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Recovery from opiate and opioid addiction can be particularly difficult because of the physiological changes these drugs can cause to the body and nervous system. Opiate detox and recovery statistics show us that the recovery rates while encouraging, are still alarming.
Of the more than 20 million Americans living with a substance abuse disorder, some 591 thousand of these people were addicted to opiates or opioids. These opiate detox and recovery statistics show us that the epidemic of addiction remains an urgent problem. Yet, these same numbers show us that people can recover from opiate addiction.
In order to better understand opiate detox and recovery statistics, it is helpful to get a more thorough grasp of the nature opiate and opioid addiction. The alarming headlines which draw attention to the addiction epidemic are ubiquitous. What we really need is a real understanding of opiate addiction and opiate detox.
How Opiate Addiction Happens?
It is crucial to recognize that virtually anyone is vulnerable to opiate addiction. The length of time that you use the drugs and the amount you use will alter the likelihood of becoming addicted. Opiates are dangerously addictive, and anyone can develop an addiction to opiates. Opiate detox and recovery statistics show us that approximately 50 million people are prescribed opiates for pain management. It is important to remember that the addiction epidemic is linked to prescription drug use.
Opiates work by releasing endorphins in your brain. Endorphins are the so-called “feel-good” chemicals. How opiate addiction happens is a function of how the brain and nervous system come to rely on the drug to release these chemicals.
When you use opiates, the brain begins to rely on the drug to release naturally occurring endorphins. In time, the natural mechanisms which release these chemicals will not function without the presence of opiates. At this point, you will begin to experience cravings and discomfort without taking the drugs. Opiates effectively alter the chemistry of our brains so that a basic natural process cannot work without the drugs.
There are certain risk factors for opiate addiction
- Taking opiates in ways other than as prescribed. Taking more than prescribed or snorting them or injecting them greatly increases the likelihood of addiction.
- The longer you take opiates, the more likely you will run the risk of addiction.
- Genetic factors such as a family history of addiction predispose you to addiction.
- Social factors such as unemployment, poverty, or living in an abusive environment also increase the risk of addiction.
There are a number of other risk factors. Obviously, if you think you may have a problem with opiate use and opiate addiction, discuss these with your healthcare professionals.
Signs and Symptoms of Opiate Addiction
Since opiates stimulate endorphins in the brain, they naturally produce feelings of euphoria and extreme relaxation. These feelings are seductive and can lead to abuse of the drugs even when the drugs are legitimately prescribed.
Signs and symptoms of addiction will necessarily exceed the obvious feelings which come from normal use of the drugs.
- Noticeable elation or euphoria. When the primary benefit of opiates becomes the secondary effects of the drugs, then you have potentially started using it recreationally. This is an early sign of addiction.
- Extreme sedation and drowsiness. Abusing opiates will cause people to become extremely drowsy. “Nodding off” while doing other things is a dangerous sign and can signal the early stages of addiction.
- Constipation or diarrhea. Opiate use often affects bowel function. Opiate abuse will often cause constipation. Prolonged use will then cause diarrhea. These are both symptoms of opiate addiction.
- Doctor shopping. This is a real danger sign for opiate addiction. People who have begun to crave the drugs will “shop” for another doctor in order to increase their access to the drug. Doctor shopping is a clear sign of opiate addiction.
- Headaches, nausea, and vomiting. These are clinical signs and symptoms of opiate addiction. These types of symptoms reveal a physiological dependence on the drug. At this stage, some form of treatment is vital.
Learning to recognize the signs and symptoms of opiate addiction early on will help with recovery. The earlier we detect signs of addiction, the easier it is to treat the addiction. Opiate addiction is dangerous and nearly always requires some form of professional treatment.
Withdrawal and Detox from Opiates
How long does it take to detox from opiates?
The answer to this depends on the severity of the addiction. How long you have been using opiates will generally determine how long the withdrawal phase will persist.
The withdrawal symptoms from opiates are generally extremely uncomfortable and painful. The overall complex of withdrawal is often described as flu-like symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Low energy, irritability, anxiety, and insomnia.
- Runny nose and teary eyes.
- Hot and cold sweats
- Muscle aches and pains
- Abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Beyond these initial withdrawal symptoms, there can be a phase of post-acute withdrawal symptoms. These may include mood swings, variable energy, low enthusiasm, low concentration, and trouble sleeping.
What helps when detoxing from opiates?
The short-term approach to the pain and discomfort of detox and withdrawal is a focused detox method. For the long-term, there are therapies which can alleviate some of the symptoms of post-acute opioid withdrawal.
Therapy, social support, and on-going counseling are all parts of a comprehensive recovery program. There are pharmaceuticals available for more serious issues such as depression and severe anxiety. But again, these should be part of an overall program of recovery.
Most, if not all, of these symptoms can be alleviated with a proper opiate detox method.
Stopping the Addiction: Three Main Methods of Opiate Detox
Withdrawal from opiate addiction can be extremely uncomfortable. For this reason, opiate withdrawal and detox remain the primary impediment to stopping the cycles of addiction to opiates. However, the science of addiction treatment has kept pace with the complexities of detox.
