One of the major health concerns in the United States is opiate abuse. Opiates are a class of drugs derived from opium, such as heroin. There are also a variety of synthetically created drugs designed to mimic opiates such as Vicodin, Norco, Klonopin and Oxycontin to name a few. These synthetic opiates are known as opioids, though the terms opioid and opiate are often used interchangeably. While most natural opiates are heavily controlled, opioids are commonly prescribed for managing pain. Many people who develop an addiction to opiates begin by taking them as prescribed, though illicit use without a prescription is also common. In either case, opiates and opioids are among the most dangerous addictive substances in the world. For a person with a dependency or addiction to opiates, professional drug treatment programs are absolutely crucial for recovery and potentially saving their lives.
Opiates have been used as pain relievers for centuries, but modern-day production of these substances has led to a dramatic rise in abuse and addiction. Opiates include a class of drugs that are considered central nervous system depressants, meaning that they reduce the activity of the heart, lungs, and brain. Opiates include heroin, which has been illegal in the United States for decades. However, many prescription painkillers are also in the opioid class of drugs. Despite being legal when prescribed for medical purposes, abuse of narcotic pain medications is on the rise.
Opiate abuse has become one of the most severe health crises in the United States. According to statistics from a 2018 HHS study, about 10.3 million people over the age of 12 had misused opiates. About 9.9 million misused prescription opioids, while 808,000 were misusing heroin. When misused, these drugs are likely to lead to serious repercussions both long-term and short-term. The specific effects vary depending on the drug in question as well as how much is used and for how long. In general, opiate misuse causes significant health risks in addition to potentially debilitating psychological effects.
Example of opiate abuse symptoms include:
- Feeling no pain
- Constricted pupils
- Slurred speech
- Slowed, shallow breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Flushed skin or itching sensations
- Hormonal disturbances
- Increased sensitivity to pain
- Bacterial infections
- Increased risk of stroke and cardiac problems
- Memory difficulty or other cognitive dysfunction
- Irresponsible behavior or risk-taking
- Major depressive disorder
- Increased risk of suicide
In addition to the above symptoms, opiate misuse has a high chance of leading to overdose which can cause cardiac arrest or even death. Without professional help from a qualified treatment facility, it is extremely difficult to overcome one’s addiction and avoid these debilitating effects. Fortunately, the science behind opiate abuse treatment has come a long way and professional help is available for those who need it. With the right help, it is possible to recover from opiate addiction and restore one’s quality of life.
When starting an opiate treatment program, the first step is to go through detox. Opiate detox is the process of removing all toxins and remnants of opiates from a person’s body. Because the chemicals in these drugs attach to opiate receptors in the brain and spinal cord, the body stops functioning normally and becomes physically dependent to the drug itself. The only way to relieve this dependency is to withdrawal from the drug completely and allow the body to adjust without it. This also leads to withdrawal symptoms which can be difficult or even impossible to manage safely on one’s own. A professional detox program, like ours at Cliffside Malibu, will help to manage these symptoms as safely and comfortably as possible.
Withdrawal symptoms for opiates include:
- Craving for the substance
- Runny nose or nasal stuffiness
- Rapid breathing
- Abdominal cramping, vomiting and diarrhea
- Muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive salivation
Opiate detox that is done without professional medical help can be extremely dangerous. In addition to the effects listed above, unsupervised detox can cause permanent cardiopulmonary system damage as well as death. At Cliffside Malibu, we provide opiate detox that minimizes withdrawal symptoms and ensures that all safety precautions are taken. We also provide you with a one-on-one consultation with a physician so that you can undergo an evaluation. Once the evaluation process is complete, the physician will then create a treatment plan that is based on your individual needs.
Opiate Rehab & Treatment
After completing the physical detox process, a period of intensive psychotherapy and other forms of treatment begins. While overcoming the physical dependency to opiates is a major step, there is still more to be done in order to create a lasting recovery. One of the most significant points of the rehab process is understanding one’s addiction and addressing the underlying factors that may have lead to it. Even when a person develops an addiction as a result of prescribed opioids, this process can still be extremely helpful. In addition to assessing one’s addiction, people are taught coping mechanisms that make it easier to adjust to life without drugs. It can also be a useful opportunity for addressing other psychological issues that may overlap with one’s addiction, such as addressing one’s relationships or emotional wellbeing that have suffered as a result.
Intensive individual therapy and group therapy are both provided following the detox process. These along with various other intensive therapeutic treatment options are the primary tools for enabling a full recovery. As state above, Cliffside Malibu takes an individualized approach, meaning our treatment programs are tailored to provide the most effective methods for each individual. In addition to various forms of psychotherapy, we also offer a number of alternative and holistic treatments. Because each person’s case is unique, it helps to have a variety of treatment options so that the most effective combination can be made for a treatment plan that enables people to make a full and lasting recovery.
Opiate Treatment at Cliffside Malibu
At Cliffside Malibu, we offer a combination of cutting edge treatment techniques, expert staff and top-of-the-line luxury to provide a comprehensive treatment program like no other. We provide a safe and secure environment for patients to undergo their treatment with caring and compassionate assistance from our team of addiction specialists. In addition to our addiction treatment, patients are treated to luxury accommodations and abundant recreational activities to make their recovery process as smooth as possible. Our facility provides an escape from the stresses of everyday life where people can focus entirely on overcoming their addiction and restoring their quality of life.
If you or anyone you know has a problem with opiate misuse or any other form of substance use disorder, please give us a call at (844) 534-2018 as soon as possible. It could very well be the most important call you’ve ever made.