Opioid addiction is a significant concern among many individuals today. However, several people want positive change in their lives. The journal JAMA notes that one in four people who abuse opioids seek treatment. As more options become available, the number of interested persons will likely rise. Opioid treatment remains the most effective way to overcome substance dependence.

In many cases, opioids may become such a significant part of a user’s life that their bodies cannot function without the drug. This condition is known as dependence. When someone becomes dependent on opioids, they should consider treatment.

What Is the Difference Between Addiction and Dependence?

Addiction and Dependence

As mentioned before, dependence deals with a chemical dependency on the drug. When someone takes opioids for the first time, it may lead to a feeling of euphoria and happiness.

Endorphins trigger these feelings. Opioids make an individual’s brain release these chemicals. Unfortunately, the more of these chemicals in a person’s brain there are, the harder it is for them to recapture the same feelings. Over time, the person becomes dependent on the drug to the point where they cannot get endorphins without taking the substance.

Dependence happens when the body starts requiring the substance to function normally.

However, addiction goes one step further. When someone is addicted, they make questionable decisions when it comes to acquiring the substance. They may disregard safety precautions and legal stipulations in their search for the drug. At this stage, the person’s everyday physical and social life starts falling apart.

Confronting Opioid Use Disorder

Opioids can sometimes be legitimate painkillers. In some cases, individuals with opioid dependence have been prescribed these medicines by their doctors.

Legitimate concerns such as excruciating pain may prompt a doctor to prescribe opioids. These drugs are designed to block pain receptors in the brain to reduce the discomfort someone feels.

The side effect is causing the person to produce dopamine, leading to an accidental high. When the pain is no longer an issue, these individuals are still stuck using the substance. Doctors usually keep their prescriptions for patients who really need painkillers.

If a person can no longer get the drug from their physician, they may start hunting for alternatives. Street drugs such as heroin and fentanyl produce the same effects but are far deadlier.

Additionally, if caught carrying these drugs, a person may end up in jail.

Many people in the grip of an opiate use disorder don’t see the negative impact of their actions. They are solely focused on obtaining the substance so that they can get their fix.

It may be tempting to force the person into an opioid treatment center in such a state, but the results might be disastrous. These individuals may not be ready to face the facts about their lifestyle.

In such a case, they might act out and even deny treatment methods for their own good. It takes the person to say enough if enough on their own. Having a support network they can rely on will help, but the ultimate decision is their own.

What Is An Opioid Treatment Center?

Opioids are dangerous substances. To ensure that a person has all the medical and psychological support they need to leave the substance behind, opioid treatment centers came into being.

These centers are concerned with offering top-notch care for someone suffering from substance use disorder. An opioid addiction rehab center usually has staff that’s trained to handle all types of emergencies. They also provide therapy sessions and in-house psychologists.

These professionals deal with the underlying causes of addiction to help a person recover from their substance use disorder.

The Stages in Opioid Recovery

Opioid recovery is like most other drug treatment programs. A person seeking recovery passes through several stages in the process. Most opioid addiction rehab centers can track each of these stages and deliver care to individuals to help them remain dedicated to their cause. But what are these stages in opioid recovery?

Opioid Treatment Center

Step 1: Treatment Initiation

This stage is one of the most vital steps to ensure the success of a treatment program. At the start of treatment, a person would need to give up their opioids voluntarily.

Reaching out to a professional rehab center is usually where this stage starts. Most people who enter this stage of treatment have misgivings about giving up a life they know. However, getting to this point usually means going through a lot of mental and physical trauma.

When someone decides to take this route, it’s a life-changing decision. In a few cases, the individual may need help to follow through with this decision.

Opioid treatment centers have staff that can help with counseling for walk-in visitors. The person might consider that their drug habit isn’t as bad as others. They may even think about backing out of treatment once they get to the center.

The staff present at the treatment center can have a chat with the incoming recoveree.

Through understanding gestures and discussion, they can help the recoveree cement their decision to continue with treatment.

At this stage, the person’s drug history will be recorded, as well as any other conditions that they may have that might prove an issue later on.

Step 2: Early Abstinence

The early hours of leaving a substance behind are among the hardest. Because dependence evokes such intense pressure on the person, the first few days are crucial in overcoming substance abuse. Withdrawal symptoms can make life difficult for a person.

These symptoms may vary, depending on how long the person has been using the substance and when the last time they used it was. These may include several conditions that could lead to dangerous outcomes.

Most rehab treatment facilities have medical staff on hand to help deal with these situations before they lead to complications. They monitor new recoverees throughout their first few days in the facility.

The withdrawal symptoms usually abate within four days. When this happens, a person might be tempted to think they beat the substance.

However, physical recovery isn’t the same as complete recovery.

Psychological dependence still exists. During the next few days to weeks, treatment centers would engage in therapy to help them overcome their psychological dependence on the substance.

