Opioids are prescription drugs often given to patients with moderate to severe pain. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to these drugs, you’re not alone. Millions of people around the world are facing this same challenge. But the good news is it’s possible to go back to a sober, drug-free life. With the right support and professional help, you can recover fully from this addiction.
In this article, we’ll examine opioid rehab and how well it can help you stamp out your addiction.
What are opioids used for?
Opioids are a class of drugs mainly used as painkillers. Many of them are prescription drugs like hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone. Illegal ones like heroin are also under this class of drugs. Opioids work by binding to specific receptors in the brain and nervous system, reducing pain and creating a sense of euphoria. They’re often used to manage moderate to severe pain after surgery, injury, or chronic conditions like cancer or arthritis.
Opioids are one of the most prescribed medications in the United States, but a lot of people have also become addicted to it. The problem has even reached epidemic proportions in the US, which is why it’s been dubbed the Opioid Crisis.
Why are these drugs addictive?
When opioids bind to those receptors in the brain, they also trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that’s responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. Over time, the brain can become dependent on those opioids to produce those pleasurable feelings. And as tolerance builds up, people need higher and higher doses to achieve the same effects. That’s when addiction can set in.
Some signs of opioid addiction include:
- Taking more opioids than prescribed or using them for non-medical reasons
- Withdrawal symptoms like nausea, sweating, and shaking when not using opioids
- Continuing to use opioids despite negative consequences like job loss, relationship problems, or legal trouble
- Spending a lot of time and energy obtaining and using opioids
- Neglecting responsibilities or hobbies because of opioid use
- Isolating yourself from friends and family when taking drugs
If you or someone you know is exhibiting these signs, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Opioid addiction is a serious condition that can have devastating consequences if left untreated.
One particularly damaging effect of these drugs is known as respiratory depression. In other words, they can cause your breathing to slow down to dangerous levels. Your body will not get enough oxygen as a result. This condition can lead to death if it isn’t treated right away.
How successful are opioid rehab programs?
The good news is that opioid addiction is treatable, and there are many different approaches that can be effective. These may include medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which involves using medications like methadone or buprenorphine to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings, as well as behavioral therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or contingency management (CM). In some cases, inpatient or residential rehab may be recommended to provide a more intensive level of support.
The success rates of opioid rehab can vary depending on a number of factors, including the severity of addiction, the type of treatment used, and your level of commitment to recovery. However, studies have shown that MAT can be highly effective in reducing opioid use and improving overall functioning. One study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that patients receiving methadone or buprenorphine had a significantly lower risk of overdose and a higher likelihood of staying in treatment than those receiving non-medication treatments.
What if I relapse?
It’s also important to note that relapse is a common occurrence during opioid recovery. In fact, some studies have found that up to 80% of people in recovery experience at least one relapse. But that doesn’t mean that treatment has failed or that recovery is impossible. Relapse is a normal part of the recovery process, and it’s important to view it as an opportunity to learn and grow rather than a sign of failure.
So, what can you do to increase your chances of success in opioid rehab? Here are a few tips:
- Find a treatment approach that works for you. There are many different approaches to opioid rehab, and what works for one person may not work for another. Talk to your doctor or a substance abuse professional about the options available and find a treatment approach that feels right for you.
- Build a support network. Recovery is hard work, and it’s important to have a strong support network in place to help you through the tough times. This may include friends and family members, support groups like Narcotics Anonymous, or a therapist or counselor.
- Practice self-care. Taking care of your physical and emotional health is key to successful recovery. This may include eating a healthy diet, exercise, getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and doing things that make you happy.
- Avoid triggers. Triggers are people, places, or situations that can increase your risk of relapse. It’s important to know what your triggers are. Then, you can make a conscious effort to steer clear of them.
- Be patient and kind to yourself. Recovery is a journey, so you should treat it as such. Be kind and have patience with yourself. Celebrate your successes, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you experience setbacks or relapse. The progress you make, no matter how small, will lead you back to a sober life.
In conclusion, opioid addiction is a serious condition, but it’s treatable. With the right support and treatment, it’s possible to overcome addiction and get back to a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. Success rates for opioid rehab can vary, but medication-assisted treatment has been shown to be highly effective in reducing opioid use and improving overall functioning. Also, relapse is a normal part of the recovery process, and it’s important to view it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, don’t wait to seek help. Medical and mental health professionals are ready and willing to support your recovery.