Opiate Addiction And Rehabilitation

Opiate Addiction Rehab Header
Last Edited: August 3, 2020
Reisto Belovich
Clinically Reviewed
Edward Jamison, MS, CAP, ICADC, LADC
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and certified by an addiction professional.

Dangers of Opiate Abuse

Opiates are a class of drugs that are derived from the seeds of poppy plants.  Most Opiates generally are narcotic painkillers.  However, Opiates also include other illegal substances such as Heroin and concentrated Opium.

Around 5 percent of the population in this country has been found to abuse Opiates. With a rate of abuse as high as this, it is apparent that there is a societal problem regarding Opiates. Opiates are highly addictive, both on psychological basis and physical level. Opiates are addictive because of the euphoric high it gives when taken. All Opiate drugs also tend to give off a sense of wellbeing to the user. So, it is very common for Opiates to be used as a means of self-medicating.

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When people start abusing Opiates to self-medicate their chances of not becoming addicted are slim. There are those too who are actually prescribed Opiate medication for pain after something such as a car accident. Don’t let the prescription fool you. Anyone can become addicted whether they decided to try it on their own or a doctor prescribed it.

Street Names for Opiate

There are many drugs that classify as an “Opiate,” legal and illegal drugs. Some of the legal Opiates a doctor may prescribe for pain. Just because most Opiates are prescription medication doesn’t mean you can’t find them on the streets for sale. Some of the common street names for Opiates are:

  • Black Stuff
  • Block
  • Brown Sugar
  • China white
  • H
  • Horse

Opiate Effects

Whatever Opiate you are abusing, you are at risk for developing all the negative effects an Opiate addiction comes with. The effects won’t just devastate you but your family and loved ones as well. There won’t be a single part of your life that will go by untouched by the Opiates. When you become addicted, Opiates are all that matters. You will do anything and cause anyone harm just to get the high you are craving. When you are doing anything for the high Opiates produce, you are at risk for: incarceration, job loss, homelessness, divorce, domestic abuse, financial ruin, losing your home and car, bleeding ulcers, liver damage, Hepatitis C and HIV/ADIS, kidney damage, coma, overdose, and even death. The only way to prevent such tragedy is to seek treatment for your addiction.

There is also increased danger of combining alcohol and opiates as they can lead to serious consequences. 

Warning signs of Opiate abuse in a loved one

There are many drugs in the Opiate class and they all have a very high potential for abuse and addiction. Your loved one may have been in an accident and the doctor prescribed him or her Oxycodone and as his or her pain got better, the chances of addiction became higher. Now you feel he or she is stuck on Heroin or Fentanyl for a better high but don’t know how to identify how someone acts on Opiates. Here are some of the common signs of Opiate abuse and addiction:

If your loved one is abusing Opiates he or she will most likely begin to lose interest in the things most important. He or she may have loved hanging out with family but now you can’t seem to get him or her out of the room or may not even know where he or she is.

All Opiates come with a high price to maintain a daily high. Your loved one is going to become low on cash. He or she is going to seek other ways to make money. So, he or she may begin to steal valuables around the house to sell them to support their addiction.

Opiate addiction has the means to take everything from the abuser. The most important thing in addicted people’s lives will be Opiates. They will begin to isolate to the point they can’t keep a job or stop going to school so they have all the time in the world to get high.

Factual Dangers: Opiate

Opiates have a range of negative effects that won’t go away unless your loved one is willing to get treatment for his or her Opiate drug addiction. What may seem to them as a good time will slowly start to take everything of importance from his or her life. If you see your loved one’s life is falling apart and want to make sure Opiate addiction is the cause, here are some of the common things you should keep an eye out for.

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True Stories of Addiction: Melissa Creates a New Life After Drug Addiction

Melissa hoped becoming a mother would help her stop abusing Opiates. She didn’t end up recovering after the birth of her child but recovered shortly after. – View all episodes now

Opiate Rehab Treatment

When you undergo Opiate rehab treatment, you will go through a number of different steps. In most cases, an individual approach will be taken for your specific problem, which is why each of these steps are required. The start of the process is intake, where you will assess what sort of care and treatment is most applicable to you. After this, you will go through detox. The detoxification process is designed to remove all the toxins from your body.

Opiate withdrawal is painful so it may be a good idea to go into a medically assisted detox program. Going through this under medical supervision greatly increases the chances of making it and reduces the chances of relapse as well. Once detoxed, the therapy element will start. Usually, talking therapy is used in one to one, group and family settings. This will help to address all the different elements of your addiction.

