Opiate addiction has reached a crisis point in recent years, with approximately 2.5 million Americans addicted to heroin, fentanyl, methadone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and meperidine, as reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
As a result, spiking rates of opiate-related overdose deaths continue to rise. According to a report published by the CDC, deaths from opiates in the U.S. exceeded 33,000 in 2015. In fact, the alarmingly high death rates due to opiate overdoses among young white males caused the life expectancy to decline for the first time in decades.
An opiate dependency can take root in a very short time. Someone who was prescribed pain medication for an injury or post-surgery, and took the drug according to the prescribed dosage, can experience withdrawal symptoms after just two weeks of use. Someone who tries heroin once can become addicted immediately.
Consequently, more and more drug rehab facilities are springing up in response to the need for opiate addiction help. A variety of treatment options now exist to aid in achieving a rapid recovery, and a new beginning in life.
How Opiates Hijack the Brain
Opiates impact the central nervous system, which includes the brain, respiratory, and cardiovascular system. The drug attaches to opiate receptors in the brain related to pain and pleasure, causing the heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate to slow and body temperature to drop. Simultaneously, a relaxed sense of calm and wellbeing are experienced, while physical pain is masked. With heroin use, individuals will experience a “rush,” a sense of euphoria that causes cloudy thinking and alternating between conscious and semi-conscious states.
Opiate dependence occurs when the brain’s reward center is hijacked after repeated use of the drug. Tolerance is increased, leading to the need for more of the drug just to feel okay. Neurochemistry is eventually rewired to demand continuous dosing, with highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms prompting the next dose. The individual is no longer able to experience pleasure because the brain now produces little dopamine, but cravings related to memories of that initial high continue to cause drug-seeking behaviors that further entrench the dependency.
Options for Rapid Recovery from Opiate Addiction
Opiate addiction help comes in many forms. Once someone decides to get clean they usually desire as rapid a recovery as possible. Detox for opiate addictions may include the following formats:
- Outpatient detox. For those with a milder or more recent opiate dependency, an outpatient detox program may be an appropriate choice. Detox takes anywhere from a few days to about a week, and can be done at home with supervision from the outpatient facility. Counseling is also available at the outpatient program.
- Inpatient detox. The detox and withdrawal of opiates in an inpatient facility involves supervised monitoring of the process. Medications are offered to assist with the symptoms of muscle aches, nausea, headache, and fever. Once the detox is completed, which can last up to a week, the individual begins the treatment program there.
- Use of methadone or Suboxone. Individuals are tapered off of the opiates and begin to use methadone or Suboxone, also opiates, to help. Although these medications can reduce the severity of detox and withdrawal, the drugs themselves are highly addictive, trading one dependency for another.
- Rapid detox. An accelerated form of detox uses sedatives and Naltrexone to cut the detox period by several days. It does not require anesthesia.
- Ultra-rapid detox. This method requires hospitalization as the patient is under a general anesthesia while the opiates are pushed out of their system via an intravenous line in minutes. This method carries many health risks and is very expensive.
Addiction Helplines Offers Opiate Addiction Help
Opiate addiction help is just a phone call away. Addiction Helplines can assess your specific detox needs and help guide you to a safe, high quality rehab for a rapid recovery. Our expert staff works with a large network of detox facilities and inpatient rehabs and will match you with the program that is best suited for your needs. For a free assessment and insurance check, call us today at (877) 228-3270.