Deciding to quit using opiates is a courageous move. If you suffer from opiate addiction, however, quitting is almost impossible and dangerous. You need to learn more about opiates and addiction before you try to do something about it. Afterward, the right care and support can safely help you stop using and increase your chances for long-term sobriety.

Understand Opiates and Addiction

Opiates are very addictive drugs that originate from the seeds of the poppy plant. Opium, codeine, and morphine are examples of opiates. Heroin makers use morphine to make the drug, so it's also an opiate. While heroin is an illegal drug, doctors may prescribe codeine or morphine for pain.

Why People Take Opiates

Man with face in hands surrendering to opiate addiction with intake counselor listening.

Aside from using prescription opiates for pain, people take these drugs for the pleasure they experience. Your body has opioid receptors that receive the natural opioids that your body makes. When the drugs latch onto these receptors, they produce a warm, relaxed feeling. This euphoria makes some people feel like they can't live without it.

However, not everyone experiences opiates in the same way. Genetic differences can make some people just feel tired rather than euphoric. Others might feel sick when they take opiates. The ill feeling and tiredness makes them not want to use opiates again.

How Opiate Addiction Develops

As people continue using opiates for the euphoric experience, their bodies build a tolerance to the drugs. The body stops making natural opioids and needs higher doses of drugs to achieve the high. After prolonged use and taking more drugs, people develop an opiate addiction.

This mental disease takes control of addicted people. They no longer have the choice to use drugs. They also lose control over their own thoughts, emotions, and actions. Their bodies become dependent on opiates to function.

Opiate Withdrawal

Since people's bodies depend on the drugs to function, they think that there's something wrong when they don't get opiates. Their bodies respond with a period of withdrawal. During this time, their bodies try to adjust to the lack of drugs. Some of the symptoms that people have, include:

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Withdrawal may also cause headaches or vomiting. Along with differing symptoms, the intensity can vary. The type of opiates, dose, period of use and other factors affect both the symptoms and intensity of withdrawal.

How Long Withdrawal Lasts

The length of the withdrawal period also varies. However, it usually starts within 24 hours after the last dose. The symptoms typically peak between 48 and 72 hours before subsiding.

In general, complete withdrawal takes about seven to 10 days. However, some people can experience complications or psychological symptoms that last for months. The risk for these issues rises for those who have existing medical conditions or other mental health disorders.

Overcome Your Fears of Getting Help

With a better understanding of opiate addiction, seeking help is your next step. However, you might be afraid to stop using and get help. You aren't alone. Many people with addiction fear judgment and legal repercussions. These are common fears, but let's put your mind at ease.


Judgment should actually be the least of your worries. The compassionate experts at Healing Springs Ranch understand the depth of opiate addiction and that it's not the result of poor morals or weakness.

Instead, addiction therapists provide constructive feedback. Their goal is to help clients address the cause of addiction. They teach skills to manage the disease and avoid relapse. Addiction counselors might also help clients repair relationships with loved ones.

Legal Repercussions

You also don't have to worry about your therapist talking to law enforcement about your opiate addiction. Experts practice under rigorous patient privacy rules. They can't tell officials what you discuss with them during sessions. These regulations protect you from police arrest for admitting to your counselor that you use drugs.

Furthermore, patient privacy rules also prohibit your therapist from telling others about your condition. This confidentiality remains intact unless you give explicit permission to disclose those details.

Research Your Recovery Options

Now that you can overcome your fears of getting help, you're one step closer to beginning your journey to recovery. It's helpful to know and understand all of your opiate addiction treatment options. Learning about them can prepare you for the recovery process. It can also give you an idea of the best programs and therapies for your addiction and condition.

Detox for Withdrawal

Opiate withdrawal symptoms are often very uncomfortable and painful. Although the symptoms themselves aren't life-threatening, they could lead to complications that are. For example, breathing vomit might cause lung infection. Dehydration may lead to kidney problems.

Visiting one of our partner detox centers for opiate addiction withdrawal is the safest way to stop using. A medical team can prevent potential complications and help you manage withdrawal symptoms. However, not all detox centers use the same methods to deal with withdrawal.

