One of the largest growing crises in the United States is opioid and prescription drug abuse. It is estimated that over 2 million people in America abuse these drugs, leading to nearly 19,000 deaths as of the latest study in 2014. As easy as it is to become addicted to these terrifying drugs, it is just as hard to kick the addiction. But there are options out there for addicts that can help them get clean once and for all.
Admission Of A Problem
The first step toward getting over any addiction is for someone to admit that they have a legitimate problem that they can’t continue on this way and genuinely want to get help. If someone is unwilling to admit an addiction at all and have no desire to get clean, it makes it infinitely harder to get them help. Start out with a light intervention and see their reception to it – some will reject it right off the bat while others will be more open to it. The key is not pushing too hard and to let them come to the conclusion themselves that their addiction has become a problem.
Getting To Detox
Once someone has admitted they have a problem and are ready to seek help for their addiction, it is time to get them to a detox facility so they can begin to process the drugs out of their body. Detox is a very tough time for an addict as their bodies go through what can be a somewhat painful experience. Many people in detox experience symptoms such as cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, shaking, hallucinations and seizures. This is one of the toughest times for a recovering addict, as their instinct will be to run back to the opiates to take away the pain they are going through.
Therapy After Detox
The end of detox generally means that the physical symptoms of withdrawal to opiates will begin to subside. But according to experts, psychological and social factors are the main things that push someone back to using opiates. Certain situations can remind an addict of the pleasure opiates gave them in the past and can drive them back to using. When a craving to use opiates arises it can be impossible for an addict to resist, even with the physical symptoms gone. There is a sense of comfort in the drugs that can easily cause someone to relapse. Because of how easy it can be for an addict to go back to using, it is important for them to use a medication such as naloxone, paired always with long-term therapy.
Counseling And Group Therapy
Once initial therapy ends after detoxing, it is important for opiate addicts to continue to seek counseling and even participate in group therapy to maintain their sobriety. Narcotics Anonymous is a 12 step program that creates a community of former addicts with a process for overcoming addiction. Methadone Anonymous is another program that promotes the value of methadone in recovery from an opiate addiction. Both of these are usually recommended to be used in conjunction with some form of counseling as well.
Opiate addiction can be an expensive and painful process, but it is far less costly than continuing to use harmful and destructive drugs.