You may also receive some sort of specialized care, particularly if it has been determined that you have a dual diagnosis that led to your initial addiction. Once you have completed the program, you will also receive aftercare. Aftercare is hugely important in terms of helping you to stay sober. You will be taught special tools in Opiate rehab that will help keep you sober however, aftercare will maintain your addiction reminding you of the tools you were taught in treatment. – Learn More

Opiate Detox Treatment

Each person responds differently when it comes to detoxing off of Opiates. However, some of the most common Opiate withdrawal symptoms people tend to show while coming off an Opiate are nausea, aches and pains, restless legs, vomiting, insomnia, stomach cramping, anxiety, chills, muscle weakness, headaches and mood swings. The timeline for dope sickness can seem unbearable.

Though each person responds differently, you shouldn’t take a chance on whether or not you’ll be susceptible to those effects. Everyone who has made the decision to go through rehab should detox under medical supervision. You are changing the chemical balance in your body and it can become extremely stressful and could ultimately cause you to harm yourself or others. Medical detoxification is going to have a staff of nurses and doctors to monitor you through the detox process. They will take your vitals to make sure you’re in good health and not in any danger of health complications.

Once arrived too the detox facility, you will usually speak with a doctor about your abuse so they can give you the medication you will need to make your detox period more comfortable. The medication will ween you off your Opiate of choice while taking some of the pains of the withdrawal process away making your stay more bearable. In detox, you may do a little therapy here or there but the main focus of detox treatment is to get you off the Opiates safely. – Learn More

Addiction to Opiates

If you are prescribed an Opiate you are at the same risk of addiction as someone who tried Opiates for the first time on the streets. All Opiates induce a euphoric high that is not comparable to the feeling of anything natural. Opiates can make you feel a sense of well-being, euphoria, and happiness. Because Opiate drugs give such a feeling of acceptance of the world, the abuser may find it difficult to get a reason to stop.

This can be especially dangerous to someone who has suffered trauma and has been trying to escape from reality to forget the pain of the past. If you find Opiate drugs and they take you out of reality, remember they will also take everything else of importance from you. Opiate drugs will take your home, car, family, health, and happiness away just after a short period of abuse. This happens because once addicted to Opiate drugs, the drug is going to be the only thing that truly matters in your life. You will give everything away if that means you can get high again.

The same outcome can happen if you have been prescribed Opiates from a doctor and abuse them. Your prescription will eventually run out and you will be on the lookout for more even if that mean buying them from someone illegally. Opiates aren’t something you should mess around with. Even if your friend offers you some and you feel like it would be a onetime thing, say no. You can and will become addicted to an Opiate after one hit and the consequences are fatal. – Learn More

Opiate Dependency

Opiate dependency can happen quick. It can take a few days for your body to not be able to function with some sort of Opiate in it. You will know you are dependent when you try and stop and your body start going through withdrawal. Some withdrawal pains you might experience are nausea or vomiting, muscle aches and pains, cramping, anxiety, and insomnia.

The sad thing is, when your body starts going through withdrawal, you will usually just take more instead of seeking the proper medical attention because you don’t know there is help out there for your addiction. This can go on for a while before you even notice there is a problem. You may start missing work or school because withdrawal pains are so bad and you need to find more but don’t think anything of it. You will blow off family events and hanging out with friends because you would rather be getting high but don’t see it as a problem.

Most people notice the problem when it is too late and they are already homeless, out of work, and alone. When this happens, you may feel like there is no hope for you so you just keep doing what you are doing. This, in turn, can cause your Opiate addiction to progress if it already hasn’t. Your Opiate use will eventually lead to Heroin because it is cheaper and will last longer. You could start using Opiate drugs intravenously and catch Hepatitis C, HIV or AIDS. Your dependency and addiction will take you to some dark places and the only way to get out of those dark places is to ask for help. – Learn More

Seeking help for a loved one.

  • What Do I Say in a Opiate Intervention?
    You will speak directly to your loved one, only speaking in love and concern while leaving out judgment or anger. Let him or her know the negative impact their Opiate addiction causes you.
  • What If My Loved One Does Not Go To Opiate Rehab?
    If your loved one does not accept Opiate treatment, he or she will know there is help when he or she is ready. Keep showing them support without enabling your loved ones’ behavior.

Intervention for Opiate Abuse

You may feel scared and alone after you find out your loved one is abusing an Opiate drug. Regardless of how you found out, the thought of him or her abusing Opiate drugs brings tears to your eyes and pain in your heart. You may feel like this is the end of his or her life because you have done what you could to try and help and he or she won’t stop. However, this isn’t the end of his or her life and there is hope for your loved one.

