Your Options for Treating Opiate Addiction

Treatement options for opiate withdrawalOpiate addiction changes the way your mind and body works which is why getting off it cannot be done without the help of trained medical professionals. They can make sure that you recover from the withdrawal process without causing any serious damage to your physical and psychological well-being. Years of study about opiate addiction have allowed experts to come up with different treatment options for those who want to get clean. What works for one does not necessarily work for the other and in picking a treatment option for your recovery from opiates consider how long you have been addicted and your individual personality to assess the effectiveness of each option.

Detoxification

The first phase of your treatment will involve going through detoxification and withdrawal from the opiates. During detoxification it is recommended that you check yourself into a detox or rehab facility. This ensures that your withdrawal phase is under the supervision of medical professionals who can monitor your health all throughout the process. This will especially benefit those who have been on opiates for a long time because long term use may have already resulted to serious damage to their bodies and the detox effect is expected to be more intense for them.

Medications

The use of medications have been found effective in reducing the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms and curbing the cravings that opiate addicts may have to increase the chances of success of the treatment. This is usually recommended for long term users to help ease them into recovery and over time the amount of medication prescribed to them will be slowly tapered off until they are finally ready to get off the medication.

Methadone therapy is the most common medication prescribed for the treatment of opiate addiction and is dispensed under medical supervision. Methadone is used to avoid the extreme highs and lows that recovering addicts go through during withdrawal which could be dangerous to their health. Buprenorphine is another medication that is used to treat opiate addiction. This has a mild opiate like effect and is preferred by those who cannot go every day to Methadone clinics for medication because it is available in tablet form and can be administered without the need for supervision.

There is a serious risk in these treatment options. Methadone and Buprenorphine are synthetic opiates. They reason they are effective in curbing opiate withdrawal symptoms is because the user is in fact still taking opiates. Most people do not know this, but more overdoses occur from Methadone than heroin.

Instead of working to immediately end an addiction, this type of treatment seeks to slowly wean someone off of it. That can be risky because the addict is not really facing and overcoming their addiction. The chance of relapse is often times greater.

To speed up the detox, some addicts will choose to quit cold turkey. This can make the withdrawal more intense, but will get their body detoxed faster. There are supplements available that can curb some of the withdrawal symptoms and make them a little more bearable.

Another option is a hybrid of the two methods. The patient can keep taking Methadone or Buprenophine, but in smaller doses to get off of it faster, while pairing it with a supplement like Elimidrol to ease the withdrawal.

Behavioral Treatment and Therapy

After the drugs have been flushed out of your system through detoxification or the use of medications, the next phase of your treatment will involve addressing your behavior and psychological issues. This part of the treatment is just as important as going through withdrawal because it ensures that you are on the right track to recovering from opiates. Going through detox will be pointless if you fail to address the reason why you are taking drugs. Failing to identify this will not give you the proper mindset to cope and deal with cravings and triggers as they come.

According to therapists, addiction to opiates could be a result of issues with how you reward or punish yourself and behavioral treatment will help you identify other ways to find pleasure and feel good about yourself as well as effective ways to cope with problems that come your way. Individual counselling and group therapy will help address any emotional problem that you may be running away from which caused you to turn to drugs for temporary relief.

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Symptoms of opiate withdrawalOnce a person has become addicted to opiates for a long period, the absence of opiates in their system can cause a wide array of symptoms to appear. Withdrawal symptoms are the body’s way to telling you that it needs to take in opiates immediately in order to function normally as it has become dependent on it due to long term use.

Opiates can change the way your mind and body functions and the change can be so dramatic that your body is wired to think that opiates is essential to its existence. This is the reason why all opiate addicts fear going through withdrawal because the symptoms can be so severe and the absence can put so much stress on the body as it strives to adjust and restore its normal function.

The severity and the length of time that one experiences withdrawal symptoms depends on how long you has been addicted and the type of opiate you are addicted to. But though it’s different for every person, one thing remains the same. Going through withdrawal can be so uncomfortable and dangerous. But knowing what to expect before going through withdrawal will help you find ways to ease the symptoms and make the duration of your detoxification more bearable.

