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Our Centers

  • Take the First Step in Las Vegas

    Desert Hope is a beautiful oasis with modern charm located in Las Vegas, Nevada. We provide all levels of care from detox, in-patient, outpatient and sober living.

    Visit Desert Hope Treatment Center Visit Desert Hope Treatment Center
  • A New Life Awaits

    Start your recovery at our spa-like facility in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Holistic therapies, chef-prepared meals, and LGBTQ+ support are among the many features of our premier drug and alcohol treatment program.

    Visit Greenhouse Treatment Center Visit Greenhouse Treatment Center
  • The Best Place to Recover in Orange County

    Laguna Treatment Hospital is located in Orange County, CA. The first Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospital in the OC, we offer safe medical detox, mental health support, and wellness programs.

    Visit Laguna Treatment Hospital Visit Laguna Treatment Hospital
  • Start Recovery at Our Southern Resort

    Take a step back from your life and get the help you need at our premier drug and alcohol addiction center. Nestled in the countryside 1.5 hours from Memphis, Oxford gives you the support you need in a calm and beautiful setting.

    Visit Oxford Treatment Center Visit Oxford Treatment Center
  • Recovery Forecast includes Tropical Weather

    Your recovery can start at either of two premier drug and alcohol treatment facilities in the Greater Miami area - Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, FL. Our specialties include treatment for veterans and first responders.

    Visit Recovery First Treatment Center Visit Recovery First Treatment Center
  • Sunny Florida Welcomes You

    Retreat to the sunny climate of Tampa, Florida for a stay at the gold standard of treatment facilities. We offer customized care plans to help you on your recovery journey.

    Visit River Oaks Treatment Center Visit River Oaks Treatment Center
  • Helping New Englanders Find Recovery for Over 30 years

    Escape to the countryside to recovery in New Jersey’s premier drug rehab & treatment center. Located only an hour from New York City.

    Visit Sunrise House Treatment Center Visit Sunrise House Treatment Center
We are pleased to announce that we are now in-network with policies utilizing Behavioral Healthcare Options (BHO) Now in-network with policies utilizing Behavioral Healthcare Options (BHO).

Rehab for Opiate Abuse

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opiate abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the US – they report that 44 people die of opiate overdose every day. A major contributor to this epidemic is an increase in abuse of prescription painkillers, such as Vicodin and OxyContin, as well as continued availability and use of the illicit drug, heroin.

When taken as prescribed, opiate drugs are safe, effective medications that can help people manage pain. However, misuse of opiate drugs can quickly lead to abuse and addiction. Nevertheless, treatment for opiate abuse is available, and recovery is possible through comprehensive substance abuse treatment and rehab.

Overview of Opiate Drugs

All opiate drugs – including controlled prescription painkillers and the illicit drug heroin – originate from a substance in the seeds of the opium poppy. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), these opiate compounds interact with certain receptors in the brain and body, creating a sensation that diminishes a person’s ability to feel pain, which is the main reason for the use of the substance as medicine.

Some newer opiate drugs are synthetic or semi-synthetic versions of opiate compounds, meaning that they are at least partly created in a lab rather than extracted from poppy seeds. Heroin is a semi-synthetic opiate created solely for abuse. Many of these drugs, however, were created as medicines that are helpful in managing different types of pain under various circumstances.

Some of the more well-known prescription or medically appropriate opiates include:
Natural opiates:

  • Morphine
  • Codeine

Semi-synthetic opiates:

Fully synthetic opiates:

  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Tramadol

Intended Use of Opiates

The receptors that opiates act on are part of the body’s natural pain relief system. When opiates are introduced to this system, they bond powerfully with the receptors, helping to increase the dulling of pain to a higher level than the body can naturally achieve.

For this reason, accepted uses of legal opiates center mostly around controlling pain during surgery, after injury, and with illness or injury. Opium poppies were originally used for pain control thousands of years ago.

That being said, as described by the News Medical website, these drugs can also be prescribed for other purposes, including:

  • Surgical anesthesia
  • Cough suppression
  • Diarrhea treatment
  • Addiction treatment

Because of their high abuse potential, opiates are defined by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency as narcotics, and they are tightly controlled even when prescribed legally. Nevertheless, people who misuse the drugs can become tolerant to the effects – meaning that as time goes on, they need to take more of the drug to get the same effects – and develop a substance use disorder.

Prevalence of Abuse
Signs and Symptoms of Opiate Abuse

There is some debate as to how likely a person is to abuse prescription opiates. An article from the journal Neuron discusses studies indicating that 2-6 percent of people who are treated for pain using opiates actually begin to abuse the drug. This indicates that the abuse potential is lower when the substance is used as directed. The article also indicates that the majority of people who abuse opiate drugs – about 70 percent – do not get them via prescription.

Nevertheless, about 20 percent people who are prescribed the drugs begin to abuse them. Also, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health,4.3 million people 12 and older were using prescription pain relievers for nonmedical reasons in 2014. This figure includes 1.9 percent of adolescents abusing prescription painkillers.

According to the CDC, the following elements may contribute to a high risk of opiate abuse:

  • Previous diagnosis of a substance use disorder
  • Family history of substance abuse or mental illness
  • Long-term or high-dose use of prescription opiates
  • Inappropriate prescribing practices, including overlapping or multiple prescriptions
  • Rural, low-income living situations

One of the major issues of the current opiate use epidemic is that those who start abusing prescription opiates are more likely to begin abusing heroin as well. Responsible prescribing practices by doctors can help to lower the risk of opiate abuse and addiction, thereby helping to prevent crossover into heroin abuse.

Treatment Options for Opiate Abuse

There are many options for treating opiate abuse or addiction. Outpatient and inpatient programs exist to help people stop use, learn how to manage the cravings and triggers that lead to continued abuse, and maintain recovery from opiate abuse.

An article from the journal Addiction indicates that consistent, long-term treatments for opiate dependence are more likely to result in positive outcomes. According to experts, this kind of treatment includes a full spectrum of care services that meet the individual’s particular needs, including:

  • Medically supported detox and withdrawal from the opiate drug
  • Medical maintenance of abstinence from the drug, if necessary
  • Therapy to promote positive changes in thoughts and behaviors regarding opiate abuse
  • Management of any underlying or co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Group and family therapy to build a supportive network
  • Education about opiate abuse and addiction
  • Motivational support and aftercare services after treatment

This kind of treatment is most easily found in a comprehensive, research-based inpatient rehab program. Through this type of program, a person dealing with opiate addiction or abuse can receive an individualized treatment plan that provides the specific treatment types most likely to result in the person’s ability to recover from, manage, and avoid relapse to opiate drug abuse.

In addition, this type of treatment is more likely to result in the positive changes needed to prevent prescription opiate abuse from leading to complications, such as overdose or future heroin use and abuse. Getting in touch with a reputable treatment center can be the first step in stopping opiate use and getting control over the challenges and risks of abusing these drugs.

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