Each method used to treat opioid addiction helps to restore the patient’s physical and psychological health.
Methods of Treating Opioid Addiction
Opioid addiction has an all-encompassing effect on a person’s life, impairing his or her health while warping the mind’s ability to deal with everyday life. In order to recover from this chronic condition, all aspects of addiction must be addressed within the treatment process.
For these reasons, methods of treating opioid addiction include a range of approaches, all of which combine to help a person work through and overcome its effects.
Opioid Addiction’s Aftereffects
According to the Journal of Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, opioid addiction develops in stages, gradually taking over the brain’s chemical processes. This means, the longer a person engages in opioid abuse the greater the hold it has over his or her life.
Once opioid addiction develops, both the brain and the body’s functions have come to rely on the drug’s effects to function normally, though the most noticeable effects of addiction show up in a person’s thinking and behaviors.
The compulsive drug-using behaviors that come with addiction develop out of the mind’s total dependence on opioid effects to cope with everyday life.
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Methods of Treating Opioid Addiction
Detoxifying the Body
Breaking the brain and body’s physical dependence on opioids becomes an essential first step in treating opioid addiction. This entails eliminating all traces of the drug from the body. During this time, a person experiences severe withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Inability to sleep
- Body aches
- Abdominal cramping
- A mix of fever and chills
By providing 24-hour monitoring, emotional support and medication treatment, detox methods of treating opioid addiction give recovering addicts the best chance of making it through to the next stage.
While overcoming the body’s physical dependence on opioids may seem like the hardest part of recovery, addiction treatment doesn’t actually begin until the behavioral-based treatment stage starts. Behavioral-based treatment for opioid addiction can take place within a residential or outpatient treatment setting depending on the severity of the addiction.
According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, behavioral-based treatments include the following:
- Individual psychotherapy
- Relapse prevention training
- Support groups
- Drug education and counseling
- Group therapy
Each one of these interventions addresses a different aspect of addiction in terms of helping those in recovery replace addiction-based thinking and behaviors with a drug-free mindset and healthy approach to managing daily life.
In cases of chronic, long-term addiction problems, treating opioid addiction may require the use of specialized medication therapies, such as methadone maintenance and buprenorphine treatments.
These medications work to restore a normal chemical balance in the brain and reduce the degree of drug cravings experienced in recovery. In effect, people who most benefit from medication therapies can’t maintain abstinence for any length of time without this form of treatment.
Opioid addiction operates much like a chronic medical condition that worsens in severity over time in the absence of needed treatment help. Long-term opioid abuse destroys both the body and the mind, so the sooner a person gets treatment help the better his or her chances at a successful recovery.
If you or someone you know are considering treatment for opioid addiction and have more questions, or need help finding a program that meets your needs, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at (800) 407-7195(Who Answers?) to speak with one of our addictions specialists.