Opiate withdrawal symptoms would usually last for 5-6 days and most of the time you will be out of the woods after this period. There are some recovering addicts who say that they still experience some withdrawal symptoms a couple of months after detox, but these symptoms should be easier to manage given the proper follow up with counselling and group therapy.

The first 2-3 days are usually the worst part of the withdrawal period. It is during this time that the rate of relapse is the highest because it is the peak of an addict’s detox. You should start feeling the withdrawal symptoms kick in about 12 hours from when the last dose of opiates were taken. You will feel extremely painful muscle aches, diarrhea, profuse sweating, loss of appetite, and insomnia. You will also have some flu-like symptoms like runny nose, lacrimation, and a general feeling of malaise. You will experience panic attacks, anxiety, and depression.

By day 3, the muscle aches and pains should have lessened and you will generally start feeling better. You will still continue to experience some withdrawal symptoms like abdominal cramps, vomiting, shivers, goose bumps, nausea, high blood pressure, dilated pupils, and increased heart rate. You will still find it difficult to keep your food down, but the diarrhea should start easing up at about this time because you no longer have any food to pass out because you couldn’t keep anything down for the past few days.

From the 6th day onwards, you will find that you will regain your appetite and you can slowly keep your food down. This will be the best time to get up, get out, and start getting some light exercise in during the day to keep your blood going. The symptoms that may come up every now and then should be very tolerable and more manageable.

What Makes Medications With Opiates So Addictive?

OpiatesHeroin is the most common drug for addicts that most people are familiar with. You may not know that heroin belongs to a type of medication, called opiates, that are widely prescribed by physicians to manage pain, to control diarrhea, and to relieve cough. Opiates are a class of prescription analgesics that are derived from the poppy plant which is known for its powerful pain killing properties. Heroin is the most common type of opiate that people get addicted to, but more types of opiates are being prescribed every day that are just as addicting and are just as dangerous. Some of these are morphine, codeine, hydrocodone (Vicodin), and oxycodone (OxyContin).

What makes it addictive?

It is very easy for people who are taking medications containing opiates to get addicted especially if they have high risk factors such as genetics or low coping abilities. Opiate medications provide instant relief from pain and can provide a feeling of euphoria that many people get addicted to. Opiate addiction provides a temporary escape for people who want to escape from the troubles of reality. For some, the addiction started because they just enjoyed the high from opiates too much that they ended up continuously look for it. It is for these reasons that addicts take the medication long after the period prescribed by their physician.

After some time, they fail to notice that their bodies start to become dependent on the opiates and they find it impossible to stop taking the drugs because its absence makes them physically sick. The body depends on the opiate medication in order to be free from pain and the absence of it makes the user experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms so they just end up taking more and more of it.

How does this happen? In just a matter of seconds after the introduction of opiates into the body, you can start feeling relief from pain and experience euphoria. Over time, the drugs starts to change the way the body responds to pain and the natural body process that manages pain will cease to function unless the opiate is present in the system. Your body will develop a tolerance for the drug over time and will require an increased dose in order to achieve the same feeling of euphoria. As an addict takes more and more opiates, the toxicity level in the body increases and the excessive amount of opiate in the body results to death due to overdose.

Addicts are very aware of what opiates can do to the body, but why do they refuse treatment? Quitting to get better seems to be the obvious choice, but the fear of having to go through detoxification and the withdrawal symptoms makes it hard for addicts to make a firm resolve to get better. It is not a question of good judgment or morals, they simply lost control of how their body responds and they feel that they are providing what the body needs to survive. Once addicted to opiates, you will no longer have any control of how much opiate you want to take and whether or not you should give in to your cravings. But understand that going through withdrawal is a small price to pay in order to avoid the fatal overdose. Accepting that you have a problem and that you need help is a great way to change your life for the better and start getting healthier.

Getting Help For Your Addiction

Help for addictionThe desire to get clean and be healthy is something that addicts always think about and some may have attempted to do this more than once during the course of the addiction. But the fear of failing or not being able to overcome the addiction is something that stops them to actually go through withdrawal. There are some that may have failed at their attempts to get sober but remember that getting clean is not an impossible goal. It can be done and it has been done by many before you and they are now able to get back on the saddle and are leading very productive lives.

