The Basics of Opiate Addiction
Physicians prescribe drugs containing opiates because they are very effective. It also appears to be the case that drug companies are doing everything they can to avoid informing doctors and patients that these opiates are as addictive as they are. Because they are addictive, unsuspecting people may start to take these drugs more often than they were prescribed to be taken.
In some instances, people take these opiates according to the directions printed on the bottle, and the directions are often a little flexible. This may mean that people are taking more and more of these drugs as time goes by, and they may not even be aware that they are increasing the dose. After they become addicted, they may examine how they could have lost control without being aware of it, but the fact that they were in pain made it difficult for them to keep track of how much of the opiates they were taking.
Taking more medicine than is recommended is an extensive problem in this country, and part of the problem is that Americans look to the health industry too often to relieve them of their ills. They are unwilling to endure any amount of discomfort because they believe that the medical profession has a permanent solution for them. The truth is that people cannot expect to completely eradicate their pain. The most they can hope for is that their doctors will be able to manage the pain at a tolerable level. The belief that they should not experience any amount of pain leads those who are taking opiates to take more medication than they should. However, those who are already languishing in an opiate addiction are not lost because they can obtain help.
Who Becomes Addicted to Opiates?
When people think of an opiate addiction, they tend to think of the heroin addict with a needle in the arm or the Oxycontin addict. Since prescription drugs also contribute to opiate addictions, opiate addicts can be anyone who has suffered an accident or illness and received opiates as treatment. An opiate addiction can happen to anyone.
The Solution to the Opiate Addiction
One way of overcoming an opiate addiction is to enroll in a rehab treatment center. Once there, opiate addicts can start the detoxification process and enter into counseling. Most people think of the inpatient program first when they are considering how they will help their family members who are opiate addicts. This solution works, but it is not the only option that people have.
Detox for an opiate addict is very important because the withdrawal symptoms are often more severe than they are for many other drugs. In a medical setting, opiate addicts can receive the drug Suboxone that will work to relieve the withdrawal symptoms. If they were to begin the detox process on their own, they, most likely, would not be able to survive the withdrawal symptoms without taking their opiate-based medications again.
After they complete the detox portion of the program, patients are ready to obtain counseling. They will meet for group counseling, attend lectures and meetings and receive individual counseling as well. This type of therapy is very good for those who have recognized that they have a problem and genuinely want to overcome it. They also have the choice of outpatient rehab treatment, counseling and drug maintenance therapy without checking into a residential rehab center. A 12-step program can even work for opiate addicts.
In selecting a rehabilitation program, opiate addicts need to choose one that will lead to their personal growth in the long term. Opiate addicts might find that they can stop taking their drugs for a short period of time on their own, but they will need to devote themselves to being drug-free if they are going to remain that way for life. One thing that every addict knows is that their addictions completely infiltrate their lives, including their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being and their relationships. If opiate addicts do not examine the physical, emotional, spiritual and social sides of their addictions, they are unlikely to remain drug-free forever. They must stop procrastinating so they can continue on a journey of self discovery that leads them toward accomplishing the goals they have set for themselves.