14 Minutes

Edited & clinically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
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Opioids include heroin, a recreational drug, as well as codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone, which are all widely used prescription medications. In 2017, an approximated 201 million individuals were suffering from an opioid use disorder (OUD), with 1.7 million suffering from prescription pain-relieving medication addiction and almost 700,000 from heroin addiction.

Opiates are a class of mediated prescription drugs obtained from opium, a chemical naturally found in plants and poppy seeds. In clinical practice, these drugs are used to treat moderate and severe pain in patients. Opioids have a high percentage of abuse due to their extremely soothing effects, which can lead to addiction in many circumstances.

In 2012, 259 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers were written in the United States. A total of 2 million people are estimated to have developed an addiction as a result.

Painkiller abuse often develops after a person is given the prescription for pain relief due to an accident or injury. A physician issues a prescription with a specific dose; most people have no intention of abusing the medicine. However, after some time, a person may notice that the medicine is no longer helpful as it once was. This sensation is induced by a person’s body’s increasing tolerance to the prescription painkiller, which means the chemical has built up in their system.

Tolerance can also lead to people taking higher doses than suggested to attain the desired results. An increase in the concentration of medication can result in physical dependence, in which the user needs to keep taking the drug to feel normal. Physical dependence can eventually evolve to cravings, which are defined by increasing urges to keep using the substance despite possible harmful consequences.

A full-blown addiction exists when a person’s drug-seeking behavior gets out of control and begins to jeopardize their bodily and mental health. Addiction is a neurological condition that starts to feel unavoidable to the person who is suffering from it. It is much more severe than a deep desire to use drugs.

When someone has a substance abuse problem, they typically want to quit but are unable to do it by themselves. The only way to fully recover from an addiction to opioid pain pills is to receive therapy at an inpatient rehabilitation center.

Several prescription opioids are consumed for nonmedical usages, even though they are meant for medicinal use. These are some of them:

  • Hydrocodone: In its different formulations, it is prescribed for the comfort of moderately severe pain, like that caused by medical procedures or physical injury.
  • Oxycodone: A comparatively more potent opioid than hydrocodone, it is given as a prescription for the treatment of moderate to severe pain and is readily accessible in both immediate-release and controlled forms.
  • Morphine is a pain reliever that can be used to cure both chronic and acute moderate to severe pain.
  • Codeine is a pain reliever and anti-cough medication that is being used to relieve moderate to severe pain.
  • Fentanyl: Medicinal fentanyl is utilized to relieve relatively severe pain situations like pain due to post-operative complications, cancer pain, and other types of chronic pain in various formulations including breakthrough cancer pain (abrupt episodes of pain that happen despite regular management with another pain medicine).

The combination of several obvious indicators, symptoms, and behavioral traits leads to a diagnosis of opioid use disorder or opiate abuse. Here are a few examples:

  • Using more doses of an opioid than it is required or for a longer period than is necessary.
  • The individual who has a deep desire to consume fewer opioids or who is having difficulty controlling his usage of opioids.
  • Investing more time in obtaining, consuming, or rehabilitating from the effects of opioid-containing drugs.
  • Having a strong desire to consume opioids.
  • Due to opioid use, people are cutting back or abandoning essential activities, recreationally, or socially.
  • Using opioids despite having ongoing physical or mental health problems as a result of its usage.
  • Tolerance to opioids develops, requiring more opioids to produce the desired benefit.
  • When opioid use is stopped suddenly or the quantity regularly taken is decreased, symptoms of opioid withdrawal appear.

The following are some additional symptoms of potentially harmful opioid use:

  • Breathing becomes shallow or the rate of breathing becomes sluggish.
  • Excessive Lethargy.
  • Muscle coordination issues.
  • Slurry or incomprehensible speech.
  • Bad decision-making or a sudden change in decision-making abilities.
  • Failure to fulfill one’s routine social and domestic responsibilities.
  • Psychomotor deficiency and irrational behavior.
  • Newly emerging anxiety, irritation that is out of proportion, or sudden onset depression.
  • Sleep disruptions, including difficulty falling asleep, daytime sleepiness, and unrested sleep.

