Opioid misuse and addiction disorders affect nearly 16 million people worldwide and over 2.1 million in the United States. The severity of this disease is high, causing significant distress and impairment in an individual. Taking opioids for a short period of time, prescribed by your primary care provider is not the issue. In fact, those medications are the best treatment option for you after a major surgery is performed, for example. However, the danger comes when people become addicted to the high that their pain medication offers them.
At American Treatment Network, our staff is dedicated to providing treatment plans specific to those in our care. We prioritize our patients’ care and offer guidance every step of the way. We pride ourselves on offering the perfect treatment and care to defeat opioid and alcohol addiction.
What is the Difference Between Misuse and Addiction?
The answer is relatively simple.
Opioid abuse is when someone is incorrectly using prescribed medication. In other words, a person takes the medicine for the sole purpose of getting high, whether that medication belongs to them or someone else.
On the other hand, addiction is a chronic disease in the brain that causes you to seek out drugs or medication even though you know they cause you harm.
Think about it this way: opioid misuse can lead to addiction; the act leads to the disease.
What are Opioids?
Also known as narcotics, opioids are a type of drug. Examples include oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, tramadol, and heroin. Earlier, we talked about how these drugs are prescribed by medical providers typically after a patient has undergone a major surgery or if they have suffered from a major injury.
Another way doctors can prescribe their patients opioids is if they suffer from severe health conditions, like cancer. Sometimes these drugs are used as a form of pain management.
Addiction Treatment for Opioids
There are many treatment options available when it comes to battling opioid addiction.
Methadone and buprenorphine are both medications that can decrease withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Instead of making a person feel high, they act on the same targets in the brain as other opioids like oxycodone. A common misconception many have is that they believe they can become addicted to these medications just like they can with opioids. However, this simply isn’t true. Methadone and buprenorphine work to restore balance to the parts of the brain that were greatly affected by addiction. While they work, patients can focus more on working toward recovery through additional methods like Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT).
Another drug that some people can take is Naloxone. In combination with buprenorphine, it can be used to treat an opioid overdose. These medications are safe to take for any period of time, for a lifetime if needed. However, it is important to note then when taking any medications, consult with your doctor before stopping treatment or making any changes.
Naltrexone is another treatment drug, however, it differs from Methadone and buprenorphine. Rather than helping you through withdrawal symptoms, it takes away the high that a person might normally experience when taking opioids. This prevents individuals from relapsing and is not a way to stop taking opioids. Before you can start this treatment, however, you must first stop taking opioids for at least seven to ten days. Failure to do so could result in extreme withdrawal symptoms.
Counseling – individual, family, and group– is another effective form of treatment for treating opioid abuse. It can help change a person’s attitude and behavior related to drug use and provide a way to build healthy life skills. Another great benefit is that it can help people remain committed to their treatment plans.
Individual counseling includes Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps an individual recognize and stop negative patterns of thinking and behavior. For example, with CBT a person can learn how to manage their stress and change their way of thinking which can lead them into wanting to misuse opioids.
Group counseling is effective because it can offer support and a sense of community to those battling opioid misuse. Talking about one’s own struggles allows them to feel heard and seen while knowing they are in a safe space with others that share similar issues. On the other hand, listening to the challenges and successes of others might offer someone a new way of thinking about their own addiction and some changes they might want to make to overcome their addiction.
Family counseling includes loved ones that are related or close to you. This type of treatment allows people to mend bonds and heal relationships with those closest to them.
American Treatment Network: Your Last Stop For Addiction Treatment
Battling an addiction is nothing short of challenging. It can be even more difficult when someone feels alone on their journey to recovery. We at American Treatment Network recognize this fact that many face and that is why our seasoned team of medical professionals works tirelessly to ensure that each of our patients is able to achieve lifelong sobriety.
It’s no secret, opioid misuse and addiction is an epidemic in the United States that does not have a target demographic. It can affect anyone at almost any stage in their lives. To that end, we realized that the issue was failing to find a solution through the current traditional healthcare system.
At American Treatment Network, we believe in treating the whole person, not just the physical addiction problem. Opioid addiction is more than just a tangible issue that we can treat with medication, it’s also a physical mindset that needs to be altered in order for effective treatment to last. That is the hole we have filled in the fight against opioid and alcohol addiction. What makes our services unique is that we offer both behavioral and physical healthcare in conjunction with addiction treatment. This allows our patients to receive the best care possible to ensure they win their fight. If you need help, visit one of our locations in Havertown, PA, Upland, PA Newark, DE, and Dover, DE.
For further information on our services and treatment options, visit our website today!