as well as unique therapies such as EMDR that can successfully remove unresolved traumas.
The team at Satori Recovery Center also believes in the use of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP). Using MBRP, we encourage clients to recognize when the feelings that stimulate their cravings are rising and relate to it differently using mindfulness techniques.
While opioid addiction recovery is rarely something that clients enjoy at first, we choose to empower them through adventure therapy, fitness classes, and a thorough nutritional program. As they move through each phase of their recovery, they rediscover that life while being clean is fun.
If you want to learn more about opioid addiction treatment and how we tackle it, call us at (949) 607-9717.