Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is a complex disease characterized by compulsive use of opiate or opioid drugs even when there is a desire to stop or when consuming the drugs brings more harm than good. Even though healthcare providers sometimes prescribe them to treat pain, consistent use of legally prescribed or illegal opiate medications can result in an OUD. In 2018, more than 2 million Americans suffered from opioid use disorder, resulting in around 47,000 deaths.
The underlying causes of opiate addiction are not fully understood, but different factors such as family history, current lifestyle, and social circle are known to contribute to the disorder. Similar to other illnesses, OUD has specific signs and a pattern of progression, which can only be controlled with the help of a proper treatment program.
What are Opiates?
Opiates and opioids are narcotics that interact with nerve cells to reduce pain. Prescription opiates are intended to treat acute pain, especially after surgery or injury. Examples of prescription opiates include fentanyl, codeine, oxymorphone, and oxycodone. Heroin is another type of opiate that is derived from morphine and is generally used for recreational reasons. Opiates and opioids can become highly addictive not only because they minimize pain but also induce feelings of euphoria. Combined with a high tolerance, the result is usually an opioid use disorder. Short-term use of opiates does not result in the development of OUD, especially when you carefully read and follow the prescription instructions.
Symptoms of Opioid Use Disorder
- Consuming more significant quantities of opiates or consuming them over a longer time than required.
- Feeling a strong compulsion to use opiates.
- Continuously failing to cut down on opiate consumption.
- Using opiates despite experiencing its adverse effects on personal and professional life.
- Spending a lot of time acquiring, using, and recovering from the side effects of the drug.
- Prioritizing opiates use over fulfilling obligations at work, home, or school.
- Using opiates even in physically dangerous situations, such as driving or operating machinery.
- Continuing to use the drug despite experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms and physical and mental health problems.
- Developing a high tolerance to opiates. This means you are now consuming a larger quantity to derive the same effects.
The probability of developing dependence on opiates is higher compared to other drugs. This is because opiates activate strong reward centers in your brain, making them highly addictive. They instantly trigger your brain to release endorphins, which can reduce your pain perception and induce feelings of ecstasy. Once the drug wears off, the happy sensations also disappear. Opiate users thus feel a powerful urge to continue abusing the substance to retain that feeling of euphoria. The time needed for a person to become dependent on opiates is concise, requiring only four to eight weeks. Extended opiate use can worsen chronic pain due to its long-term harmful effects on pain signaling in the body. People who use opiates consistently can experience severe withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Tremors and chills
- Irritability and restlessness
- Depression or anxiety
- Compulsive cravings
- Vomiting and nausea
- Increased palpitations and blood pressure
- Disturbed sleep schedule
- High fever
- Dilated pupils and bloodshot eyes
- Generalized pain in different parts of the body
What is the Best Treatment for Opiate Addiction Treatment in West Palm Beach, FL?
Florida has no one-size-fits-all opiate addiction treatment program in West Palm Beach, FL, and the best plan considers the patient’s needs, substance abuse history, and current environment. Since OUD is a chronic illness that has a high probability of relapse and recovery, continuing care is a must for it to be effective. Different types of addiction treatment options for opiate use disorder in West Palm Beach, FL, include:
Outpatient Counseling for Substance Use Disorder in West Palm Beach, FL
Counseling is a fundamental part of OUD treatment and is usually coupled with the appropriate medications. It is done with a licensed health professional or clinician in the same place where the medications are given or outside the treatment setting. Outpatient therapy comes in different forms, including individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and couple’s therapy. The frequency of sessions is determined by the healthcare provider or addiction counselor, depending on the patient’s needs and current progress. The core focus of this type of addiction treatment is to help individuals address personal, professional, or social problems that may be contributing to their substance use disorder. Moreover, it helps them improve feelings of self-worth, allows them to navigate difficult situations at home or work, and encourages them to avoid people who might be triggers.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) in West Palm Beach, FL
IOP in West Palm Beach, FL, are addiction treatment programs targeting substance use, depression, or other dependencies that do not require 24/7 supervision or detoxification. It allows patients to have an everyday life outside the rehabilitation center, thus giving them more flexibility and control over their daily life. IOPs are comprehensive programs that adhere to a strict schedule and teach patients valuable coping skills through group therapy, support groups, and educational classes. Topics generally prioritized include self-care, vocational skills, relapse prevention, and stress management. An intensive outpatient program requires patients to attend 10 hours of treatment per week, lasting anywhere between 8 to 10 weeks.
Residential Treatment Program
Residential programs are 24/7, a live-in treatment program that offers intensive rehabilitation services for opioid use disorder. This type of addiction treatment is perfect for those who require high-level care and a change of environment to feel fully supported and safe. A residential program usually provides patients with round-the-clock medical supervision, making it ideal for opiate users who experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
Almost all addiction treatment programs for opiate use in Florida require medication. The type of medication that a healthcare professional will prescribe to the patient will depend on their particular needs and the treatment setting. The most common medications used to treat opiate addiction are naltrexone, buprenorphine, and methadone. For medications to be fully effective, it is important to pair them with the proper outpatient counseling. If used correctly, these medications will help the patient manage their current addiction without creating a new one.
Get Help for Opiate Addiction in West Palm Beach, FL
We at Olympic Behavioral Health offer a wide array of opiate addiction treatment programs in all of FL. Depending on your needs and substance history, we can offer the right treatment plan to ensure long-term recovery in a safe environment.