Opioids, by definition, are drugs that relieve pain. They can reduce the intensity of pain signals by inhibiting synapses in the brain, and they’re incredibly useful in the medical industry.
The problem is, it’s easy for these drugs to be misused; even for patients that receive legal prescriptions for legitimate reasons, these drugs are so potent and powerful that the process of developing opioid dependence can happen before the patient even realizes it.
Today, opiate addictions are very common — and they’re also very dangerous. It’s estimated that around 1.9 million Americans are addicted to prescription opioids, and every single day around 2,500 teens consume a prescription pain reliever. It’s common for people with prescription drug dependencies to turn to street drugs, such as heroin, because it’s cheaper than the prescriptions. The danger here is that, for the 75% of Americans turning away from prescriptions and toward heroin, the risk of fatal overdose increases substantially since none of the ingredients are regulated.
Luckily, there are plenty of treatment options available at addiction treatment centers for patients suffering from opiate dependency.
Medications such as Vivitrol and Suboxone can be prescribed for treatment of opioid dependence. These medications are typically distributed by addiction treatment centers or by independent physicians. Some of these medicines work by mitigating the effects of withdrawing from an opioid, while others help patients during the recovery process by blocking the effects of opioids on the brain.
Inpatient and outpatient behavioral treatments are also important parts of addiction treatment. This may include group therapy, family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy… The possibilities are virtually endless and they can be personalized to fit the needs of each patient.
Of course, the most effective way to reduce drug addictions is to prevent them from happening at all — but the fact is that drug addictions do happen, even to successful and happy people.
The important thing to remember here is that there are a variety of approaches for addiction treatment, and there isn’t one perfect approach that will work for every person, every time. It’s an ongoing process, and with the right assistance, every patient can find the strength to overcome their dependency.