Opioid addiction is a growing epidemic in the United States. Although many people mainly associate heroin and morphine with opioid use, the most consumed opioid drug in the country is something as common as prescription pain medication.
Prescription pain pill addiction is almost commonplace in the U.S. In fact, the year 2010 saw the writing of 210 million prescriptions for opioids, with 12 million people taking them for non-medical reasons. Prescription drug abuse has become rampant, in part, due to how easy the drug is to obtain.
About 20 percent of people are prescribed opioids at some point in their lives to treat pain. While these drugs can be beneficial when taken for a prescribed amount of time, they can also be highly addictive. Abusing medication is disturbingly easy as well, and can occur with actions as simple as:
- Taking more than intended
- Taking someone else’s prescription
- Taking it to get high
The ease of obtaining pain medication and how easily people can become addicted to it explains how opioid prescription medication addiction has become a national crisis.
Identifying the signs of addiction can be an important first step in taking control of a suspected addiction to pain medication. These signs may not be noticeable unless the patient pays close attention, so it is important to stay aware of changes in your body when taking medication.
Sign 1: Euphoria
Feelings of noticeable elation and euphoria are often the first sign of an addiction. After all, when trying to get rid of the pain, the patient wants to feel the opposite and feel great. This switch between controlled medication and drug abuse is hardly noticeable because it feels like the medication’s intended effect. Any minute not spent with pills takes that desired feeling away and might even cause confusion or mood swings.
Sign 2: Gastric Problems
One of the more common side effects of opioid prescription addiction is gastric issues. These stomach-related problems range from obnoxious and short-term to long-term and severe. Some of the common symptoms of gastric problems during opioid addiction include:
- Intestinal ileus
- Bowel perforation
Sign 3: Tolerance
People who use opioid pain medication regularly can develop a tolerance to the prescription pills. The person might have consumed so much of the drug that the euphoric effect no longer works. The patient starts to crave the high more and wants to relieve that craving. A search to replicate it happens by:
- Doctor shopping (getting different medications from different doctors)
- Upgrading to more potent, cheaper alternatives like heroin
Dangers of Self-Detox
After recognizing the problem as addiction, the next step is seeking treatment. Most people agreeing to medication assisted treatment (MAT) do so to help them slowly cope with the withdrawal effects while undergoing counseling. Others choose to detox without the use of any medications.
A person cannot safely and successfully attempt non-medical detox alone. The withdrawal symptoms that manifest after detox are aggressively painful. As such, the patient is very likely to relapse and return to consuming opioids to make the pain disappear.
Pain pill addiction treatment requires support and supervision from friends and family as well as medical professionals. Even in a non-medical detox program, the structure and support provided in the center can help someone navigate the withdrawal process to achieve full recovery.
The withdrawal symptoms from opioid abuse can take a toll on the body as it tries to get rid of the toxins and dependence on them. Some of the early and short-term withdrawal symptoms include:
- Muscle aches
The late onset withdrawal symptoms include:
- Craving for the drug
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal cramping
- Dilated pupils
While withdrawal symptoms are not deadly, their intensity can be enough to drive someone back into addiction. Supervised opioid rehab, whether using medication or not, offers patients the greatest chance of completing a successful detox.
Benefits of Inpatient Rehab
When attending a rehabilitation and detox program, the patient will have the option to attend either an outpatient or an inpatient treatment program. Both opioid rehab programs have durations of 30, 60, or 90 days.
Outpatient Rehab Program
An outpatient rehab program will provide a patient with the therapeutic resources needed for rehabilitation, such as a trained medical staff, counseling, detoxification, and others. The patient can take advantage of these resources while also maintaining a regular life schedule. The drawback for this option is that the patient can only take advantage of the resources a few hours a week. This is not ideal for someone with a persistent addiction or with access to prescription drugs at home.
Inpatient Rehab Program
The inpatient rehab program features the same resources as an outpatient program, such as a medical staff, detoxification, and counseling. What sets inpatient programs apart is the 24-hour access to these resources and the constant supervision. Due to the ongoing care and medical access, there are more support services to prevent relapses and to manage complications from withdrawal.
Some programs offer classes such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, fitness, nutrition, and other activities and incentives. These activities help patients focus on positive behaviors to replace their addiction, and increase the comfort of their recovery.
An inpatient residential program offers the most advantages in opioid addiction recovery increasing the chances for a successful rehabilitation.
Continuum Recovery Center
The residential inpatient addiction treatment program at Continuum Recovery Center features advantages that will benefit your recovery. From a safe, optimistic atmosphere in Phoenix, Arizona and a welcoming staff, to comfortable rooms that inspire quiet reflection, our Center is focused on helping you on your journey.
The program features clinical therapies as well as medically assisted detox to start the recovery and deal with the immediate issues. Afterward, we apply holistic and naturopathic care, which includes mindfulness teachings, IV therapy, and more. We also encourage healthy living through nutrient-rich foods, supplements, and a regular exercise routine. We not only focus on treating the symptoms of opioid addiction, but on healing the body and spirit as well.
If you or someone you care about can benefit from our inpatient recovery program, don’t wait to contact us.
Geffen has been in the field for over 20 years, and has worked in every facet of substance abuse treatment. Using his own personal experience in recovery and the education he has learned while in the field, Geffen can relate and connect with clients in a way that promotes recovery, self love and the desire for clients to achieve the best for themselves. Geffen is licensed in Arizona as a substance abuse counselor and has an IC&RC certification, as well as a life coaching certification.