Opiates are highly addictive, meaning that those who use them need increasing amounts over time to achieve the same effect. Many people originally take opiates like codeine or morphine because their doctor prescribed them to help manage serious pain. Unfortunately, opiates’ addictive nature poses many risks. Even those who had no intention of using opiates beyond their original prescription often end up doing so because the drug is so habit-forming.
If you’d like to learn more about getting help for opiate addiction near you, call 833.448.0127 or reach out online to talk to a staff member at Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery. We specialize in precisely the type of treatment that’s considered the safest and most effective for opiate recovery.
What Are Opiates and What Makes Them Habit-Forming?
Opiates are a class of drug that occurs in nature, originally derived from the poppy plant. They’re very similar to opioids, which are semisynthetic or synthetic opiates. Opiates’ basic medicinal function is to treat pain or cause sleep. All contain opium or are derived from it. Opiates commonly used both legally and illegally include:
Used in large doses or for an extended period, opiates produce a potent high. This is due to their ability to replace natural brain chemicals, neurotransmitters, which are linked to feelings of pleasure, reward, and habit formation. Unlike neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, however, opiate action creates abnormal messaging throughout the nervous system.
They also make it difficult to feel the same amount of stimulation from pleasurable non-drug-related activities. These activities, which include eating, socializing, and sex, previously represented peak experiences. This feature, in particular, contributes to opiates’ habit-forming nature. Long term, opiates also disrupt natural mood-regulating neurotransmitter production and function. This can lead to symptoms like depression and anxiety when a person stops using the opiate.
Features of Treatment Programs Providing Opiate Addiction Help
Getting professional help is the most reliable way to support opiate addiction recovery and long-term success in sobriety. A treatment program typically begins with medication-assisted detox. This means you or your loved one will receive medication to manage the more challenging withdrawal symptoms. Among these side effects are nausea, temperature fluctuations, vomiting, anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal issues, and flu-like symptoms. Your doctor will assess your unique treatment needs, monitor your responses to medications, and adjust as needed. Medications like suboxone or buprenorphine can greatly increase your comfort during withdrawal.
Other key features of opiate treatment include:
- Talk therapy administered one-on-one – Cognitive-behavioral therapy is especially useful since it focuses on reframing negative thoughts. It also helps patients identify and manage their triggers.
- Dual diagnosis – When appropriate, a dual diagnosis may be given during treatment. This means that providers have identified an underlying mental illness like depression or bipolar disorder in your substance abuse behavior. Providers then work to treat the mental health concern at the same time that they facilitate addiction recovery.
- Group therapy – Working with a peer group of others in recovery can help in many ways. It greatly increases patients’ sense of community, accountability, and ongoing support.
- Family therapy – This form of treatment involves patients’ loved ones in the healing journey. It allows families to repair damaged relationships and build a strong support system for long-term sobriety.
Learn More About Opiate Addiction Treatment at Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery
If you or your loved one is coping with addiction to opiates, remember you’re not alone. While opiates’ synthetic forms, opioids, get more attention in the news, opiate addiction remains common and gravely serious. The good news is that treatment can be highly effective. Call Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery at 833.448.0127 or reach out to us online to begin the healing journey today.