One effective route to take when you are dealing with an Opiate addicted loved one is to stage an intervention. An intervention is where you will get family and friends of the people who are addicted and are also concerned for their health and safety together and plan things to say to them to make them feel like treatment is the best option.

An intervention can be done with or without a professional interventionist but it is recommended to have a professional on hand. Having a professional interventionist will take some of the stress off you by mediating any confrontation and keeping the environment calm. The addicted loved one will not know about the intervention until he or she walks in the room and listen to what is being said. Telling him or her how concerned you are and how much you love him or her may push your loved one in the right direction to get the treatment he or she deserves. The main goal of an intervention is to get the addicted individual in treatment as soon as possible. – Learn More

Recovery from Opiate Abuse

Opiate addiction is no joke. You don’t just use Opiates as a onetime deal or for fun because there is a huge possibility you will get addicted. If you are already addicted and you want to change your life, the time is now. Reach out for help and get treatment as soon as possible. Once in treatment, you will be able to learn more about yourself and why you started to use Opiates to block the pain in the first place.

Knowing why you started and working through the problem or problems will help you to not take Opiates. There are a lot of things you will learn in treatment but you can’t stay there forever. When you leave treatment, you will need a strong aftercare plan so you can maintain your recovery. You may want to go to outpatient treatment and find a 12-step fellowship to get connected with the recovery community. Once connected with the recover community, especially the 12-step program, your chances of staying sober will increase.

In a 12-step fellowship you will attend meetings with other people who have fought the battle of addiction and want to stay sober. You will work with another individual and go through the 12-steps honestly to ensure long-term recovery. Once you have worked the 12-steps, you will do the same and take others through the steps also. This isn’t all you do in a 12-step fellowship. There are always dinners, events, activities, dances, movie nights, 12-step comedy shows, and much more fun stuff. It will be a new, healthy life for you to live. Your life doesn’t have to be trapped by Opiates. Recovery is possible.

  • How Can I Tell If I Am Addicted to Opiates?
    You will not be able to stay away from the Opiates regardless of the harm it is causing in your life. Another way to tell is if you try and stop, your body may go through withdrawal.
  • How Long Does It Take to Recover From Opiate Addiction?
    Opiate recovery is a lifelong process that helps you live a humble and happy life.

Dangers of Opiate Overdose

It is extremely easy for you to overdose on an Opiate. Overdoses occur when you take more than your body can handle. This can happen through trying to achieve the high you once did when you were first using or you have gotten sober but have suffered a relapse and go back to the dosage you were taking before you got into treatment and your tolerance is too low to handle the Opiate.

Another common way to overdose on Opiates is when you are using an illicit Opiate such as Heroin and you buy from a new dealer. The potency from the new dealer may be way higher and intravenously use the same amount you usually would but overdose because the Heroin is way stronger than any other Heroin you have had before. You can prevent overdoses by seeking treatment for your addiction but if you aren’t ready and feel the need to keep using, talk to your doctor about NARCAN® (Naloxone). Narcan reverses the effect of Opiates to stop the overdose in its tracks. Narcan is the same drug that emergency services use.

If you are around someone who is using Opiates make sure you know the signs of an Opiate overdoes. Opiate overdose symptoms include confusion, delirium, nausea or vomiting, inability to wake up, irregular or stopped breathing, and cold or clammy skin. If any of these symptoms begin to show on someone who is abusing Opiates and if Narcan is not handy, call emergency service immediately. If an overdose is left untreated or unnoticed it can lead to coma and death. Prevent overdose and get the proper treatment you need for your Opiate addiction today. – Learn More

The Effects of Opiate Abuse and Addiction

Opiates include numerous drugs such as Morphine, Fentanyl, and Heroin. Some Opiates are stronger than others and some are illegal while others are legal. However, they all have the same risk of abuse and addiction regardless of where they come from. All of the highly addictive substances in the Opiate class are called Opiates because they are derived from the Opium poppy plant- which is one of the biggest money makers in the drug war today.

Although these drugs are dangerous, some are still legal and prescribed by doctors for pain relief or a cough suppressant but this doesn’t take away their ability to take your life and turn it into something terrible you would not wish on your worst enemy. Opiate drugs are the most abused substance in the United States today, whether it be Oxycodone or Heroin, they are all easily found at your friends or down the street, it is not just bad areas Opiates can be found. Also, you can find them at your doctor and nearest pharmacy, they are all around you and highly addictive.