Personal programs will undoubtedly include a unique blend of medications and therapies, but both outpatient and inpatient opioid addiction rehabilitation programs should likely include the following steps:

Admission: An addiction treatment specialist may first evaluate the person who needs treatment. At the time of acceptance to the program, important medical and mental health needs, as well as other specific difficulties, will be identified and taken into account when a treatment plan is created. Since the professionals must first assemble backstory information about the client and their drug use record, which will help guide the foundational treatment plan and adequate level of support, this can be a long process. The facility staff will also clarify the program’s basic framework, offer additional information on privacy policies, and allow the individual to decide whether or not they want any families or dear ones to be notified of their clinical performance.

Biotransformation and treatment with medication: Acute opioid withdrawal is a particularly awful and difficult problem to tackle. Detoxification under medical supervision can make the process easier and more agreeable. Various detox drugs can help with opioid withdrawal; after the detox stage, prescription medications can be taken for long-term management and recuperation. These drugs can help to reduce the severity of symptoms of withdrawal, handle cravings, and reduce the risk of relapse.

Group and Individual counseling sessions are part of the patient’s addiction therapy. Throughout this time, any medications provided to help with the therapy process will be continued. Evidence-based strategies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy will be used in many medical approaches.

Specialized care: The individual is given treatment that is designed for specific situations and requirements. For instance, treatment could be tailored to the person’s specific needs, such as whether he or she requires continuous medical attention or would benefit from career planning before completing the program.

Aftercare: For many people, recovery does not end when the inpatient treatment program is completed. Before leaving treatment, a strategy of aftercare will be developed, which may include components of extra individual therapy, group counseling, and participation in 12-step meetings like Narcotics Anonymous. As the patient moves forward in their lives after inpatient rehab, continual aftercare activities may help them feel more cared for in their recover

Some symptoms may develop during withdrawal that might be unpleasant. These can create undue distress, impede recovery efforts, and even make rapid relapse more likely if left untreated. Luckily, clinicians can prescribe medicines to alleviate some of these symptoms of withdrawal.

Medication may be utilized to maintain a patient’s withdrawal while they proceed towards their long-term recovery objective, in addition to keeping them relaxed throughout detox. The following medications are used to treat opioid addiction:

Methadone is a long-acting complete opioid agonist that acts by reducing opioid cravings and withdrawal is used as a component of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for heroin and other opiate addictions. It can only be obtained through an opioid treatment program that has been certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Buprenorphine: Another pharmaceutical drug used in MAT to manage opioid use disorder, buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms while also having a slight potential for abuse of the treatment drug on its own when used in combination with naloxone, the opioid receptor antagonist.

Naltrexone: A prescription drug that may inhibit some of the beneficial effects of opioids, naltrexone is used in MAT to treat both opioid and alcohol use disorders. Unlike buprenorphine and methadone, which activate opioid receptors, naltrexone inhibits opioid receptors, reducing the likelihood of continued opioid abuse.

Opioid dependence medicine may make detox more comfortable for patients and may also help them avoid using opioids again in the future.

Prescription opioid usage can contribute to the emergence of an opioid use disorder (OUD). Individuals with OUD may continue to misuse opioids if they are not treated, despite rising health problems and other difficulties in their life, such as a failure to handle school, work, and household obligations.

Individuals who get addicted to opioids can gain from treatment and rehabilitation. A phase of clinical detoxification and withdrawal treatment is frequently followed by rehabilitation. This is because people who are physically dependent on opioids may have symptoms of withdrawal when they try to quit, including:

  • Nausea, gastric upset, and vomiting 
  • Intense cravings.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Sleeping difficulties.
  • Pain in the muscles and bones.
  • Chills

Detoxification and pharmacological withdrawal management allow people to remove narcotics from their bodies while keeping them as convenient as possible in an otherwise unpleasant situation.

Inpatient treatment is used by many people who have moderate to severe opioid addictions. Many inpatient programs include medical detox to prepare an individual for relatively long rehabilitation efforts following successful cessation management. In these cases, long-term treatment will take life in a controlled, caring inpatient or residential setting that aims to limit access to opioids and other drugs while in treatment while also reducing the number of stress factors that those in recovery may encounter.

Opioid Rehab Programs: Inpatient vs. Outpatient

Initial evaluation of patients by the doctors

Some opiate rehab programs take place in an outpatient setting in addition to residential or inpatient treatment. In an inpatient unit, the client stays at the treatment facility and is cared for by trained professionals around the clock.

Treatment is provided for a fraction of the day or evening in intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), partial hospitalization programs (also widely known as PHPs or “day programs”), and as well as other outpatient substance abuse programs. The amount of time required will vary by program, but patients will come back home at the end of the day.