There are now three main methods of opiate detox. These methods are adjusted according to how long an individual has been using opiates and the severity of the addiction. The goals are always to minimize pain and discomfort toward long-term recovery.
Replacement Therapy Opiate Detox
Put simply, replacement therapies are medications prescribed to take the place of the addictive opiates. These drugs do not provide the “high” which comes with the original drug. These medications are designed to minimize or relieve the painful symptoms which come with withdrawal from opiates.
The two primary replacement medications are methadone, which has been sued for decades, or buprenorphine. Both of these medications come with their own sets of side effects and potential dangers. Methadone must be administered by a professional, but buprenorphine can be obtained with a prescription.
Of major significance is that replacement therapy opiate detox can be administered on an outpatient basis. While the medications themselves must be controlled by a physician, people are able to undergo this type of treatment outside of a clinical environment.
Both methadone and buprenorphine are prescribed and administered only by licensed healthcare professionals. They operate as short-term replacements and are only meant to be used in the initial phases of opiate detox and recovery.
Both medications have been shown in scientific tests to vastly improve chances for full recovery from opiate addiction.
Traditional Opiate Detox
Generally called a medically supervised detox therapy, this method involves a stay in a clinical setting. Traditional opiate detox will entail round the clock monitoring while an individual goes through the initial phases of detox and withdrawal.
Replacement medications can be prescribed during traditional opiate detox. The primary purpose of a medically assisted detox therapy is to facilitate a successful transition from the detox and withdrawal phase to a long-range recovery program.
Rapid Opiate Detox
Rapid opiate detox (ROD), sometimes called “ultra-rapid opiate detox,” is a recent treatment option. During rapid opiate detox, patients are placed under anesthesia and given a mix of medications which accelerate and intensify the withdrawal process.
Because patients are under anesthesia, they do not feel the extreme discomfort this process would otherwise cause. The promise of rapid opiate detox is that people will experience little or no pain from the withdrawal process as they move toward a more comprehensive recovery program.
Early studies have shown rapid opiate detox to be an effective treatment for opiate addiction. In all studies, this treatment was demonstrated to be an effective part of recovery only as part of a more far-reaching and comprehensive addiction recovery program.
There are dangers associated with the rapid opiate detox treatments. The stress on the body can be significant and may be dangerous for some patients. Doctors insist that this procedure should only be undergone in a hospital setting which is equipped with emergency measures and emergency equipment.
Opiate Detox Centers
If you are living with an opiate addiction you will need to find an appropriate opiate detox center. Riverwalk Ranch provides a full medical detox facility. We are equipped with the most up to date methods. Our staff of addiction treatment professionals are trained in the most effective methods for opiate detox and treatment.
The medical detox program at Riverwalk Ranch provides a full withdrawal management protocol. We are staffed by medical professionals 24 hours a day with nursing care and a physician on-site.
The opiate detox center at Riverwalk Ranch provides a full medical detox, a residential treatment program, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient program. All of the detox programs described above are available at our facility. This makes possible the full range of medically proven methods for opiate detox and recovery.
Our detox center specializes in providing care for people who may have experienced a difficult and painful withdrawal and detox prior to coming to Riverwalk Ranch. We are equipped to provide medical, emotional, behavior, and cognitive care and counseling during this difficult phase of opiate detox.
The opiate detox center at Riverwalk Ranch is specially designed to make you are comfortable as possible during withdrawal form opiates and opiate detox. Our detox center will safely ease you towards full addiction recovery.
Opiate and Opioid Addiction Statistics
The latest statistics on opiate and opioid addiction are revealing. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of people who have died from opioid overdoses in 2017 was 6 times higher than 1999. This figure includes those who overdosed from prescription pain killers.
From 1999 to 2017 more than 700,000 people died from an opioid overdose in the United States. Contributing to the outrageous number of overdoses is the appearance of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that is vastly more potent than heroin.
Of those who develop an addiction to opiates and opioids, roughly 21 to 29 percent of these people were taking an opioid medication prescribed by a physician.
Of those who developed and addiction from prescribed opiates, roughly 4 to 6 percent transitioned to using heroin. The addiction simply overtakes people and leads to illicit drug use.
Finally, the latest opiate and opioid addiction statistics show that over 2 million people in the U.S. have some form of opioid abuse problem. These numbers are staggering
Opiate and Opioid Recovery Statistics
However, opiate and opioid recovery statistics are promising. Research demonstrates that people who complete a medical opiate detox combined with a comprehensive recovery program to recover. Following a diligent detox and recovery program of the type offered at Riverwalk Ranch leads to significant recovery rates. These recovery rates are on par with other chronic diseases such as hypertension or diabetes.
Wrapping this up
If you are struggling with opiate or opioid addiction you are not alone. The news is filled with stories about the epidemic of opioid use and addiction. Many of the people addicted to these drugs fell into the problem after using medically prescribed medications for pain.
Even as the addiction rates for opiates and opioids continue to grow, the science and practice of recovery grows accordingly. Riverwalk Ranch provides medically verified opiate detox programs.
These programs are combined with long-range recovery protocols. Our programs are designed for your specific needs. The medical detox programs are designed to minimize or eliminate the pain and discomfort of opiate detox.