Opiates are good drugs to relieve pain however, whoever is taking them such as a business man or a poor teenager is at risk for addiction. The drugs do not discriminate, addiction can happen to anyone of any class, race, or religion. This is because Opiates produce an intense high. Heroin for instance produces an immediate and very intense high that only lasts about 15-30 minutes while prescription drugs such as Morphine won’t produce an as intense high but will last about 4-6 hours. No matter how the drug is taken or what type of Opiate it is, there is a euphoric high that isn’t like anything else that comes with it.

This euphoric high isn’t all that comes with Opiate abuse, after a few days of abuse, you may start to feel drowsiness, nausea, repertory depression and paranoia. Opiates will also make your pupils so small it is hard for others not to notice. After a few weeks of abuse, your symptoms will only get worse. You will begin to feel bloated and constipated, you will damage your liver, create painful stomach ulcers, and chances are if you already aren’t, you will become addicted.

Once you are addicted to Opiates, no matter what kind, your life is going to make a turn for the worse and the only way to stop it is seek treatment for your addiction. Before you know it, you will be out of a job because you got fired for getting high at work or not showing up because you were so high. You will start to fight with loved ones and strain relationships. It could get to the point that you lose your spouse and children or even your home. The time will come where you have no means to get high and if you were taking prescription drugs, you may turn to Heroin as a cheaper alternative.

You could also turn to using a needle to use the drugs intravenously to produce a greater high. Once you do this, your health risks rise. There is a chance you can get Hepatitis C or HIV/AIDS by sharing a needle with someone who also needs Opiates to feel alive. You also have the chance to get abbesses on your arms or where ever you shoot up. If an abbess is left untreated for a long period of time, you could eventually get skin infections that have the potential to kill you or have to undergo surgery to remove the infection. If the surgery isn’t effective and the infection comes back, the only thing left for the doctor to do is amputate your limb to save your life from the infection.

There is no reason you should have to live your life addicted to Opiates and risk your health, limbs, and personal life to get high. If you have decided you have had enough and the consequences of using just keep progressing to the point you can’t handle it anymore, help is available. Once you have made the decision to get help, you will need to stop abusing the Opiate which will send your body into withdrawal. Withdrawal is the reason why some people are afraid to seek treatment because they don’t want to be in pain. Well, if you decide you want help you can get into a treatment center that provides a medically assisted detox so you don’t have to feel the intense pain of withdrawal.

Once you have arrived at treatment, you will be asked many questions by a therapist so they can get you on an individualized treatment plan. Once your treatment plan is assisted, you will go through a medically assisted detox. You will be given medication to ween you off of the Opiate drugs. This medication will not only make the detox process safe, it will make it less painful too. After you have detoxed and have a clear mind, the real action can start.

You will begin rehab treatment and undergo a multitude of therapies that will help you get to the bottom of your addiction and fight through all your problems and insecurities. Treatment is an essential part of your recovery because it teaches you to say no to Opiates and will show you that life is so much better without them.

  • Why Should I Attend Family Therapy?
    You should go to family therapy to repair any damage you may have caused due to your Opiate addiction.
  • What Will Family Therapy Help?
    When you abuse Opiates, you may have caused your family great harm. Going to therapy can help your family see you are changing and they will give you their full support.

Family Therapy for Opiate Addiction

The disease of Opiate addiction does not just effect the user but also the family as a whole. There are a lot of situations that the family has been in such as fights, encounters with the police, and financial issues because of the choices the addicted individual has made. This can cause family to be resentful to the addicted person.

Although the resentments are there, when the addicted individual decides to get treatment, he or she will need everyone in the family to support loved one’s decision and help him or her through the way. This is where family therapy comes in. Family therapy will help the family as a whole recover from the destruction of the past. Family members will learn more about the disease so that they can become more understanding of the individual and the Opiate addiction and the addicted individual will be able to show the family that he or she is serious about change.

In family therapy, the therapist will have all issues the abuser has caused in addiction be thrown out on the table and worked through before the addicted individual leaves treatment. The therapist will do this because taking through such problems may become difficult and anger may arise. The last thing the therapist wants to happen is for a fight to break out at home over something that could have been discussed in therapy where the addicted loved one feels triggered to go and abuse Opiates. It is important for the family to work through these issues while the addicted one is in treatment so life is less hectic for everyone when the addicted individual graduates the treatment program.

Individualized Therapy for Opiate Addiction

Once you have decided to better your life and get treatment, you will take part in many therapies. You will go through group therapy to help you feel comfortable in society, family therapy to repair family relationships and individual therapy to heal your mind and soul. In individual therapy, you will work one on one with a therapist.

