Opioids are a kind of drug. Medically, opioids are often used to relieve pain. They also have been used as anesthetics. Many opioids also cause intense euphoria. Because of this, these drugs are often used recreationally. With long-term use, opioid users can develop a tolerance for and dependency on these drugs. Addiction to opioids can prove ruinous or fatal. But there are a range of treatment options and therapies available to help manage opioid addiction.
Many medicines are available to treat opioid addiction. Naloxone is a drug used to reverse an opioid overdose. It is most commonly used in emergency medicine settings to quickly save lives. Methadone and buprenorphine are two drugs that decrease withdrawal symptoms. These drugs also help restore the brain's chemical balance. When taken correctly, both are safe for indefinite use.
Naltrexone is a drug that reduces the high felt while on opioids. Because of this, it is useful to prevent relapse. To avoid harmful interactions, patients must be off opioids for several days before taking Naltrexone. Where a patient is with their recovery will determine which drugs are best for them. Still, medical options will work best when paired with counseling as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
Therapists can help identify thought patterns and behaviors that lead to opioid use. They can also help patients stick to plans and medication use. These psychological treatments can empower patients to lead sober lives. Social workers can also help patients find housing and work. Social workers help patients transition to a stable environment, and this stability prevents relapse. Sponsors are people who have struggled with addiction themselves. They are able to empathize with the day-to-day struggles of treatment and help patients feel understood.
Specialized group therapy gathers a small group of patients at varying stages of recovery. Group therapy helps foster a sense of community by gathering peers with similar struggles. Family therapy involves the friends, family, and loved ones of the patient. This kind of therapy gives the patient's social circle the resources to help them with recovery.
Residential treatment centers offer in-patient services. These centers offer all-day access to medical and psychological professionals. They also remove many of the environmental factors that might trigger a relapse. Treatment at these centers usually lasts a fixed time and keeps the patient to a schedule of activities, appointments, and therapies.
But none of these treatment options is designed to work alone. Tailoring a treatment plan to a patient's individual needs is the best hope for recovery and a long, healthy, opioid-free life.