Opioid Addiction: Hard to Treat but Possible to Overcome
Opioid addiction has become such a significant issue in the US that it is being referred to as an epidemic. In 2017 more than 64,000 Americans lost their lives after taking fatal doses of opioids and this figure is rising. The opioid crisis has quietly developed over the years as rising numbers of people are prescribed opiate-based meds to treat conditions causing chronic pain. The fact that this extremely addictive substance is prescribed has given it a veil of acceptance to a certain degree, with many people believing opioids to be ‘safe’ because they’re on prescription. We here at Capo Canyon understand how difficult it is to overcome this addiction and provide a safe and structured detox facility to begin the journey.
The Challenges of Overcoming Opioid Addiction
Although addiction to opioids is more complex than other substances, there are now some highly effective treatment approaches that make recovery very possible. Of course, there is no cure for addiction as it is something a person has to live with and manage for the rest of their lives but there is always hope. In many ways, opioid addiction is similar to other physical health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure in it can be successfully managed without too much disruption to someone’s life.
There are several different approaches to addiction treatment including medications, holistic therapies, individual and group counseling. The very first step before rehab can begin is detox. Detoxing from opioids is more challenging than other drugs because of the degree to which it negatively affects the brain’s functioning. Suddenly abstaining from using can be extremely dangerous if someone has been addicted to opioids for a long time. In these cases, opiate-based medications such as methadone will be prescribed to allow detox to take place slowly.
Many people think that prescribing another opioid just replaces the addiction with another substance of equal potency. However, the reason methadone is used to treat opioid addicts is that it works against the drug and prevents them from getting high from other opiates like heroin or prescription painkillers. This reduces the compulsion to use over time and can successfully kickstart detox for the patient to continue in rehabilitation.