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Opiate Treatment Program

Opiate Treatment ProgramEnding a hardship of profound proportions

Opiate dependency is probably the most difficult and harmful form of drug addiction.

It is estimated that between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide, with an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012 and an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin.

The consequences of this abuse have been devastating and are on the rise, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals at least 15,000 people die every year from prescription opiates alone.

Sovereign Health Group is a residential rehabilitation treatment company for substance abuse, mental health disorders and dual diagnosis. Our expert staff provides our patients with cutting-edge treatment programming and a full continuum of therapeutic care monitored by various licensed health professionals.

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What are opiates?

Opiates are organic opioid alkaloids found in the seeds of the opium poppy plant, belonging to the benzylisoquinoline group of alkaloids. Opiates alleviate pain by enhancing the effects of the neurotransmitters called endorphins, reduce anxiety by depressing body functions and reactions, and if taken in large doses, create a strong euphoric feeling of well-being that can be highly addictive.

Opiates include opium, heroin, morphine, codeine and thebaine, all of which affect the central and peripheral nervous systems, inhibiting neurotransmitter release of three major opioid receptors in the body. Habitual use of opiates causes the body to cease production of its endorphins (responsible for killing pain), leading to extremely agonizing withdrawal symptoms in case of an abrupt cessation.

Effects of opiate abuse

Opiates are very strong analgesics, capable of producing feelings of euphoria, elevated heart rate, mood swings and a hedonic or rewarding effect, playing a major role in its strong psychologically addictive properties.

The effects of opioids are typically mediated by specific subtypes of opioid receptors that are activated by the body’s own (endogenous) opioid chemicals (endorphins, encephalins).   Repeated administration of opioid drugs (prescription or heroin) inhibits the production of endogenous opioids, accountable for the resulting discomfort when the drugs are discontinued.

Early symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

Advanced symptoms include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goose bumps
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Opioid withdrawal reactions even though very uncomfortable, are not life-threatening. Symptoms usually start within 12 hours of the last heroin usage and within 30 hours of the last methadone exposure. Upon withdrawal, it can produce deep feelings of depression, intestinal pain, vomiting, constipation, insomnia, cramps and panic attacks.

Opiates’ effect on the brain’s reward system commonly causes behavioral changes leading to mood swings as well as a loss of interest in interpersonal relationships.

Treatment with Sovereign

Recovery from opiates is considered to be the most difficult of all. According to statistics released by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), 90 percent of addicts relapse within their first year of completing a rehab program.

To eradicate such complexities, our programs offer a variety of treatments that include detox medications, holistic therapies, family counseling, physical and psychological health evaluations, opiate abuse and health education as well as anger/denial management and 12-step Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

Treatment involves supportive care and medications. The medical director chooses the detox regimen and it varies from person to person. Sovereign typically uses suboxone to detox from opiates.

Completing detox subdues the physical effects of narcotic addiction and opioid withdrawal. But experts say psychological and social factors are the main drivers that push addicts back to using. Stress and situations that remind the brain of the drug’s pleasure are common triggers. Sovereign avoids any extreme measures for rapid detox as they can considerably raise chances of death.

Detoxification alone, without ongoing treatment, is not adequate to manage patients. Patients often benefit from cognitive behavioral, supportive, or analytical-oriented psychotherapies if they are recommended to standard drug counseling.

Group therapy is especially effective, as it focuses on denouncing the social stigma attached to having lost control of a substance. The presence of other group members who acknowledge having similar problems can provide support and be therapeutic in developing alternative methods of maintaining abstinence.

At Sovereign Health, we provide you with an all-encompassing approach to fight addiction at all physiological, psychological, social and spiritual levels, to help you regain complete control of your life and enjoy a sustained recovery.

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