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Recognizing the Need for Opiate Addiction Treatment

treating opiate addiction

An addiction to opiates is very strong, and takes a lot of perseverance, support, and understanding to overcome.

Opiate drugs do a good job at relieving most all types of pain, be it from an injury or from chronic conditions like cancer. Drugs, such as codeine, Demerol and Dilaudid offer effective pain relief properties unlike any other types of medication. Unfortunately, these drugs carry the same addictive potential as heroin, another opiate drug.

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, over 12 million adults reported using opiate drugs for non-medical purposes in 2010. Those who use opiates for long periods of time eventually lose the ability to stop using the drug. Once a person reaches this point, there’s a definite need for opiate addiction treatment.

Opiate Dependence vs. Opiate Addiction

While the terms “opiate dependence” and “opiate addiction” are often used interchangeably, they do differ in significant ways. Someone who’s been prescribed pain pills for a back injury can become physically dependent on the drug’s effects.

People who get to the point where they “feel” they can’t make it through the day without the drug’s effects are dealing with an addiction. Opiate addiction treatment helps addicts deal with both the physical and mental components of addiction.

Tolerance Level Increases

Over time, the brain naturally develops a tolerance for opiate effects. When this happens, a person must take larger doses of the drug to experience the same desired effects. The brain then develops a higher tolerance level, which in turn drives users to take even larger doses.

The longer a person uses the weaker brain functions become as tolerance levels continue to rise. This cycle will continue indefinitely unless a person receives needed opiate addiction treatment.

Psychological Changes

With ongoing exposure to opiate’s effects, the brain inevitably starts to develop chemical imbalances that affect a person’s emotions and perceptions. By the time most people enter opiate addiction treatment, other psychological disorders have begun to take root.

Psychological changes associated with opiate abuse include:

  • Mood swings
  • Problems concentrating
  • Depression
  • Confusion

Opiate addiction treatment helps a person replace addiction-type thinking and perceptions with a healthy outlook on life.

Changes in Behavior

As opiate addiction progresses, the drug takes on greater and greater importance in a person’s life. Eventually, a person’s motivations and actions will revolve around getting and using drugs. Unusual behaviors will surface on a more frequent basis to the point where a person’s personality and morals have changed completely.

Changes in behavior make take the form of:

  • Missing work
  • Lying
  • Stealing
  • Isolating
  • Changing social circles

Opiate addiction treatment helps recovering addicts regain their sense of self and re-establish normal, everyday lives.

Opiate Addiction Treatment

The physical and psychological pull of opiates can quickly overwhelm a person’s ability to cut back or stop using. Opiate addiction treatment programs employ a wide range of techniques for helping recovering addicts take back control of their lives.

Recognizing the need for opiate addiction treatment is the first step towards recovery. Without needed treatment the ongoing cycle of addiction will make it all but impossible for a person to break the drug’s hold on his or her life.

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