August 23, 2017

Opiate Treatment

[frame align=”left”]Opiate Treatment[/frame]Opiates consist of a wide range of drugs including Heroin and prescription pain medications like morphine and hydrocodone. Prescriptions containing opiates is being called the “new gateway drug” affecting all ages, socio-economic background as well as lifestyle. Opiate addicts include children, elderly, high-level executives as well as the prescribing doctors.

When an individual is addicted to opiates, professional opiate treatment can help clear the individual for a lifetime of joy and productivity in ways that they may not believe possible. It is not easy, but it is worth it. There are several steps to opiate treatment, many of the aspects of which are entirely up to the individual choosing to stop using opiates.

Make the Decision to Stop

Reasons for not taking opiates can come from several outside sources. In some cases, family may recognize that a loved one suffering from chronic pain has accidentally become addicted to their pain medications. In other cases, addicts exposed to illegal and illicit activities, which led to criminal prosecution. Part of the judgment includes attending mandatory rehabilitation program. Whatever the reason for seeking opiate treatment, the first step to recovering is to make the decision to stop using. This must come from the person using the opiates, regardless of the reason they became dependent in the first place. If the opiates are part of a pain management program, the individual must make the decision to seek alternative treatments that do not involve the use of opiates. If the individual is taking recreational drugs or prescriptions for recreational purposes, they must want to stop in order for opiate treatment to be successful.


After making the decision to stop using opiates and following up on that decision, the individual will experience a detox period. Detox programs last for several days to a week or even longer depending on the extent of addiction. The experience can be painful and with proper supervision, a doctor can prescribe various medications to make the process easier. Despite not having concrete evidence, some doctors believe the pain and illness from detoxing out ways continuing abusing opiates. Either way, participating in a detox program under a trained medical staff is the best course of action.


A large number of opiate addicts abuse the drug not to find pain relief but to mask emotional issues. Many times, those who turn to drugs have suffered emotional or physical abuse in their lives without seeking help. In order to increase the odds of not returning to drug use to mask these issues in the future, the individual should engage in open and frank discussions to get to the source of the drug problem. This can happen in both a private setting, can include members of the immediate or extended family, as well as in a group setting with others facing addiction. For those individuals who have become addicted to opiates through an unintentional misuse of prescriptions for chronic pain, the issues can be very similar.

When the individual comes to terms with the emphasis they have put upon their need for opiates over their family’s needs, they may suffer depression and other anxiety that can be well served by professional counseling, even if there were no previous issues that caused them to abuse opiates.

Life Long Commitment

Some espouse that an addiction is forever, while others claim they have completely defeated their addictions. Regardless of whether one can or cannot fully recover from an addiction to opiates, it is important to understand that the commitment to remain free of opiates is a lifelong decision. There will be times in the future where an individual may find himself in a situation to begin taking opiates under the supervision of a doctor. If possible seeking out another course of action is wise. For another person, the issue that originally caused her to self-medicate with illegal heroine might come back to the surface. The decision to remain free of opiates means seeking help from other sober survivors or professionals to avoid falling into addiction.

Inpatient Care vs. Outpatient Care

The issue of opiate treatment as well as admitting an individual into an inpatient care facility, or “Rehab”, versus participating in an IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) is controversial.

There are benefits and drawbacks to both options. An inpatient setting will better control access to illicit drugs or opiate based medications, and provides around the clock supervision. An IOP, however, will allow the individual to continue working while seeking treatment. An inpatient setting can take the onus of “behaving well” off the shoulders of the afflicted individual, while an IOP puts more “faith” into the will of the patient.

It is best discussing these topics with a professional counselor, the treating physician and others who may have an interest, to reach a beneficial and productive arrangement.