Opiate addiction is now a national problem. This disease is often caused by the need to relieve pain, not get high. The prescriptions are legal with a low dosage. The patient may build up tolerances for the drugs and need higher dosages. If the doctor won’t renew the prescriptions, patients often look for similar drugs on the streets. Rehabilitation programs become necessary to treat this dependency before people overdose.
A facility that offers opiate rehab should treat the body and mind together to eliminate this need for dependency on pain medications. Patients learn exactly how drugs attach to opiate or pain relief receptors in the brain as part of the treatment. The opiate receptors may actually increase the pain when the drug wears off. This is the path to dependency.
Patients must first acknowledge that they are addicted to opiate painkillers. They learn how to confront and work through pain in a calm, relaxing environment that promotes self-discovery. They eventually learn that the pain may not be as bad as they perceive it to be.
There are many legal addictive prescription drugs available at most pharmacies. Doctors recommend these pain-killers when regular non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen don’t work. The most commonly prescribed drugs include oxycodone, morphine, codeine, and methadone. They may be combined with acetaminophen.
The methadone drug is often used to help heroin addicts recover. Methadone relieves the pain and it is not as dangerous as street drugs. Nevertheless, people can overdose on it.
The oxycodone drugs include Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, and Tylox. These drugs work well to relieve pain after surgery. They are also prescribed for chronic muscle and joint pain. But doctors give limited prescriptions. The body’s opiate receptors accept these painkillers for a while and then the body cries out for more. Medical science, in an effort to treat pain, has caused a new disease with opiate addiction.
Pharmaceutical companies are trying to develop drugs for chronic pain relief that are not addictive. But, opium and its addictive derivatives have historically been the best painkillers.
Prolonged use of opiates causes other physical problems. This includes:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Liver damage
- Depression and nervousness
- Brain damage due to hypoxia or respiratory depression
These symptoms are often ignored if there is a pain in other parts of the body, especially in the spine and legs. The combination of symptoms and the pain lead to a very unstable lifestyle. People with opiate dependency are often depressed and dysfunctional. This is similar to alcoholism. Opiate use, like alcoholism, can also lead to the loss of work and major family problems. The root of the problem causing the drug dependency must be addressed during the treatment process.
Opiate rehab is not a fast process. The body must detoxify and remove all of the harmful chemicals. This is not an easy process when the opiate receptors are telling the brain that there is pain and immediate relief is needed.
Patients must work closely with therapists who understand the anxiety of each individual who is working hard to detoxify and confront the pain. Therapy includes private sessions with trained psychologists but other therapies should be part of the process.
Music and art therapy play an important role in helping patients. People have an opportunity to express their creative abilities to build confidence. Increased self-esteem is a major part of the treatment process at the Beachway Therapy Center in Boynton Beach, Florida. This inpatient facility offers patients a secure and safe location for treatment in a pleasant environment.
Group therapy and sessions with family members also help patients realize that their disease is treatable and curable. Follow-up programs are always necessary to assist patients when they return to a drug-free and alcohol-free lifestyle. Aftercare programs include meetings with therapists for both the patient and family members.
Addiction to opiates can be treated and cured in the right environment with the full support of the patient’s family and friends.