Opiate addiction has become an epidemic in the United States.
More than 12 million Americans have admitted to using opioid painkillers after their prescriptions ran out. According to a 2015 report from the American Society of Addiction Medicine, opiate addiction occurs in every U.S. state, county, ethnic group, and socioeconomic class. The most jarring statistic from that study is that 46 people in the United States die every day from a prescription opioid overdose (17,000 annually).
Those are just numbers, though. When you think about how your mother, your brother, your best friend, or someone else you know could be one of those 17,000 Americans that are killed by opiates every year, that’s when you get a grasp of how serious opiate addiction really is.
For most opiate addicts, it starts innocently enough – they’re prescribed Vicodin (hydrocodone), Oxycontin (oxycodone), or a similar drug for a legitimate medical reason, as opiate-based medications are extremely effective in the treatment of chronic pain (physical injury, recovering from surgery, etc.).
But those pills are highly habit-forming, especially if the patient is already dealing with depression, past trauma, or some other issue. At Inspire Malibu’s Opiate Addiction Treatment Center, we understand that for some people, an unintended consequence of taking these drugs is full-blown opiate addiction.
Don’t let opiate addiction control you or your loved one’s life. Our opiate rehab treatment program helps patients free themselves from their addiction and successfully get their lives back.
Opiates are medications with intense euphoric and pain-relieving effects. They’re based on compounds found naturally in the opium poppy plant, papaver somniferum (in modern day medicine, the majority of opiates are produced artificially rather than directly from poppies). Humans have been using opiates both for pain relief and recreationally for thousands of years, with the first recorded use dating as far back as 4,000 B.C in the ancient civilization of Sumer.
While opiates are excellent for dealing with acute pain, they’re dangerously habit forming for the same reason. Opioids bind to receptors in the brain that control pain and reward, giving users the feeling of comfort and euphoria.
Misuse, such as taking more than prescribed, or continuously self-medicating with prescription painkillers, creates a tolerance. Those who develop a tolerance must take more and more to achieve the same effect. This is not only dangerous, but it can lead to long-term dependence and sometimes-fatal overdoses.
Without access to the drug, users who aren’t in rehab for opiate addiction can experience painful withdrawal symptoms such as:
Dependence to opiate painkillers can occur for many reasons. Those at high risk for opiate addiction and in need of opiate treatment might fall into the following groups:
Whatever the case might be, our opiate treatment center allows patients to recover safely and comfortably. Our treatment specialists monitor each patient during every phase of their rehab.
Managed Maintenance has proven highly successful for opiate treatment. This allows clients to complete detox in a safe and comfortable manner without suffering from the debilitating symptoms of withdrawal usually associated with conventional detox programs.
It’s estimated that 80% of people suffering from opiate addiction will relapse without Managed Maintenance in their opiate treatment program.
It’s important to understand that opiate addiction is a treatable disease.
Our addiction team creates an individualized treatment plan for every client individually, and considers their unique circumstances, personal issues, history of drug use, and degree of dependence. All clients are treated using proven, evidence-based addiction treatment therapies that include:
One on one therapy is just what sounds like: the patient sits down with a counselor alone, one on one, to discuss their struggles with addiction, the root causes of their addiction, and how they can overcome their habits and learn to better themselves. The focused attention paid to patients in one on one therapy is extremely productive in working out these issues.
Again, this is what it sounds like: patients meet in groups to discuss their issues together with a counselor.
While any given individual receives less focus in group therapy than they would in one on one therapy, the advantage here is that each patient is able to share their stories and hear the stories of how others have dealt with their addictions. Simply knowing they’re not alone in their struggle can make recovery easier, especially for patients that express guilt or shame about their addiction.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the most common methods used not just in addiction treatment, but in all kinds of counseling.
The goal here is not to necessarily change a patient’s thoughts, but rather to change how they feel about those thoughts. In CBT patients will talk to their counselor about their thoughts and emotions and what bothers them, both day-to-day and going as far back as their childhood. This can, and often does get very personal, but patients can be assured that everything they say during CBT will be kept 100% confidential unless they threaten to harm themselves or another person.
The counselor works with the patient to help them identify negative or inaccurate thoughts, with the goal of learning how to challenge these negative and inaccurate thoughts and not letting them lead to destructive behavior.
Many methods for curbing addiction are somewhat passive; they’re meant to gently guide the addict to accepting they have a problem rather than pushing them too hard toward change.
MET is more direct. It involves the counselor making abundantly clear the discrepancy between the patient’s current state and the patient’s desired state, and then tackling each specific problem (low confidence, self-defeating thoughts, resistance to change, etc.) standing in the way of that desired state.
What does “dialectical” mean? Don’t worry, it has nothing to do with dialects – we’re not trying to cure addiction through the power of practicing foreign accents here.
Dialectical, rather, means integrating two opposite ideas at the same time. In this context, it refers to the two opposing states of mind that must be realized in order for opiate addiction treatment to be successful – acceptance and change.
DBT teaches the patient these 4 skills:
Up until now, all the therapies we’ve reviewed have been different varieties of the traditional approach of a patient or multiple patients discussing their addiction and other issues with a counselor.
With neurofeedback therapy, machines are used to assist human therapists. Electrodes are attached to the scalp of the patient, and using an electroencephalogram (EEG) allows the counselor to see in real time how the patient’s brain actually responds to certain stimuli. This information helps the counselor discover what’s really bothering the patient and determine which treatments the patient responds to best.
The patient’s effort to combat their addiction doesn’t end once they leave the treatment center.
Addiction is a lifelong struggle. That’s why so many addicts relapse and fall back into their old, destructive habits – the fight never truly ends. Any recovering addict has to actively practice the techniques they learned in therapy to not let negative thoughts and stressful situations get the best of them.
In addition to practicing those techniques learned in CBT, MET, and DBT, addicts also lower their odds of relapsing by exercising regularly and eating a diet that’s high in nutrients and low in fat/sugar. A healthy lifestyle staves off depression, and depression of course contributes to addiction.
Also, just because an addict leaves the treatment center doesn’t mean that they should stop seeing a counselor. Outpatient therapy helps addicts keep the issues that bother them in check rather than letting those self-defeating thoughts lead them back toward substance abuse.