How Opioid Addiction Can Be Addressed

Similar to diabetes and heart disease, opioid addiction is a chronic disease. As a lifelong medical condition, there's no cure for it. While the government addresses the opioid epidemic, treatment centers teach coping skills that manage the disease. Their detox and rehab services allow people with addiction to live healthy, productive lives.

Government Efforts to Address the Opioid Epidemic

Opioid addiction can take this guy with hat leaving on fence, to some dark places.

Opioid abuse and addiction have become an epidemic across the United States. Pharmacies dispense an average of more than 650,000 opioid prescriptions every day. Also on an average day, 3,900 people start abusing prescription opioids. A further 580 people start using heroin, and 78 people die from opioid overdoses.

Several U.S. organizations have initiated efforts to combat this epidemic. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) focuses on research, treatment, and prevention. It targets improving prescription practices and expanding the use of naloxone, which reverses an overdose. The HHS also aims to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) launched a prescription drug abuse initiative in 2001. It aims to better understand pain and pain management through research. The NIDA works to develop new approaches for pain treatments and better opioid use treatments. Other goals are to improve opioid addiction and overdose awareness, treatment and prevention.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strives to develop drug formulas that deter and limit opioid abuse. It wants to improve the information that doctors receive about using opioids. The goal is to encourage better prescription practices. It's helping other groups develop new naloxone formulas so that more people can use it to reverse an overdose.

What all these statistics mean is there is a terrible opioid epidemic in the US and along with government interventions to address all the issues, treatment centers, like Healing Springs Ranch have innovation programs to deal with opioid addiction and treatment.

Treatments That Address Opioid Addiction

It's nearly impossible to just stop using opioids and overcome addiction without help. Almost everyone may need medication, therapy and continued support throughout recovery. This treatment combination helps people stop using opioids and teaches them how to manage this mental health disease.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

MAT uses medications along with therapy and other support to treat opioid addiction. This treatment model is one of the options for detoxing from opioids. The meds help people in detox regain their normal state of mind without interference from an opioid drug.

During detox, the meds get patients through withdrawal by reducing symptoms and drug cravings. Patients no longer have to think about drugs all the time, so their minds are free to focus on recovery.

Many detox centers administer or prescribe medications for short-term use. However, their purpose isn't to be a substitute for opioids. With proper use, they help people manage addiction so that they can maintain recovery.

Opioid Withdrawal

Although many people get prescription opioids to treat pain, the drugs can cause opioid addiction quickly. When people stop taking the drugs, symptoms arise as their bodies go through withdrawal. This process occurs because their bodies have adapted to needing opioids to function. As they readjust to getting no drugs, the symptoms that they experience may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Although these symptoms aren't life-threatening, the complications that may develop could be. If stomach contents become stuck in people's airways when they vomit, it could suffocate them. That's just one example of the problems that could occur and why monitored treatment is important.

Common Medications

Experts have done a lot of research into making medications more effective for opioid addiction. They're even in the testing phases for long-acting medications to help people achieve and maintain recovery. For now, however, detox and rehab centers may use three main meds to help people with addiction.

Methadone is the most common of the three and is available as Methadose and Dolophine. This slow-acting opioid agonist can prevent withdrawal symptoms and help people maintain recovery. Patients usually receive an adjustable daily dose at methadone clinics to reduce drug cravings. In large or unmonitored doses, though, methadone can become addictive and suppress breathing.

As a partial opioid agonist, buprenorphine is available as Buprenex and Butrans. The dose is adjustable, and it has fewer side effects than methadone. Although it can still cause constipation and nausea, it's less likely to suppress breathing. The drug also costs more, but patients can get it at detox clinics and doctors' offices.

Available in brands such as Revia and Vivitrol, naltrexone is an opioid antagonist. It doesn't cause opioid-related side effects. Patients cannot use opioids while also taking naltrexone because it blocks the pain-relieving effects.


Detox and rehab centers offer therapies through various programs, including outpatient and residential treatment. Outpatient programs give clients more freedom to maintain home and work obligations. However, residential programs are more intensive and help patient focus on recovery. Inpatient treatment also has a higher success rate for long-term recovery.

The therapy part of an opioid addiction treatment plan helps people address the causes of addiction. Some causes may include trauma, problems at home or work, or low self-worth. Counseling also helps people change their behaviors and thought process so that they can avoid relapse. There are several therapies and techniques that detox and rehab centers use to achieve these goals.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT mainly focuses on opioid addiction thought and behavior patterns. The addiction treatment sector has used it since the mid-1980s. Counselors use different techniques to teach the skills to resist drugs, including cognitive therapy and relapse prevention.

The concept behind cognitive therapy is that people behave according to how they think. Based on this theory, those who have negative thought patterns often exhibit negative behaviors. The theory also suggests that these patterns are present in people before they abuse drugs. Treating that underlying condition is what the best addiction centers work towards.

Relapse prevention teaches how to identify and avoid situations that put them at risk of using. It also helps them understand how their decisions lead to drug use. Clients learn how to change their lifestyles to stay drug-free as well.

Dynamic Therapy

The basis of dynamic therapy is that all symptoms arise from mental conflicts that are already present. For opioid addiction, the major objective is to help identify these conflicts. It also helps them develop adaptive coping strategies and more positive ways of resolving those conflicts.

Group and Family Therapies

Most detox and rehab centers use group and family therapies to treat opioid addiction. Group therapy involves one or more counselors leading several members in recovery efforts. This method gives clients the chance to see that others go through similar situations and feel similar emotions. It can give them support and help them develop skills to abstain from drugs.

As a type of group therapy, a family program and counseling are important because it works to resolve conflicts at home. However, the family members don't have to be blood relatives or even people who live with the patients. They can be whoever the patients consider their family members. Family therapy gives them a safe place to work out their problems, rebuild bonds and learn to support each other. At Healing Springs Ranch, we believe family dynamics and healing are very important to individual healing. We offer a family intensive weekend to delve into these issues to promote family addiction healing.

Support Groups

Support groups work a lot like group therapy, and they're the ideal way to continue getting support after rehab. Narcotics Anonymous is one of the best to join for people who complete opioid addiction treatment. It uses the 12-step program that Alcoholics Anonymous uses but with a few adjustments related to narcotic abuse and addiction. The members lead the meetings and support each other through hard times.

Family members of people with addiction can join support groups as well. Some groups focus only on family and friends. The members share information about addiction and their experiences. They also give each other support when they need it.

Visit Healing Springs Ranch for Opioid Abuse and Addiction Treatment

If you have an opioid addiction and want to recover, you don't have to do it alone. Healing Springs Ranch is a treatment center in Tioga, Texas, that offers short- and long-term residential treatment. Some of our programs and therapies include:

  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Family treatment
  • Anger management
  • Art therapy

All of these therapies offer a unique look into individual experiential treatments expected to teach clients how to live a drug-free life.

Also, our 80-acre property features amenities such as an aquatic driving range and a nine-hole golf course. We also provide outdoor activities such as fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and swimming. Our professional chef prepares farm-fresh meals and beverages every day. We want Healing Springs Ranch to be a comfortable home for you while you treat your opioid addiction.

Don't let opioid addiction continue to ruin your life and the lives of those who you love. Get help now at a reputable rehab center. Call Healing Springs Ranch at 866-656-8384 to start your amazing recovery today.