An opiate treatment center focuses on helping those with opiate addictions overcome them. Opiate addiction can affect anyone. They have long been used as painkillers. Thanks to their effectiveness, they continue to be used so today. Natural opiates such as morphine and opium are supplemented by artificially produced opioids such as hydrocodone and oxycodone.

These drugs have been used for years for recreational purposes. They interact with a person’s brain chemistry with disastrous results. The real issue of addiction and dependence comes when the time spent obtaining and using the drug becomes overbearing. In these situations, a person may realize they’re addicted and choose to stop. That’s where finding the right opiate treatment center comes in.

The Dangers of Opiates

The Dangers of Opiates

Opiates are used to suppress pain and reduce anxiety. Because of their widespread use, they’ve become quite commonly abused drugs. Opiates have the side effect of causing the brain to produce dopamine. Dopamine is known as the “feel-good” chemical because it leads to feelings of safety and euphoria when released. Opiate users can take the substance orally, intravenously, smoked, or snorted.

When individuals start taking the substance, their brain produces dopamine which leads to intense feelings of pleasure. With each subsequent dose, the person needs more of the substance to get the same feeling. This adaptation leads to the person’s brain chemistry changing to incorporate substance use, known as dependence.

Dependence itself is bad enough. If someone stops using the substance after they become dependent, they go through withdrawal. Withdrawal can be a harrowing ideal, and a person dealing with it may demonstrate several symptoms. Sometimes, withdrawal can even be life-threatening. To avoid dealing with withdrawal, a person may go to great lengths to obtain the addictive substance.

In doing so, they will disregard their own safety and the legal stipulations about getting and using the substance. This behavior is a classic example of a brain disease known as addiction. Overcoming addiction starts with understanding the problem and choosing to find a solution. Opiate abuse can cover many different substances. Yet, the symptoms that point out an affected person may be addicted remain similar.

Signs of Opiate Abuse

Opiates can have significant and lasting effects on a person’s mind and body. Many people may use opiates regularly yet not feel that they’re addicted to them. Opiate addiction shows up when people start neglecting their daily responsibilities. Simple things like changing their clothes or brushing their teeth may go overlooked. They may demonstrate symptoms of not eating enough or avoiding friends and family.

They may change their social circles often, usually chasing a group that has access to the substance. Because of the legal status of many opiates, they may end up getting in trouble with the law. They may switch between moods rapidly. Their demeanor may move from cranky to elated rapidly. They might start speaking rapidly as well, but their statements may make no sense.

Some of the social symptoms of opiate abuse include missing work or school or showing up erratically. They miss necessary appointments or fail to show up when they otherwise would. They may demonstrate signs of financial hardship, even though they may not have any severe financial burdens.

Their typical activities may lay forgotten as they engage with their new social circles. These are signs of addiction and dependence, but they may also mean other things, such as a lack of commitment in some areas. When a habit starts to break into a person’s ability to meet obligations, it becomes an addiction. Dealing with addiction at this stage is the most effective way to begin overcoming it.

Entering An Opiate Treatment Center

Opiate Treatment Center

Opiate treatment center is trained in dealing with dependence on these substances. Through a combined system of therapy and medication, individuals can overcome their reliance on these substances. Opiate treatment centers deal with the treatment of both the mental and physical symptoms of addiction. Complete recovery is the goal of the process.

Before the procedure can begin, however, a visitor will need to go through the intake stage. The medical professional may ask a few basic questions to find out more about the person’s medical history and chemical use in the past. This approach helps them to customize a treatment plan to fit each person’s unique situation. Other questions may include a look at the person’s experience with mental illness.

These screening questions are a necessary part of planning an effective treatment program. Many individuals that enter Opiate Treatment Center have other medical issues that may complicate the process of recovery. Doctors and mental health professionals both have a part to play in helping an individual recover from their substance use disorder. Discussing the procedure with the recoveree helps them to get ready for the first step in the process.

Step 1: Detoxification

When a person uses a substance over time and becomes dependent on it, its body fights any attempt to remove it. Detoxification is necessary because the person cannot leave the substance behind while it’s in their body. The chemical dependence on a drug leads to the body’s chemistry changing. From the time a person stops taking the substance, the body starts to rebel.

The person may display symptoms of not having the substance in their body. This part of the detoxification process is known as withdrawal. Most treatment facilities can cater to withdrawal symptoms with specially trained medical personnel on hand. Facilities typically monitor attendees throughout their first few days to ensure that no complications arise from detox.

Withdrawal will differ with each person, depending on the amount of time they’ve been using the substance. Those who have been exposed to it for longer tend to demonstrate more intense symptoms. During the first part of withdrawal, the person may face severe cravings for the substance. To determine how long before the symptoms start to appear, medical professionals refer to the “half-life” of the substance.

