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Opioid Addiction

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are a drug class created from naturally occurring elements of the poppy plant. These drugs have a range of effects but are usually used for pain relief, although some are used for their euphoric effects. What makes opioids so dangerous is that many of them are easy to get and can even be prescribed by a doctor. Many who seek addiction treatment at opioid rehab centers started their substance abuse with an opioid they were legally prescribed.

You may know opioids by the terms painkillers or narcotics. However, it’s important to understand the term “painkiller” is not synonymous with opioids. Over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin or Tylenol don’t have the same addictive effects as prescription opioids. Some of the most common prescription opioids include morphine, OxyContin, Vicodin and hydrocodone.

Prescription opioids may often be the start of drug addiction, but they aren’t the only options to “get high.” Several synthetic or street opioid drugs produce the same effects but generally on a more intense level. It’s normal for people to turn to these street opioids when their doctor will no longer prescribe medication.

Heroin is the more common street opioid people may seek drug addiction treatment for. Highly addictive, heroin creates intense feelings of pleasure or euphoria. It often comes in a white powder but may also be a brown powder or black tar substance.

The second common street opioid is fentanyl. Fentanyl is particularly potent — up to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Due to its strength, fentanyl use often ends in a medical emergency like an overdose.

If you’re ready to start your journey to sobriety and overcome your drug abuse, you’re far from alone. Around two million Americans become addicted to opioids each year, and of those, one in four will eventually seek substance abuse treatment. Drug rehab treatment programs are the best option to get sober and stay that way so you or your loved one can live their healthiest, happiest life.


The first step of any treatment program for drug or alcohol abuse is detoxing. Detox is when all traces of the substance you’re addicted to leave your body. You may have withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild to severe during this period. The amount, length and severity of symptoms will vary from one person to the next based on numerous factors, so this process can look different for everyone. You should undergo an opioid withdrawal and detox program at a drug rehab center under the supervision of medical professionals.

A few common withdrawal symptoms you may experience include:

  • An intense craving for the substance you’re addicted to

  • Sweating, including cold sweats

  • Nausea and abdominal pain, with or without vomiting

  • Lethargy or excessive sleepiness that doesn’t go away with rest

  • Insomnia or difficulty staying asleep

  • Irritability, anxiety, paranoia and restlessness

  • Depression, including thoughts of self-harm or suicide

  • Muscle and bone pain

  • Cold flashes

  • Diarrhea

  • Fits of anger where you may physically or verbally lash out at others

Identifying and Treating Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues

Many people suffer drug and alcohol addiction due to underlying mental health issues that have gone untreated. In the case of opioids, physical health problems may also be an underlying cause. Identifying and treating these issues is a critical factor in drug rehab programs.

Treatment options for mental health issues may include behavioral therapies or medications. In many cases, these are used simultaneously for the most effective mental health services.

Inpatient Intensive Treatment Options

Inpatient programs include temporary stays at addiction treatment centers. During your stay, you’ll be under constant supervision by your treatment provider and have access to comprehensive opioid treatment services at all times. Before starting your program, you’ll sit down with your treatment provider to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs.

During your stay, you’ll have access to the resources you need to overcome the most challenging part of your recovery process. Some of these resources may include:

  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Counseling services
  • An addiction specialist
  • Behavioral health therapies
  • Health care providers for any medical emergencies
  • Support groups

Our drug and alcohol rehab center is designed to be a calming environment conducive to healing. As a result, you can focus on your opioid treatment programs without worrying about external stressors or responsibilities.

If you’re concerned about the costs of inpatient treatment, know that our treatment center is covered in whole or part by many insurance plans. Coverage may be provided by certain public or private health insurance companies.

Outpatient Program for Opioid Use Disorder

Treating substance use disorders doesn’t end after successfully completing an inpatient program at our treatment facility. Substance addiction requires an ongoing dedication to staying sober and receiving support services for the foreseeable future.

Our outpatient treatment providers will continue giving you high-quality behavioral health care and can help you explore additional treatment options if necessary. You’ll also continue with therapies or medications, as necessary, at our rehab facility or through another addiction center.

In the beginning, you may attend support groups or therapy once or more a week. Since drugs like opioids are highly addictive, you should continue with your treatment plan to avoid relapse. You may begin attending support groups and therapy less often as time continues. Less frequent treatments should be discussed and approved by your doctor or addiction specialist.