Most rehab specialists agree that addiction should be considered a chronic medical condition that can never be truly “cured.” Just as people with diabetes need to make significant lifestyle changes to keep their disease under control, people struggling with addiction need to change their entire lives to keep a relapse from occurring. For many people struggling with addiction, this idea can be daunting. After all, many have structured their entire lives around their opiate addiction. They may no longer have strong ties with family members or even jobs, and some may not even have a place to call home. Instead, they’ve focused all their energies on getting the next hit.
It can be hard to imagine rebuilding a new life from the ground up. Opiate addiction treatment programs can help, as they aim to give patients the tools needed to stay sober for a lifetime. Michael’s House is an opiate rehab center in Palm Springs that offers an opiate addiction treatment program and other substance abuse treatment programs that all work with that same philosophy. Call 760.548.4032 to find out more information on the opiate addiction program in Palm Springs.
What to Expect from Opiate Addiction Treatment
Rehabilitation programs often begin after opiate detoxification ends. In cases like this, patients have no drugs in their system and have agreed to undergo an addiction treatment program to continue to work on recovery.
They begin participating in one-on-one sessions with a counselor and attending group meetings. Sometimes, they live in a facility for these treatments. Sometimes, they live at home and go through these treatments on an outpatient basis.
The Role of Family
Families may feel helpless when it comes to providing support, but there are some concrete steps families can take, including:
- Removing all drugs from the house – Opiate addicts can obtain a similar high from prescription painkillers, so those drugs remain a strong temptation. It’s best to remove that temptation altogether.
- Encouraging the addict to talk about their feelings – Providing a listening ear can immensely help.
- Attending group meetings for family members – There are several support groups for families of opiate addicts, including Nar-Anon. Families participating in these meetings can learn more about the addiction process and how they can help their loved one recover.
- Staying positive – Praising the patient’s work on recovery may be a great way to help that person stay motivated to heal.
While patients work hard on addiction treatment, the family also has a substantial role in overcoming addiction.
The Role of Medications
Ideally, a drug rehabilitation program will allow the addict to stop using all forms of drugs. Opiate rehabilitation programs sometimes take a less hard-line approach to this topic. Instead, many opiate addiction treatment programs focus on transitioning the addict from using street drugs such as heroin into physician-controlled medications such as methadone or buprenorphine. At first, this can seem like a bit of a paradox, and some patients believe they are simply substituting one addiction for another. However, providing some form of medication through the rehabilitation program and beyond can be incredibly helpful for some patients.
During the period of addiction, the body’s chemistry changes. It can take years for the body to function normally without drugs. As a result, the body may clamor for drugs for years after someone stops taking opiates. This reaction may explain why relapse rates for opiates are so very high. Medications such as methadone and buprenorphine can reduce those cravings, allowing the addict to rebuild their life, make friends, hold down a job, and otherwise begin to live normally. Medication-assisted treatment is considered an acceptable form of addiction treatment.
The Role of Therapy
In addition to medications, opiate addiction treatment programs often encourage patients to participate in counseling sessions. These therapy sessions can take many forms, including:
- Motivational interviewing – Therapists who use this technique encourage patients to think about why they want to stop abusing substances, and then the therapist tries to strengthen that resolve.
- Family therapy – In some cases, addiction has its roots in family dysfunction. Those dysfunctions can be addressed and resolved by bringing the entire family together to discuss the addiction.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy – In this common form of therapy, the addict is asked to think about why they abuse opiates and practice techniques they can use to cut cravings off before they take over.
- Contingency management – Therapists who use this form of treatment offer their clients rewards when they provide urine samples that contain no drugs. Gift cards to restaurants, gyms, and movie theaters are common rewards.
In some cases, the addict also has mental health disorders that should be addressed during therapy. These mental health concerns can stand in the way of healing and make a relapse more likely. Sometimes, a dual diagnosis treatment program is the best form of addiction treatment for these cases.
The Role of Networking Opportunities
People who abuse opiates often live isolated lives. They may feel their addiction keeps them from truly relating to others, and they may withdraw into themselves. This social isolation can feed the addiction, as the people struggling with addiction truly have no outside distraction to focus on when a craving strikes. In some cases, participating in a group meeting with other addicts can help break down that sense of isolation and help people struggling with addiction learn to make friends and relate to others.
There are several forms of community meetings for opiate abusers, including Narcotics Anonymous and the SMART Recovery program. In most cases, people struggling with opiate addiction are allowed to listen to others sharing their stories and encouraged to share their own stories. The meetings are often somewhat informal, and often, there are no fees or dues associated with attendance. These meetings can have a profound impact on the life of an addict.
Opiate Addiction Treatment at Michael’s House
If you’d like more information on an opiate addiction treatment program in Palm Springs, contact Michael’s House at 760.548.4032. The opiate rehab center in Palm Springs has a staff of rehab professionals offering a range of services, including detoxification, medication-assisted treatment, counseling, and aftercare planning.