One on one therapy will give you the chance to really open up about your feelings and Opiate addiction. A therapist will usually ask you many questions about your childhood to see if they can find any trauma that needs to be worked through. Working through trauma gives you the chance to overpower the emotions that trauma causes. The emotions trauma causes may have been what made you feel like you needed to keep abusing Opiates. You will also have the chance to get to know who you truly are. Because the therapist is working through emotions it will clear your mind and give you the chance to find yourself.

You may see things in yourself you never noticed before and eventually begin to love yourself again. Once you have formed a better relationship with yourself your cravings for Opiates will soon be slim to none. Make sure you and your therapist work on an aftercare plan to maintain your sobriety after you have left treatment. You may want to go to outpatient treatment or get involved with the 12-step program. As long as you are working on your recovery your chances of staying sober are high.[

True Stories of Addiction: Thomas Overcomes Suffering Through Recovery

Thomas grew up around Opiate addiction. His whole family was addicted to Opiates and he ended up becoming addicted too. He ended up going to treatment to try and get away from the life of addiction after he lost his best friend to an Opiate overdose. Thomas got out of treatment and moved away from his family because he would just be surrounded by Opiates if he went home. He has been recovered for some time now but things have not been easy for him. Due to Opiate addiction, he lost his whole family besides one sister, who is still using and a brother who has recovered. Opiate addiction is no joke and can take your life. If Thomas can recover, you can too.

Seeking help for a loved one

  • Will Inpatient Rehab Help Me Stop Thinking of Opiates?
    Most likely. It will help you stop thinking of Opiates by taking you out of the negative environment you were living in and shift your focus elsewhere.
  • How Will I Stop Thinking of Opiates After Inpatient Rehab?
    It is a great idea to get involved in local support groups such as the 12-step program after you graduate from your Opiate treatment program.

Inpatient Opiate Rehab

The first thing you must know is that an Opiate addiction can be treated. It is an addiction that is overcame very often, while it is not an easy path, it is a path traveled by many. Inpatient treatment is the most successful form of treatment for Opiate abuse. This form of treatment removes the user from the surroundings that may be contributing to their prolonged abuse of substances.

It would be hard to recover if you keep running into your Opiate dealer or your cell phone rings because your friends are looking to get high. It is important to remove yourself from such environment until you are taught how to deal with triggers and negative situations and emotions. What sets inpatient apart from other forms of treatment is the medically managed detoxification process. Here you will receive medication to help with the withdrawal symptoms associated with detox. This is done through a tapper method with a few drugs. A doctor and nurses will monitor you through your Opiate withdrawal process to make sure your body is reacting in a safe manner.

Inpatient treatment comes in the form of 30, 60 or 90 day programs, usually includes one on one therapy, group therapy, and addiction education. These therapies are important because they will touch every aspect of your life in a positive way and help you beat your addiction and move on to better things. Not all inpatient treatment centers are the same, contact us today to find the best treatment facility for you or your loved one. – Learn More

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient treatment programs are another option when it comes to getting clean off of Opiates. It is best to enter into outpatient treatment after going through a medical detox, this helps to get you over the withdrawal symptoms that may lead you back to Opiates. A person who is enrolled into an outpatient program usually travels to the office multiple times a week for one on one therapy or group therapy.

These programs allow for the person to continue to go to work, school or take care of family obligations while still seeking help for their addiction. It also helps keep the addicted individual close to loved ones that are supportive. However, it does not remove the individual from the surroundings and temptations that are always present for an addict in early recovery. This program works for many people if they are determined to put forth the effort to change.

Even if the individual is willing to do whatever it takes to recover, it may be difficult for him or her to avoid relapse while in the same environment. Getting inpatient rehab treatment for an Opiate addiction is a better route. When an individual completed inpatient rehab, he or she should then go to outpatient to proceed in their recovery and prevent relapse. If there is no possible way an individual can attend inpatient, recovery is certainly possible with outpatient. It would be smart to pair it up with another support group such as a 12-step program. The two programs will keep the addicted individual busy giving him or her less time to think about abusing Opiates. – Learn More

  • What Is Outpatient Rehab Like for Opiate Addiction?
    In outpatient, you will attend therapy a few times a week that will teach you how to manage your addiction to Opiates.
  • How Successful is Outpatient Rehab for Opiate Addiction?
    Outpatient is most successful when taken after inpatient Opiate rehab, but that doesn’t mean it is not successful without it.


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