This term refers to how long it takes for the body to eliminate half of a dose of the substance. Symptoms start to get more pronounced after the half-life of the substance is reached. Oxycodone, for example, has a half-life of between three and five hours. After the half-life point is reached, cravings start to become more intense, and the person may begin to show other withdrawal symptoms. These may include:

  • a preoccupation with opiates
  • anxiety
  • frustration
  • an intense desire for opiates to return to normal
  • other physical symptoms of opiate withdrawal

This phase of detox can be managed. An individual can deal with it by performing activities that take their mind off their condition or have a discussion with support staff. Even so, as the process of detox continues, the draw becomes harder to ignore.

Symptoms become more evident as an individual hits peak withdrawal. This peak may happen anywhere between 30 and 72 hours after a person has stopped using the substance. The typical peak period is around 24 hours after stopping the intake of the substance. This peak stage demonstrates several physical symptoms such as:

  • flu-like symptoms
  • sweating
  • rapid heart rate and an increase in blood pressure
  • constipation, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • intense cravings
  • depression, anxiety, or feelings of hopelessness

This phase of withdrawal is the most intense and most likely to lead to relapse. In opiate treatment centers, staff help visitors cope with this stage through constant monitoring and keeping them focused on their goals. Individuals who try to detox at home usually get to this stage and suffer a relapse.

After the peak symptoms occur, the late stage of detox begins, and withdrawal starts to diminish. Symptoms may continue for up to 72 hours, but they are muted. Cravings also start to slow, and the person may start returning to normalcy. Detox helps to break physical reliance on the substance, and getting through it is quite an accomplishment. It sets the stage for the next step in recovery.

Step 2: Therapy and Coping Mechanisms in Opiate Treatment Center

Therapy and Coping Mechanisms

After a person has completed their detox, they enter the next phase of treatment. In this step, individuals learn how to deal with the triggers that may drive them back into use. These triggers may be stresses or stimuli from their lives. It may also be the internal stimulus that leads to them making bad decisions and choices.

A recoveree may learn new activities that have more positive outcomes. These activities help them rediscover their joy in small things. Recoverees also learn how to use activities to develop replacement behaviors for harmful ones that result from addiction.

For a little while, at least, the draw to return to old habits will remain. Therapy can help individuals deal with these factors. Among the most successful methods of treatment for recoverees is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Therapists using CBT with visitors help them understand the negative thoughts which lead to their actions. An individual can then replace those negative thoughts with ones that have a more positive outcome. CBT uses several levels to develop a new method of thinking in the individual.

Identify Negative Thoughts

Thoughts, feelings, and the environment all have their part to play in negative behaviors. CBT explores how each of these can play a role in making those behaviors seem acceptable. This level looks at introspection. Some recoverees have a hard time coming to terms with self-examination and so need to be guided. This self-exploration can lead to revelations about a person to themselves. These breakthroughs are crucial to overcoming the problem of substance use disorder. It helps a person realize which negative actions are linked to their negative thinking.

Learning New Skills

After an individual recognizes the negative thoughts, they have to learn how to deal with those stimuli. A person may spend time rehearsing social situations that can be referenced to real-world problems. This practice gives them the confidence to deal with these issues when they occur. New coping skills and mechanisms can allow a person to better deal with their substance use triggers.

Setting Goals

One of the crucial points in recovery is long-term goal-setting. These goals allow a person to improve their health and well-being over the long term. Identifying a purpose and distinguishing between what counts as short-term and long-term can be helpful.

This level helps an individual focus on the process of achieving the goals rather than just the outcome. For individuals dealing with substance use disorder, this is a crucial distinction since it actively works against the idea of the “shortcut to pleasure” that the substance provides.


In CBT, problem-solving methods give a person the tools to deal with real-life issues. The methodology follows a simple, stepwise procedure for identifying and solving problems:

  • Step 1: Define the problem
  • Step 2: Develop a List of Solutions
  • Step 3: Determine the strengths and weaknesses of each solution
  • Step 4: Choose the optimal solution
  • Step 5: Implement the solution


The most vital part of CBT is learning self-monitoring skills. This level involves tracking thoughts, behaviors, and experiences over time. Some individuals use a diary to help them do this. Self-monitoring helps a therapist develop new strategies for coping with personalized problems. It also allows a person to gain some much-needed perspective on their lives. Self-monitoring helps make a person more responsible for themselves and shows them the progress they’ve made so far. It’s a valuable tool in keeping a person motivated to continue their recovery.

The Finish Line Is Right There

A person can only be entirely recovered when the substance no longer draws them in. This process will take some time, but with the proper support and facility, it’s achievable. The journey isn’t about getting there quickly. It’s about covering all the bases and coming out of it a better person.

A facility that offers trained medical staff and mental health professionals is necessary for those serious about recovery. Holistic approaches to recovery, like those used in Pathfinders Recovery Center, have been successful with many unique cases. Give us a call today, and let’s design a customized care plan that deals with your individual situation.


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