Inpatient programs are often more expensive than outpatient programs because of their resource limitations (every treatment center has a limited number of beds), the high level of interest that the facility’s staff has with the individual, the numerous amenities accessible to residents, and the fact that supervision and/or treatment is offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Premium opioid addiction centers provide a variety of amenities and advantages to provide a pleasant experience, with luxury inpatient rehab centers providing the most luxurious amenities. These 5-star treatment centers go above and beyond in terms of advantages, convenience, and services as compared to conventional treatment.

You could get some or all of the below, based on the facility:

Customized treatment: Because each patient’s journey to recovery is different, these institutions will provide you with personalized counseling to help you stay accountable and reduce the chance of relapse.

Gourmet meals: Opioid addiction can cause self-neglect leading to nutrient deficiencies over time. To help strengthen your immune system, promote cognitive focus, and improve general health, you may be provided nutrient-dense, chef-prepared meals.

Yoga: Most patients may experience tension, depression, and anxiety during withdrawal. Yoga not only relieves these problems, but can also improve muscle tone, mood, and one’s self-image.

Private rooms: Recovery is a great time to delve inside oneself and appreciate the self-reflection and solitude that a private setting provides.

Unlike many other types of accommodations, luxury accommodations may have a private room where you can relax after a long day of activities and enjoy a good night’s sleep without the hassles of a roommate. If this is important to you, make sure to inquire ahead of time regarding the availability of certain accommodations.

Massage treatment is an excellent technique to relieve tension, increase circulation, and boost the energy that you need to give your recovery efforts your all. In high-end rehab centers, this is a common service.

Collaborating with an art therapist allows you to go deeper into the causes of your substance usage, like past trauma. Art therapy can aid in the development of better and healthier coping skills, as well as provide an outlet for working through negative feelings and boosting self-esteem.

Music therapy is frequently utilized as a supplemental remedy during withdrawal. Music therapists employ this innovative technique to assist patients to cope with anxiety, stress, and depression withdrawal symptoms. To help you feel better, therapists may use therapeutic writing, lyrical analysis, singing, performing, and listening. According to certain research, music can even help you overcome cravings and avoid relapse.

Although executive and luxury opioid addiction treatment programs can be expensive, with costs rising in tandem with the multitude of amenities provided and the charm of the site, several advantages make them a good option for those seeking medical help:

The staff-to-patient ratio is lower. You can usually expect more personalized care at these exclusive luxury treatment centers than you would in a government program. The ratio in luxury programs may be significantly lower than in other private programs.

Services. In many cases, the characteristics of private programs will be more appealing than those of public programs, and luxury treatments will provide the most amenities and advantages. Life at these luxury opioid abuse treatment programs has been compared to a visit to a 5-star resort by some. Patients who attend luxury rehab centers for their rehabilitation are provided with very pleasant living areas, single rooms, gourmet cuisine, and other amenities.

Holistic care. Most high-end treatments and luxury opioid addiction inpatient centers provide comprehensive or complementary-alternative restorative options to help people improve their overall wellness. Meditation, yoga, and acupuncture are just a handful of a variety of methods at high-end treatment centers that improve a patient’s overall health by addressing the mind, body, and spirit, allowing them to respond more favorably to treatment.

Most inpatient opioid rehabilitation programs last 25 – 30 days, with 2-month or 3-month (or longer) programs available if necessary. Rehab center professionals may prescribe a treatment period that meets a patient’s requirements after assessing their level of dependence and opiate addiction severity.

Even though 25 to 30-day inpatient programs are prevalent, lengthy durations of care may be more impactful, so it may be advantageous to proceed with an outpatient rehabilitation program once inpatient treatment is completed.

The location of the facility, whether your insurance company will pay the cost of it, the total expense of treatment, the credentials of the medical professionals in the treatment center, whether the program is certified, and the center’s therapeutic approach are all important variables to consider when choosing an inpatient opioid rehabilitation center. Make certain to inquire about any or all of these components of an opioid treatment center.

On a personal level, you can inquire about the results of their treatment and the types of treatments they offer. This can assist you in selecting the most appropriate program to get you started on the path to recovery.

It’s a personal decision whether you should fly away from family or enroll in a local opioid rehabilitation treatment program. Being close to family and sober support may be a preferable option if there are many members of the family and sober supporters in the region. Give us a call to learn more about regional rehabilitation program options if you’re not sure if you should go to a local rehabilitation facility or go out of town for opioid addiction treatment.

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