Some facilities use holistic methods such as meditation, massage, and yoga to ease withdrawal symptoms. Supervised detox is another method in which a medical team might prescribe medicines to ease the symptoms. Other facilities practice medical detox and prescribe stronger meds to wean you off of opiates slowly. The stronger medicines could include Suboxone.

The type of detox method that benefits you the most depends on the severity of your opiate addiction. A full health exam can help you determine the best fit. Healing Springs Ranch can point you in the right direction for detox and help you get adjusted to a treatment program.

Rehab Programs and Therapies

Detox alone isn't enough to overcome an addiction. A full recovery requires a rehab program and combination of addiction counseling methods. The rehab staff uses your full health exam and drug history and extensive conversations to create a personalized treatment plan.

Rehab Program Options

Inpatient and outpatient programs are the two main types that rehab centers offer. However, there are several others, including partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient. These options provide different levels of treatment.

Healing Springs Ranch offers residential inpatient programs that generally last for 30 to 90 days and are based on each patient's needs. The longer the program lasts, the more likely that clients are to avoid relapse. During treatment, clients live at the rehab facility. It's the ideal solution for people with severe addictions and a high risk of health complications.

Outpatient programs can last for various lengths of time. Clients travel between home and the rehab facility during treatment. This approach gives them more flexibility to continue working, going to school and taking care of the family. However, it may be ideal for people with a mild opiate addiction and low risk of health complications.

Addiction Counseling Options

Extensive treatment plans for opiate addiction usually include several therapy types. The best rehab centers use a range of approaches because not all therapies work for all clients. The most common, however, are individual, family, group and cognitive behavioral (CBT) therapies. At Healing Springs Ranch we use many different experiential and educational therapies to get to the bottom of an opiate addiction and help you start recovery.

In one-on-one counseling, you work alone with your therapist to address the cause of your opiate addiction. Together, you focus on staying sober and fixing areas of your life that addiction has damaged. Family therapy is similar. The main difference is that it includes family members and helps resolve problems in the home. This is so important to us at Healing Springs Ranch, that we provide a family intensive weekend to foster healing of families in addiction

Group therapy is different because you work with other people in rehab. Talking in a group demonstrates that others have similar experiences and feelings about addiction. The support system that you develop can help you after treatment, too.

CBT is a technique that therapists use in the above counseling types. Along with addressing the cause of addiction, you learn how to change negative thinking. In turn, your behaviors and emotions become more positive.

Aftercare and Support

After completing your inpatient rehab program, experts recommend that you participate in some sort of aftercare. Such programs help you transition to normal home life. Some examples include sober housing at the rehab facility, continued counseling, and support groups. At Healing Springs Ranch we want you to feel welcome to the support and services of our facility anytime you need a jumpstart or additional help. We want you to always feel like you have a home with us when you need it.

Get Addiction Treatment at Healing Springs Ranch

The key to achieving full opiate addiction recovery is taking a whole-person approach. At Healing Springs Ranch, we use our own Integrated Addiction Model (I.AM). We integrate the 12-step program, functional medicine practices, and a trauma model, along with intensive individual assessments to help you move forward in your treatment.

Our approach to wellness encompasses every aspect of your chemical, emotional and physical well-being. We also incorporate organic nutrition, lifestyle training, and blood and saliva tests into our holistic treatment.

Healing Springs Ranch infuses these elements into every treatment plan. However, the rehab program and therapies that we help you choose will address your specific needs. Putting together your treatment plan starts with an exhaustive intake process. Our goal is to make sure that you get the most out of treatment.

The programs at Healing Springs Ranch include short and long-term residential, dual diagnosis and living-in-consciousness programs. We provide a family program as well. Our staff is trained in a range of therapies such as:

We also offer aftercare that includes contact with Healing Springs Ranch when you need us. We even encourage your return to speak at support meetings.

Don't keep letting any addictions control and ruin your life. Healing Springs Ranch can help you overcome addiction and get your life back on track. Call us now at 866-656-8384 to learn about our individual approach to recovery.