Opiate addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. Opiates come in different forms, and more and more people each year are developing addictions to these dangerous drugs. However, there is a light on the other side of the tunnel. Your road to treatment and recovery can begin today by taking the first step in seeking help and finding treatment for you or a loved one’s opiate addiction.

Opiate Addiction from Pain Management

Part of the issue is America’s trend of prescribing narcotic pain medication for very minor symptoms of pain. The United States prescribes roughly 80% of all of the opiates in the entire world, which raises a few questions. If the United States is consuming that many opiate medications, then what are other countries doing? These answers may help many people who develop an addiction from some sort of chronic pain.

Opiates have been around for centuries, and in many cases, these types of medications can help those in pain. The issue with opiates is that there’s a high chance of developing an opiate addiction because of the side effects of these drugs. While they relieve pain, these medications also release dopamine.

Many people can take these medications after surgery or injury and not develop a problem. However, genetic predisposition to addiction sometimes causes individuals to develop cravings right away. The most common way that people develop addictions is through a prescription for a long-term pain management program. Taking these medications on a daily basis causes people to develop a tolerance and dependency on these medications.

The following are some of the opiates that physicians most often prescribed in the United States:

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Dilaudid
  • Hydrocodone
  • Demerol

Find out more information by talking to our specialists today – we’re here to inform you throughout the whole recovery journey!

Opiate Addiction Treatment 

Treatments for opiate abuse and addiction incorporate:

  • Medicines
  • Counseling and behavioral therapies
  • Medication-assisted therapy (MAT), such as medicines, counseling, and behavioral therapies. This is centered around a “whole patient” approach to treatment, which can put you at better odds for a successful recovery.
  • Residential and hospital-based treatment

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty details, let’s summarize some of the treatment options for opiate addiction. 

Medicine for Opiate Addiction Treatment

The medicines used to treat opiate abuse and addiction are methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

Methadone and buprenorphine can decrease withdrawal symptoms and cravings. They target the addiction by acting on the same parts of the brain as other opiates, but they do not make you feel high. Some people worry that if they take methadone or buprenorphine, it means that they are replacing one addiction with another. Quite on the contrary, they restore balance to the parts of the brain affected by addiction. This gives your brain the opportunity to heal while you work toward recovery.

There is also a combination drug that includes buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone is a drug to treat opiate overdose. If you take it in conjunction with buprenorphine, you will be less likely to misuse the buprenorphine.

Naltrexone works differently than methadone and buprenorphine. In fact, it does not help you with withdrawal symptoms or cravings. Instead, it takes away the high that you would typically feel on opiates. Due to this, you would take naltrexone to prevent relapse, not to try to get off opiates. You have to be off opiates for at least 7-10 days before you can take naltrexone. Otherwise, you could experience bad withdrawal symptoms.

Counseling for Opiate Addiction Treatment

Counseling has a variety of great benefits for treating opiate abuse. Counseling for opiate abuse and addiction can help you:

  • Change your attitudes and behaviors related to drug use
  • Build healthy life skills
  • Stick with other forms of treatment, such as medicines

There are different types of counseling to treat opiate abuse and addiction, including

  • Individual counseling can focus on goal-setting, talking about setbacks, and embracing progress. Lots of patients also discuss legal concerns and family problems. Counseling often includes specific behavioral therapies, such as
    • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps you understand and stop negative patterns of behavior and thinking. Coping skills are taught, including how to manage stress and change the thoughts that cause you to want to abuse opiates.
    • Contingency management is centered around giving you incentives for positive behaviors such as staying off the opiates and actively working on an opiate treatment.
  • Group counseling, which can help you less isolated when going through a tough obstacle. You get the opportunity to hear about the difficulties and successes of others who are going through similar challenges. This can help you to learn new strategies for dealing with the situations you encounter.
  • Family counseling includes partners or spouses and other family members who are close to you. It can help to repair and positively transform your family relationships.

Inpatient Opiate Treatment

The highest level of care we have is our inpatient rehab programs. Residential inpatient treatment programs offer a safe and comfortable living environment for recovering addicts. These treatment programs are most ideal for those who struggle with severe addiction. They’re also an excellent choice for those who are prone to relapses. Inpatient programs here at 1st Step can take anywhere from 28 to 90 days to complete. 

Patients have the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of addiction therapies. They include behavioral therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling and more. The main benefit of a residential inpatient program is that patients can get help 24/7. They can reach out to specialists whenever they need it. 

Partial Hospitalization Opiate Treatment

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs) are one step down from residential inpatient treatment. PHPs provide the same quality of treatment. The main difference is that patients are not required to reside at the rehab facility. They can leave whenever they’re finished with their treatment for the day.

When it comes to PHPs, most patients can participate in 4 to 8 hours of treatment every day. These programs can target moderate to severe addiction. Patients enjoy almost all the same treatments as inpatient programs, but with a little bit more flexibility. 

PHPs also offer several benefits. Patients can partake in opiate treatment while still being able to stay at home. This can be really beneficial to those who still take on other obligations and responsibilities. They also get to stay at home if they feel more comfortable there. These programs also tend to be more cost-effective.

Outpatient Opiate Treatment

These treatment programs are generally used for those who have a mild to moderate addiction. Outpatient treatment programs are another great option for those seeking opiate treatment. Patients usually have already completed an inpatient program or PHP. Outpatient programs tend to be a part of an aftercare program, ensuring all needs are met. They help recovering addicts stay sober on a smaller, less involved scale.

Outpatient programs come in two different types. There are standard programs, which do not require any type of time commitment at all. There are also intensive outpatient programs (IOPs). With these outpatient opiate treatment programs here at 1st Step, patients enjoy a minimum of 3 hours of treatment 3 times a week.

Since outpatient opiate treatment programs require very little commitment, patients can adhere to their other obligations such as attending school or caring for a child. Addiction treatment will not interfere with one’s daily life.

Getting Help Today

You don’t have to fear opiate withdrawal because 1st Step Behavioral Health can assist you. Our drug detox program is personalized for each patient and is one of the first steps of your path to recovery. Through this detox process, we will help you get through the symptoms of withdrawal while keeping your safety in mind. From here, you can easily transition to our drug treatment center to learn how to live a new life.

Don’t wait another minute to begin changing your life. Call or text us today at (855) 425-4846 or contact us to begin overcoming your opiate addiction.




Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.