Opiate Addiction Treatment
Most people struggling with an opiate addiction problem require detoxification treatment first and foremost. While it is possible to go “cold turkey” and stop drug use on one’s own, the withdrawal and cravings that develop during the course of detox can quickly thwart a person’s efforts in following through.
In cases of severe addiction, detox treatment programs may administer medication therapies to help relieve much of the discomfort experienced from withdrawal, according to the University of California-Irvine School of Medicine. Since detox essentially puts an end to ongoing drug use, a person can expect to experience the worst of withdrawal symptoms during this time.
Residential treatment programs take place at a live-in facility where a person resides for the length of the program. Residential treatment settings are highly structured treatment environments where those in recovery can focus their time and attention on getting well.
People coming off long-term addictions would do well to enter a residential program as soon as they complete detox treatment. Otherwise, the likelihood of relapse and resumed drug use runs considerably high.
Residential programs employ several different types of treatment interventions, all of which work to help addicts replace drug-using behaviors with more productive coping strategies. Interventions commonly used include –
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Drug education counseling
- Group therapy
- 12-Step support group work
Unlike residential treatment, outpatient treatment programs allow recovering addicts to attend scheduled treatment sessions while living at home. Ultimately, treatment interventions provided by outpatient programs are the same as those offered through residential programs. While this arrangement may seem more convenient and flexible, this flexibility leaves a person wide open in terms of having to deal with temptations to use drugs on a daily basis.
Opiate addiction can leave a person in a state of emotional instability where depression symptoms make it difficult to maintain abstinence for any length of time. When addicted, the drug “high” is the addict’s only source of experiencing any form of joy or excitement. Many people experience a perpetual sense of detachment that leaves them feeling emotionally “flat,” for months and even years into the recovery process.
For these reasons, anyone coming off an opiate addiction should only consider outpatient treatment after detox as a last resort, when family and work obligations require a more flexible treatment schedule.
Even after a person completes, detox, residential and outpatient treatment, staying engaged in the recovery process can go a long way towards warding off the potential for relapse. Daily life stressors and major life changes can all work as triggers that drive a person to relapse.
Most all opiate addiction treatment programs emphasize the importance of attending 12-Step support groups on a regular basis after completing a drug treatment program. In the long run, the ongoing guidance and support made available through 12-Step programs can mean the difference between long-term abstinence and suffering through an untimely relapse episode.