Home » Drug Addiction » Opioid Addiction » How is Opioid Addiction Treated?
Opioids are a class of drugs that includes prescription painkillers like oxycodone or hydrocodone, heroin, and fentanyl. Opioid treatment for addiction is available in cases where an individual is struggling with discontinuing use of the substance.
Tolerance and dependence on opioids forms rapidly, frequently leading to addiction (opioid use disorder). Although opioid use disorder is incurable, evidence-based treatments for opioid addiction typically produce positive outcomes.
Discover how you can get help with opioid addiction and learn about the different types of treatment for opioid addiction so you can move from active addiction into ongoing recovery.
Addiction to opioids or opiates can involve any of the following substances:
The signs and symptoms of opioid addiction differ from person to person, and according to the specific substance. Some indicators might be detectable soon after the initiation of opioid use. Other symptoms may not manifest for many months.
From the onset of opioid use, any of the following signs may be visible:
If you notice the presentation of any of those symptoms in a loved one using opioid painkillers, you should monitor for the signs of a developing opioid addiction. Like all addictions, opioid use disorder is a chronic, relapsing, and incurable brain condition. Fortunately, opioid addiction responds favorably to MAT (medication-assisted treatment) and psychotherapy.
Opioid addiction is clinically described as opioid use disorder, sometimes abbreviated to OUD. OUD is a diagnosis applied to addiction to either opioids (prescription opioid painkillers) or opiates (natural opioids like morphine and codeine).
Opioid use disorder is diagnosed according to the number of symptoms listed in DSM-5-TR that present. DSM5-TR is the most current edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
These are the DSM symptoms of opioid addiction:
What is the most effective treatment for opioid use disorder, then?
MAT (medication-assisted treatment) is not a cure for addiction, but rather a useful tool for initiating and maintaining recovery.
Opiate treatment medications work in one of two ways:
MAT is always most effective when combined with counseling and behavioral therapies like CBT or DBT. Integrated treatment generally improves outcomes.
The three medications used for the MAT of opioid use disorder are approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). These programs are evidence-based. Research shows that MAT delivered in combination with supplementary therapies is an opiate dependence treatment that can also treat opioid addiction, improve treatment retention, and reduce the likelihood of relapse.
Medication-assisted treatment is also proven effective for reducing the need for inpatient detoxification in those addicted to both prescription opioids and heroin.
These are the research-based benefits of MAT:
How is opioid addiction treated at rehab, then?
You must first choose from the following delivery methods:
At an inpatient rehab, also known as residential rehab, you will remain at a treatment center for 30 to 90 days or more while engaging in intensive opioid treatment.
Outpatient treatment involves attending weekday therapy sessions at an opioid rehab center. Between sessions, you will return home or to a sober living home. Most rehabs also offer more intensive outpatient programs. An IOP (intensive outpatient program) or a PHP (partial hospitalization program) offers more structure and support than traditional outpatient programs.
Studies suggest that most mild or moderate opioid addictions respond just as well to intensive outpatient treatment as residential rehab.
Regardless of the level of treatment intensity, rehab for opioid addiction typically begins with a supervised medical detox. After detoxing, you will engage with a personalized array of treatments that may include:
The best opioid addiction treatment programs also include aftercare to maximize the chances of sustained recovery without relapse.
There is currently no cure for opioid addiction, but opioid use disorder is treatable with effective therapies and the appropriate level of support. Opioid addiction is a chronic disease that can be managed with long-term treatment and lifestyle changes.
There are several evidence-based treatments for opioid addiction, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and behavioral therapies. MAT combines medications like methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone with counseling and behavioral therapies to help manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. Behavioral therapies like CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy ) and CM (contingency management) can help those with opioid addictions to identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that may contribute to their addiction.
Additionally, peer support groups like NA (Narcotics Anonymous) and SMART Recovery can provide social support and encouragement for many people transitioning from active addiction into ongoing recovery.
There are many different ways to treat opioid addiction. Regardless of what is used to treat opioid addiction, the treatment process typically involves the following steps:
The opioid addiction treatment process is often a lifelong journey, and your needs may change over time as you progress with your recovery.
Recovering from opioid addiction is a challenging process that requires commitment, effort, and support. Here are some general steps that can help you in your recovery from opioid addiction:
Recovery from opioid addiction is a unique process, and the steps and timeline may differ for each individual. The key is to remain committed to the process regardless of challenges, seek support when needed, and focus on the progress you have made.
Seeking opioid addiction support when required is an essential step in treating opioid use disorder. Here are some options for those seeking support during treatment:
Remember that seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness. Making sure that you have a sober support system in place during treatment and beyond will maximize your chances of sustained recovery.
Whether you are addicted to opioid-based prescription painkillers, heroin, or fentanyl, Ohio Recovery Centers have opioid addiction solutions available at our Cincinnati drug & alcohol rehab.
If you need a supervised medical detox, we can connect you with suitable facilities near you. Medications can alleviate the intensity of opioid withdrawal, while at the same time reducing cravings during detox. After 7 to 10 days, you will be ready to engage in intensive outpatient treatment at our rehab facility in Cincinnati.
All opioid addictions respond favorably to medication-assisted treatment, both during detoxification and throughout ongoing therapy. At Ohio Recovery Centers, MAT is combined with behavioral therapies like counseling and psychotherapy to deliver the most favorable treatment outcomes.
During your treatment for opioid addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers, you will identify your personal addiction triggers, and a therapist will help you create healthy coping strategies to when confronted by stressors in your ongoing recovery. All treatment programs at Ohio Recovery Centers include an aftercare component as opioid addiction, like all addictions, has high relapse rates.When you are committed to living opioid-free, call (877) 679-2132 for immediate assistance.
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