These treatment methods differ, depending on the facility. The aim is to help a person deal with their triggers to be dragged back into their old lifestyle.

Social pressure and cravings are usually the most significant factors affecting individuals at this stage in the process. In acute cases, a person may need to stay at the facility for some time to help them deal with their condition. Inpatient treatment can last for up to thirty days in some cases.

Step 3: Maintaining Abstinence

Within three months of the initial withdrawal, a person will enter the stage with a track record for staying away from the substance.

This stage usually sees individuals regain parts of their life they had previously lost to their substance use disorder. Maintaining abstinence usually leads to a person taking up healthy alternatives to their behavior.

These healthy behaviors help to avoid a relapse. They channel the person’s energy into something helpful and positive. Tools that psychologists may have suggested during the early stages of treatment are used at this step.

Many treatment facilities offer long-term support in the form of outpatient clinics and support groups. These can provide an excellent resource for individuals that need to rebuild their network after their recovery.

Step 4: Advanced Recovery

People who get to this stage are no longer affected by the substance they once used so much.

They can say no to the substance without even thinking about it. In advanced recovery, a person can establish a routine that they can stick to. They set up long-term goals that they can work towards.

They can form social relationships that aren’t impacted by their previous substance use disorder. This stage is where someone achieves full recovery and can once again contribute to society in a meaningful way. It’s the end goal of the entire process of rehabilitation.

How An Opioid Addiction Rehab Center Helps

A rehab center is usually the first stop for someone trying to overcome a substance use disorder. They provide valuable tools for someone who wants to leave their dependence and addiction behind. Rehab centers offer support to recoverees in many ways and help guide them through the recovery process one step at a time.


Detox is the first stage of recovery. When someone has been using a substance for a long time, their brain’s chemistry changes. If that person stops using the drug, the body reacts violently to its absence. Opioids demonstrate several withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • inability to sleep
  • excessive sweating and chills
  • anxiety
  • yawning
  • runny nose
  • teary eyes
  • restlessness

After the first day or so, symptoms become more intense and may include:

  • rapid heartbeat leading to high blood pressure
  • dilated pupils and blurry vision
  • vomiting and nausea
  • abdominal cramping and diarrhea
  • goosebumps on the skin

The second stage of symptoms may sometimes lead to medical emergencies. Opioid treatment centers usually have nurses and doctors on call to deal with these situations if they occur. Withdrawal may last for up to four days. Being in a treatment facility ensures that the personnel dealing with emergencies are on hand to help.

Inpatient Opioid Treatment

Some facilities offer inpatient treatment options for their clients. An inpatient treatment center is best for acute substance use disorder. Even so, individuals who have any dependence can benefit from an inpatient stay.

Inpatient facilities offer the benefit of isolating the person from an environment that might lead to relapse. The individual doesn’t have to deal with triggers that could lead them back towards using the substance.

On-site therapists start teaching a person coping mechanisms to overcome their cravings and psychological dependence on the drug. The therapy methods differ, depending on the type of approach the facility prefers.

Clients can typically book a stay at an inpatient facility for anywhere between fifteen and thirty days.

Outpatient Treatment

An alternative to inpatient treatment is outpatient treatment. In these treatment scenarios, the responsibility for staying off the substance falls to the recoveree.

It’s a huge responsibility, but outpatient attendees can usually manage it. In an outpatient setting, the person doesn’t have to stay at the facility. They are required to attend scheduled meetings and therapy sessions.

Individuals who are well on their way to recovery can benefit from this type of treatment. They don’t need to interrupt their lives but fit the treatment schedule into what they’re already doing.

Usually, individuals who have reliable transport options benefit the most from outpatient treatment.

Support Groups for Opioid Treatment

In addition to inpatient and outpatient treatment, these facilities’ long-term support options include specifically designed support groups. These groups can help create a welcoming and non-judgmental environment where the person can reflect on their current progress.

These support groups are great for giving moral support to a recovering person. In some cases, a support group can form the basis for future friendships.

Support groups usually have the aim of helping others. Peer support has been shown to have a significant impact in preventing relapse in recoverees.

Having people who a recoveree can be accountable to helps increase their will to stay the program’s course.

Coming Home to Pathfinders Recovery Center

Choosing a suitable opioid treatment facility is critical to the success of the process. The facility should have staff that’s trained to deal with both medical and psychological recovery.

Therapists should have a variety of methods of engaging recoverees and helping them overcome their cravings. Inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities should be affordable and understanding.

Pathfinders Recovery Center offers our visitors that support. We give attendees the peace of mind that they’ll be in good hands. Medical staff and therapists are there to help newcomers find their feet on their road to recovery.

If you’re looking for a facility that wants to see you succeed, contact us today. We’ll be glad to help you understand the intricate dance from detox to full recovery.


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