Help For An Opiate Addict
Addiction is considered a disease that affects all areas of a person’s life and behaviour. Therefore, reaching a sober, drug-free life can take a lot of time and energy.
Every opiate addiction recovery process starts with awareness and acknowledgement of the addiction problem. But being aware sometimes is not enough. We tend to avoid making changes in our established pattern of behavior, unless a problem or a concern occur. Sometimes, even after we become aware of an opiate addiction, we choose to ignore the problem. That’s why the next step is asking for help. There is simply no more room for denial when we face the risks and possible consequences.
How to treat opiate addiction? When an opiate addict decides it’s time to call for aid, s/he will need to prepare for the treatment of opioid dependence. Here is how treatment usually unfolds:
1. A medical supervisor will have a conversation with the opiate addict. In order to establish appropriate treatment plan, the medical supervisor will ask about the particular drug(s) and the amount of drugs abused, determine the health condition and history of addictive behaviour of the individual. According to the gathered information in the first session, the medical supervisor will create an individualized treatment plan that fits the person’s needs. Changes in this plan can be made when necessary. Depending on the doctor estimation, you may be switched to an alternative opioid or simply be taken off of all opiates.
2. If you want to remain opiate free long term, then supervised detoxification is a suggested process. However, detox is just the beginning of a long process. When you come off opiates, you experience a variety of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms which can be so intense that might cause relapse. This is the reason why a medically assisted detox provides supportive care. The greatest benefit is that you will have the chance to manage withdrawal symptoms in a sober, recovery-oriented environment.
3. Medication assisted treatment is used to help manage or lessen withdrawal symptoms, thus increase your chances of staying sober. There are several medications that doctors prescribe during an opiate medical treatment to prevent relapse. The treatment of opiate addiction is usually accompanied by the following medications:
- Suboxone – to help reduce cravings, ease withdrawal symptoms, and prevent relapse.
- Buprenorphine – to help prevent drug abuse for the purpose of getting high.
- Naltrexone – to help prevent opiate drug abuse.
Help For an Opiate Addict Friend
If you have a friend, family member, or a loved one whose opiate abuse and addiction are obvious, it is time to do something about it! An intervention is a process done by family and friends in consultation with a doctor, licensed drug counselor, or professional interventionist. Intervention is a professionally directed, education process resulting in a face to face meeting of family members, friends and/or employer with the person in trouble with alcohol or drugs. People who struggle with addiction are often in denial about their situation and unwilling to seek treatment. They may not recognize the negative effects their behavior has on themselves and others. Intervention helps the person make the connection between their use of alcohol and drugs and the problems in their life.
The main goal of intervention is to present the person with an opiate addiction with a structured opportunity to accept help and to make changes before things get even worse. The brief intervention is a conversation with several goals such as:
- Educating the addict about the ways their destructive behavior affects them personally, and others around them.
- Offering a structured treatment plan consisted of specific steps, goals and guidelines.
- Providing possible outcomes in case a loved one refuses to accept treatment.
How We Can Help
Our approach to opiate addiction treatment:
- Customized addiction treatment so you or a loved one has the best chance of not relapsing.
- Multiple options of treatment programs and their requirements, so you can choose which one best suits your needs.
- Support groups that will be part of your treatment program and after treatment regimen.
- Help with the right detox solutions to meet your specific needs.
- Recovery Solutions will provide access to the most competent and experienced clinical therapists and counselors.
- We offer treatment options in the form of Vivitrol and Naltrexone for managing cravings.
Drug Addiction Helplines
- Recovery Solutions – Drug Addiction and Mental Health 855-704-0900
- National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI) 800-729-6686
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Hope Line 800-475-HOPE (4673)
- National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Service 800-622-4357
- National Institute on Drug Abuse- Drug and Treatment Information 800-662-4357
- National Suicide Prevention Helpline 800-273-TALK (8255) or 800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
- Relapse Prevention Hotline 800-RELAPSE (735-2773)
National Resources For Opiate Addiction
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: SAMHSA offers a 24-hour Helpline that provides free and confidential treatment referral and information about mental and/or substance use disorders, prevention and recovery. Their website includes a Buprenorphine physician and treatment program locator where patients can find authorized programs across the country that treat addiction and dependence on opioids, such as heroin or prescription pain relievers. Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit their website at http://www.samhsa.gov/find-help.
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence: NCADD provides information and support for addicts and their families about understanding addiction, how to seek help for yourself or a family member and where to find treatment programs and support groups. NCADD has 90 affiliates across the country offering alcoholism and addiction recovery support services, which can be found on their website at http://www.ncadd.org/ or by calling their 24-hour Hope Line at 1-800-622-2255.
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Helpline: Trained bilingual parent support specialists are available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET, to take calls from concerned loved ones. Call 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373) or visit their website at http://www.drugfree.org/get-help/helpline/
The National Institute on Drug Abuse: The NIDA’s heroin page on their website offers general information about the drug and published research articles about heroin abuse and treatment. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/heroin
Narcotics Anonymous: NA’s website offers information about support for addicts who wish to maintain a drug-free lifestyle and how to find local meetings. http://www.na.org/
American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry: AAAP offers resources for patients and their families on their website. http://www.aaap.org/patient-resources/helpful-links/
Have questions to get an Opiate Addict help?
If you still have any questions about helping an opiate addict after reading this article, feel free to contact us. We will quickly get back to you with a personal answer as soon as possible, or we will refer you to the right person who can help.
Reference sources: Velasquez. M. Mary, Crouch. C, Stephens. S. Nanette and DiClemente. C. Carlo. (2016).
Article adapted and inspired by AddictionBlog.Org
Group treatment for Substance abuse. New York, NY: Guilford Publication, p. 9
Department of health: What is Addiction Treatment?
Lawford. K. Christopher. (2013). Recover to Live. Dallas, Texas: BenBella Books, p. 335-336
SMHSA: Brief Intervention