Overcoming addiction is no easy feat. As the addiction takes over control of your mind and body, overcoming your inner demon can very unbearable for some, but remember that help is available no matter how hopeless your situation may be.

It starts with you

For any form of addiction, the admission that you need help and that you are committed to getting better is the hardest step of recovery. Family and friends cannot force an addict to seek help and go through detox if they don’t want to. The addict himself must decide that he wants things to change. Deciding to get better is not an easy choice. Many addicts fear having to go through withdrawal and this is the reason why most addicts get deeper and deeper in to their addiction.

Understand that coming to a decision to get better takes time. And if you are still torn, you may want to consider why you have to change, weigh the pros and cons of the situation. It may help if you talk this over with a person that you trust, one that you believe will listen and will not judge you. Put into consideration the things that matter to you most, do you have a spouse? Do you have kids? Do you have a work that you love? Think about what would happen to them if you continue with your addiction, what you stand to lose.

What are your treatment options?

What may have worked for one addict may not be the best treatment option for you. There are many approaches to dealing with an addiction. Take time to see what each treatment option is about to determine what you think will work for you considering your personality, the length of time that you have been addicted, and your current medical condition.

The key to treating an addiction to get to the root cause of the addiction. Not being able to identify what made you start and what keeps you partaking in the addiction will not give you the proper guidance and will to say no to cravings that may come up even if you have successfully gone through detoxification. Ignoring the cause and not being able to address this will increase the chances that you will relapse and will not give you the opportunity to identify certain triggers that might make you want to take alcohol or drugs again.

When going through detox, you should decide whether you are going to check yourself into a detox or rehab facility or just stay during the day if you have responsibilities waiting at home. If you think that you are the type that succumbs to temptation easily, then it is advisable to stay in the facility in the entire duration of your recovery.

Also, commit to attending counselling and group therapy. This is the portion of the recovery process where you can identify what deep issues you have to address that resulted to the addiction. Having your family join you in these sessions will also help them understand what you are going through and will help repair bonds that may have been broken because of the addiction. Attending group sessions with recovering addicts will also help you feel that you are not alone in these ordeal and the support of others will give you the motivation that you need to go on with your recovery during times when you feel that you are close to giving up.

Gambling Addiction in the United States

Addiction to GamblingThe economic crisis has forced the American government to rely heavily on revenue generated from gambling activities. Approval for building casinos is being released left and right and installation of slot machines has been allowed almost everywhere. As the government benefit from the profits from these activities, Americans are being encouraged to gamble and this has led to the rise of gambling addiction in the United States.

In the year 2009 and 2010, instead of raising taxes and making budget cuts, majority of the states in the US has pushed for the expansion of gambling activities in order to generate more revenue. There are 48 states that have allowed and legalized gambling in their locality and 13 of these houses commercialized casinos. The decision to legalize gambling seemed harmless until the rise of gambling addiction was documented in studies made a couple of years after.

Unlike drug or alcohol addiction, gambling is an activity that you can participate in without fear of being judged or without experiencing a certain stigma because almost everybody has experienced gambling at one point in their life. It is estimated that about 86 percent of Americans have gambled at least once in their life and about 15 to 20 million Americans have a problem with gambling addiction.

There are certain risk factors that make a person more likely to gamble and the easy access to casinos and slot machines presents an opportunity for these people to get hooked on gambling and develop an addiction over time. Making gambling a legal activity allows compulsive gamblers to partake in their addiction and continue trying to achieve the “big win” which they think will make them stop their addiction.

Just after 4 years after its legalization, gambling addiction has increased in a very alarming rate and soon it will destroy the soul of America and will affect our youth. It is a fact that the government has created millions of dollars in revenue from this action but what price do we have to pay in order to sustain national development. Many states have included education and treatment programs for gambling addiction in their local budgets but still the government is downplaying the effects of the legalization of gambling to Americans. This is in itself an admission that gambling addiction is a problem that is being felt in all the states of the United States. Gambling addiction will ruin families, can cause bankruptcy, will result to crime, and cause suicide and loss of lives so a more active role should be taken by the government to address this problem.