Throughout the United States, many people’s lives have been impacted by opiate addiction. Some people struggle with their own addiction while others worry about a loved one’s. At Louisville Addiction Center, our treatment team knows that opiate addiction affects people from all walks of life.
We offer help for those with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders as well as provide support for loved ones and family members. Our opiate addiction treatment in Louisville, Kentucky can help those struggling with this challenging addiction.
Opiates are drugs derived naturally from the opium poppy flower. Common opiates include drugs used to treat pain such as morphine and codeine as well as illicit drugs like heroin. These drugs act on the opioid receptors of the brain, which help to regulate pain and pleasure. Many people take prescription opiates following an injury or surgery to manage pain as they recover.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the term “opiate” refers to only naturally occurring opioids. Opioid drugs can either be produced naturally or synthetically. Synthetic opioids mimic the effects of their natural counterparts and include drugs like fentanyl and tramadol.
These synthetic opioids tend to be more potent than opiates. However, most opioid drugs contain both synthetic and natural opioids. Thus, opiates and synthetic opioids both carry a high risk of addiction.
Addiction to opiates can happen to anyone. Some people misuse opiate prescriptions for the euphoric effects of the drugs. They might begin to feign symptoms of pain to get an increased dosage from their doctors.
In addition, they could begin to take more than their prescribed dosage, “doctor-shop” for additional scripts, buy other people’s medications, or seek illegal opiates to get high. Many people addicted to opiates also seek synthetic opioids or abuse other substances with opiates to enhance the effects.
Opiate addiction occurs when a person cannot stop using opiates despite adverse consequences. They often take risks and engage in problematic behaviors to obtain opiates. In short, getting high becomes their number one priority.
If they suddenly stop taking opiates, they could have uncomfortable or even painful withdrawal symptoms that cause them to continue abusing opiates. However, it should be noted that a person can become physically dependent on opiates without developing the problematic behaviors that come with addiction.
In other words, they could take their opiate medications as prescribed without misusing them, yet they could still have withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop taking their medications.
Additional signs of opiate addiction include the following:
When a person becomes addicted to any drug, those closest to them usually notice a change in their personality and behavior. Opiates are potent drugs that cause intense feelings of pleasure and elation. Many people become addicted to these feelings, especially when they have underlying issues, such as poor mental health or a history of trauma.
Oftentimes, people begin self-medicating with their opiates to “numb” themselves of any distressing thoughts or feelings resulting from these underlying issues. That is why our opiate addiction treatment in Louisville, Kentucky offers mental health and dual diagnosis treatment to uncover the underlying mental health causes of addiction.
Since withdrawal symptoms from opiates can be intense, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved medications specifically to treat opiate addiction and other opioid use disorders.
These medications can aid during detox and ongoing recovery when combined with behavioral therapy. This process is called medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Quitting opiates without professional help can be dangerous. Moreover, withdrawal symptoms can cause a person to feel intense discomfort after a few days without opiates.
They could also have strong cravings for the drug at this time. As a result, they might overcompensate for the time they haven’t been using and take a higher dose than usual. This puts them at a high risk of overdose, which can cause permanent injury or even death.
Medications that treat opiate addiction help to minimize the risk of relapsing by reducing the severity of withdrawal symptoms. They also help to reduce the risk of an overdose in the event of relapse by blocking the effects of opiates.
At our opiate addiction treatment in Louisville, Kentucky, we offer two types of injectable medications during our MAT program:
Vivitrol contains the medication naltrexone, which blocks the effects of opiates on the opioid receptors in the brain. By blocking the effects, Vivitrol reduces cravings and reduces the risk of relapsing. In addition, Vivitrol will help prevent an overdose if a person does relapse by blocking the effects of opiates.
Sublocade injections contain buprenorphine, which acts on opioid receptors. Thus, Sublocade occupies the space on the receptors and activates them like an opiate. However, the effects of Sublocade are much less intense than opiates.
By acting on the same receptors, it can significantly reduced a person’s cravings and withdrawal symptoms. In addition, Sublocade can block the effects of other opiates by taking up the space on the opioid receptors.
Clients come in for injections at our outpatient treatment programs once a month. That way, they can continue to live their everyday lives without coming to a clinic each day for their MAT medications. Still, these medications are only part of a comprehensive treatment plan for opiate addiction.
Opiate addiction treatment begins with detox. During detox, a person stops taking opiates and goes through withdrawal. It is best to complete detox at a professional inpatient facility to reduce the risk of relapse and other medical issues.
After detox, many people continue their treatment at a residential facility. However, some people don’t have the time or ability to commit to a long-term inpatient treatment program.
Alternatively, they might leave these facilities and still need additional support to continue their recovery. That is why we offer outpatient programs for opiate addiction treatment in Louisville, Kentucky. These programs allow clients to live at home or in a sober living program during their treatment.
During these programs, clients work on coping skills to manage cravings and triggers for drug use. They also work with mental health professionals to deal with underlying mental health symptoms often co-occurring with opiate addiction. In addition, MAT can continue at any level of care if a person needs to continue taking medications to stay sober during treatment.
As the United States continues to deal with rising rates of opiate addiction, many families and individuals are looking for ways to find hope and recovery. At Louisville Addiction Center, we offer our clients the best opiate addiction treatment in the Louisville metropolitan area.
We also treat mental health disorders that commonly co-occur with opiate addiction. Our compassionate staff offers insight and support to help you or your loved ones recover from opiates.
Contact us to begin opiate addiction treatment today.
Addiction and co-occurring disorders don’t have to control your life. Louisville Addiction Center is waiting with open arms to give you the tools necessary for lasting change. Reach out to us today to learn more.