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Opiate Dependence Versus Opiate Maintenance

Opiate dependence versus opiate maintenance, is there a difference? A lot of people wonder if it is possible to be addicted to a drug such as Oxycontin or Oxycodone form simply taking a drug as directed. The answer to this question is “yes”, however, the answer is much more complicated in reality.

Addiction is usually physical, mental and behavioral in nature. One symptom is being physically dependent on the drug and using more and more of it to get high — also known as building a tolerance. Regular use will cause this tolerance even if you don’t abuse it, so this isn’t the only factor. Opiate dependence means that a person is addicted – which means they’re using it to get high, and they are using it to function normally. For the sake of this article, opiate dependence and opiate addiction will be used interchangeably.

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re worried about opiate addiction:

  • Are you using opiates to get “high”, rather than for pain? If you’re using opiates to get high, that’s abuse and you’re a candidate for addiction.
  • Do you need more and more of the drug to get the same “high”?
  • Have you tried doctor shopping or illicit means to get more of your pills so you don’t run out? Do you run out of your prescriptions early?
  • Have you avoided certain people, places or activities because you would rather be somewhere that you can be high without scrutiny?
  • Has your family or your doctor expressed worry about your pill use?

Addiction is a disease that is progressive in nature. A person with a substance abuse disorder will start to display drug seeking behaviors when they are running out of their drug and choice. As withdrawal — which is quite physically uncomfortable and sometimes painful — sets in, an addicted person may become desperate. They may feel the need to doctor shop, purchase drugs on the street or steal leftover pills from family members to get their “fix”.

Do You Have a Problem with Opiates?

Addiction can affect anyone from any walk of life, even when there is no history in a family. There are many signs and symptoms of addiction that can and should raise red flags for addicted persons and their loved ones.

If you or somebody you love is suffering from the disease of addiction and needs rehab, there IS a way out. Recovery is not only possible, it’s amazing!

We can help you reclaim your life and put the pain of addiction behind you. All calls are 100% confidential, please call us today at 800-737-0933

Is Addiction Truly a Disease?

Finding the courage to get help battling addiction is difficult, especially when the addict and those around him fail to see addiction as a disease. Because many addicts made a choice at some point to drink alcohol or try a drug, people often view addiction as a choice or lack of morality and willpower. This is not the case, however. Addiction is considered a disease for several reasons. Understanding them can help both an addict and his or her loved ones come to a better understanding of addiction. These are the reasons addiction is considered to be a disease.

Biology

Studies of addiction have shown that there is a 40 to 60 percent chance that an individual may be susceptible to addiction based on genetics. Those with addicts in their family tree are more likely to become addicts themselves and are likely to become addicted to a given substance more quickly than others. Mental illness also increases the likelihood of addiction as it alters the way the brain functions.

The Brain is Hardwired for Addiction

The human brain has evolved in a way that inadvertently invites addiction. When the body does something that feels good, like eating, exercising or having sex, the brain releases dopamine to encourage the behavior. These activities are necessary for survival, so the brain rewards the body for them with a hit of dopamine and positive feelings. Drugs and alcohol can overstimulate the brain, causing it to bathe itself in a sea of excess dopamine. This makes the person feel so good that they want to repeat the experience. As drug usage continues, the brain must get used to functioning with an excess of dopamine and forgets how to work without it. Over time, drug use stops affecting only the brain’s pleasure center and begins affecting other chemicals. The result is changes in all of the following:

  • Learning
  • Judgement
  • Decision-making
  • Stress levels
  • Memory
  • Behavior

Relapse Cycles

Many diseases are manageable and treatable but not curable. In this way too, addiction is like a disease. Although addictions can be overcome and beaten, staying sober requires lifelong vigilance. Once the chemistry of the brain is altered by addiction, relapse is always possible. The body may continue to crave and desire drugs and alcohol even though an individual has not been using them. This pattern is similar to other diseases that sometimes go into remission but can become active again later.

When understood as a disease, it’s east to see why addiction requires professional treatment. No one expects a diabetic or cancer patient to get well on their own, and the same should be true of those suffering from addiction. If you or someone you love is battling this disease, get help today by calling 800-737-0933. The path to freedom from addiction starts with a simple phone call.

How do I Know if I Need an Outpatient or Inpatient Rehab Program?

Coming to the realization that you have a serious drug addiction problem can be absolutely daunting. At the same time, it is also an eye-opening experience and a positive step forward because you may also acknowledge that you need help. Once you decide enough is enough and that you’re ready to get help for your substance abuse disorder, you can find a drug rehabilitation facility to enter a treatment program.

Generally, there are two options available to you, outpatient and inpatient rehab programs. How do you know which is better for you? It’s worth learning about each of these treatment options and their similarities and differences to determine the answer.

With outpatient addiction treatment:

  • You are allowed to return home each night while attending your rehab program during the day
  • You are required to attend therapy sessions each week
  • You may be prescribed maintenance medication by a psychiatrist to manage your withdrawal symptoms

Outpatient treatment typically takes place in a setting that is less intensive than that of inpatient.

Overall, outpatient treatment is better suited for individuals who have more of a short-term or milder addiction. The typical client at an outpatient facility also has various responsibilities at home that they need to attend to, such as caring for their children or an elderly parent, as well as work. It works well for allowing you to take care of your everyday responsibilities while getting the help you need to overcome your substance abuse problem.

 

When You Should Choose Inpatient Treatment Over Outpatient

If you have a more severe drug addiction problem and have been battling it for years, inpatient addiction treatment is the better option for you. Inpatient rehab:

  • Is more comprehensive
  • Is situated in a hospital or residential facility that is outside of a hospital setting
  • Offers more access to medical services and clients receive around-the-clock supervision from healthcare professionals or staff personnel

With inpatient treatment, you can expect to be in a rehab program for anywhere from 28 to 90 days depending on the severity of your addiction, the drug to which you are dependent and other factors, such as if a dual diagnosis exists. Dual diagnosis is also known as a coexisting medical or psychiatric condition that may be present in addition to the addiction.

Inpatient treatment also involves detox, which involves removing all traces of drugs from the person’s system. While undergoing this period of your recovery, you will be carefully monitored while you go through the withdrawal process.

Therapy is a huge component of both outpatient and inpatient addiction treatment. Whichever type of rehab you ultimately choose, it’s important to take part in counseling sessions, whether you do individual, group or family therapy and to continue doing so well after your treatment ends. It will help to avoid a relapse and give you a better chance of retaining your sobriety.

Our counselors are available 24 hours per day. If you are ready to enter a treatment program for your substance abuse problem, contact us immediately at 800-737-0933