What We Know
According to the National Institue of Health, every day more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioid. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.
How did we get here?
Roughly 21 to 29 percent of clients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.
An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.
About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.
What we can do to help
The first step in treating opioid addiction is a for a client to detox. Manifest Recovery Center maintains a six-bed state of the art medically supervised detox facility. Our clients are made comfortable and monitored around the clock by the highest standards required. Following detoxification, a 30-90 day residential program is statistically proven to be the most effective continuum of care. When it is appropriate to enter into the program, the client’s days are purposefully structured around experiencing and learning new habits and behaviors, new ways of processing emotions, new ways of communicating effectively, practices for living with uncomfortable emotions, experiences and relationships without relying upon substances that often blunt these encounters. Nutritional assessments, exercise regimes and the latest evidence based interventions are utilized to support the journey to sobriety.
Opiate Addiction Symptoms
There are a number of symptoms that may be present in individuals suffering from opiate addiction. Those symptoms may include:
Lack of motivation
Joint and muscle pain
Nausea and vomiting
Loss of concentration or interest
Confusion or disorientation
Mood swings or extreme behavior changes
Distorted perception of reality
Slowed or slurred speech
Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
Stealing from loved ones or other illegal activities
Effects of withdrawal from opioids
Prolonged opiate use can cause an individual to become physically and psychologically dependent on the substance. Opiate withdrawal refers to the negative symptoms that occur when someone who is dependent on one of these drugs stops using it. There are a variety of symptoms that an individual can experience when going through withdrawal. Those include:
Irritation or agitation
Nausea and vomiting
Some of these withdrawal symptoms can set in as early as a few hours after the last dose of the substance and can last as long as a few days.
Long term opiate use fundamentally changes the way a person can cope and deal with stress and pain. Opiates can cause the body to lose its natural ability to tolerate almost any discomfort or pain. This can cause an adverse effect when someone suddenly loses access to opiates, causing them to sometimes feel pain more intensely. When someone who is already chemically dependent on opioids is given a “normal” dose of opiates to settle pain, it will make the drug feel ineffective to them because it is not providing enough chemicals to occupy all of the brain’s receptors. These neurochemicals are also part of mood and emotional function, often being negatively impacted by the prolonged use of these drugs. This makes opioid addiction that much more powerful in many people, leaving them to feel powerless and oppressed by their own body functions.
Dual Diagnosis or Co-occurring Disorders
People with mental health disorders are more likely than people without mental health disorders to experience an alcohol or substance use disorder. Co-occurring disorders can be difficult to diagnose due to the complexity of symptoms, as both may vary in severity. In many cases, people receive treatment for one disorder while the other disorder remains untreated. This may occur because both mental and substance use disorders can have biological, psychological, and social components. Other reasons may be inadequate provider training or screening, an overlap of symptoms, or that other health issues need to be addressed first. In any case, the consequences of undiagnosed, untreated, or undertreated co-occurring disorders can lead to a higher likelihood of experiencing homelessness, incarceration, medical illnesses, suicide, or even early death.
People with co-occurring disorders are best served through integrated treatment. With integrated treatment, practitioners can address mental and substance use disorders at the same time, often lowering costs and creating better outcomes. Increasing awareness and building capacity in service systems are important in helping identify and treat co-occurring disorders. Early detection and treatment can improve treatment outcomes and the quality of life for those who need these services.
In-patient Versus Outpatient Treatment
While statistics bear that in client treatment is the most efficacious treatment for opiate addiction, developments in Medication Assisted Treatment have changed treatment protocols. It is now possible to detox, spend a shorter period of time in a residential facility and attend an out paitent program while be monitored with medications .
There are three medications commonly used to treat opioid addiction: