opiate addiction rehabilitation

At an increasing rate, opiates are getting used by people who don’t have prescriptions. Therefore, people without opiate prescriptions often develop opiate addictions. Opiate addiction is a chronic disease with serious health, social, and financial ramifications. Therefore, individuals that develop opiate addictions should receive opiate addiction treatment at a rehab center.

What are Opiates?

Opiates are a class of controlled prescription medications or illicit substances derived from opium, a compound naturally present in poppy seeds and plants. Opiates are widely prescribed as painkillers, and they tend to be abused heavily due to their sedative effects. Such behavior often causes a person to develop an opiate addiction. This then causes such a person to need to attend opiate addiction rehabilitation.

Opiates alter the nervous system to numb pain and induce feelings of pleasure. Thus, opiates have a high potential for misuse. This is concerning as it also means that there is a high potential for people that are prescribed opiates for legitimate reasons to develop opiate addictions. If you or someone you know is struggling with opiate addiction, reach out to our caring team here at North Jersey Recovery Center (NJRC) for confidential opiate addiction treatment programs today. 

What’s the Difference Between Opiates and Opioids?

The terms “opiates” and “opioids” are often used interchangeably, but they are different. Opiates are naturally occurring compounds such as codeine, morphine, and heroin. Opioids include opiates in addition to semi-synthetic, and synthetic substances. Common synthetic opioids are hydrocodone (Vicodin), fentanyl, methadone, and oxycodone (OxyContin).

While every opiate is an opioid, not every opioid is an opiate. Both opiates and their synthetic counterparts are widely abused though. If opiates or opioids have a grip on your life, let North Jersey Recovery Center help you break free from that grip today.

Opiate and opioid substance abuse affect millions of people around the world every year, and this epidemic is steadily rising. In fact, opiates are among the most commonly abused drugs in New Jersey. Furthermore, overdose to substances such as opiates is the leading cause of accidental deaths here in the Garden State. Thus, before you overdose, receive care at an addiction treatment center. 

Developing an Addiction to Painkillers

Many people with addictions to opiate or opioid pain relievers started using the drug because their doctors prescribed it to them for pain relief. After a period of time though, the original dose of opiates and opioids that were prescribed for these people to take no longer seemed to alleviate their pain. This is because many people with opiate or opioid prescriptions start building a tolerance to the substance. 

Since many people with opiate or opioid prescriptions are building a tolerance to their medications, they soon need more doses of the drugs to obtain pain relief. Unfortunately, increasing a person’s opiate/opioid painkiller dosage often leads to that person developing a physical dependence on the substance. Opioid dependence is characterized by growing cravings to continue using higher and higher amounts of the substance. It’s also characterized by experiencing withdrawal symptoms whenever a person minimizes or discontinues his or her use of opioids.

While opioid dependency is dangerous, it doesn’t equal addiction. In fact, relatively few people with dependence experience the symptoms of addiction. However, people with opioid dependencies that do turn into opioid additions need to attend opioid or opiate addiction rehabilitation treatment programs at a treatment center to function normally again. 

What Causes People to Need Opiate Addiction Rehabilitation?

Scientists agree that biological and lifestyle elements play a major part in the development of an opioid or opiate addiction. The body produces its own internal opioid substances, called endogenous opioids. These endogenous opioids regulate pain and reward behaviors in the body. 

Exogenous opioids such as prescription medications and illicit opioid drugs act on the body’s natural opioid receptors. This causes chemical alterations that induce feelings of pleasure and pain relief. As a result, people who abuse opioids become dependent on the substances to feel any of that pain relief or pleasure.

Over time, such dependency causes people to need to abuse more and more opioids and opiates just to feel pleasure and avoid feeling painful withdrawal symptoms. This constant increase in opioid and opiate abuse then causes a person to develop an opioid use disorder, which, in turn, causes people to need to attend opiate addiction treatment programs at a treatment center. Other factors that contribute to a person developing an opioid use disorder that requires that person to need addiction treatment include:

Opiates and Overdose

Opiate and opioid substance abuse all too often result in overdoses. Overdoses occur when people suddenly consume too much of a substance, which causes them to experience serious physical harm and even death. People who experience overdoses usually take too much of a substance at once or combine it with other substances such as alcohol and benzodiazepines. 

Drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental deaths in the US. In fact, prescription opioid overdoses resulted in 218,000 fatalities from 1999 to 2017. This data shows that opiate use is dangerous and comes with a serious risk of death for those who consistently abuse the substance. The signs of opiate overdose include the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Constricted pupils
  • Shallow breathing
  • Cool or clammy skin
  • Going in and out of consciousness
  • Profound sleepiness or inability to wake up

Although some who survive opioid or opiate overdoses use again, many individuals take this life-threatening crisis as a wake-up call to seek opioid or opiate addiction rehabilitation. 

Reversing an Opioid Overdose

Naloxone is an emergency medication that can potentially save the life of someone who experiences an opioid or opiate overdose. Naloxone acts as an antidote to opioids by helping a person overdosing on opioids wake up and continue breathing. Medical professionals have been using naloxone to treat opioid overdoses for decades.

In New Jersey, even a bystander can legally and safely administer naloxone. People can purchase Narcan or Evzio (brand name versions of naloxone) kits from local pharmacies if they want to. 

Individuals can also help prevent people from dying from opioid overdoses by receiving opioid overdose prevention training through the New Jersey’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Those who engage in this training can then even help people recovering from opiate addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders. 

Types of Opiates 

There are various types of naturally occurring opiates in the world. Some of the most well-known types of opiates are described below. 

Codeine

Codeine is a narcotic opiate that doctors prescribe to people in pill or liquid form to relieve them of mild to moderate pain and coughs. Some street names for codeine include cough syrup, cities, t-threes, and schoolboy. 

Codeine is not as potent as other opiates, leading many people to consider it relatively harmless. This isn’t true though, as chronically abusing codeine can cause people to develop opiate addictions just like any other opiate. Once people develop opiate addictions due to excessive codeine abuse, they must receive opiate addiction treatment. Common effects of codeine use include:

  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria
  • Drowsiness
  • Apathy

Many people use codeine to treat legitimate illnesses but start abusing it as their tolerance builds and the effects wane. Consequently, at high doses, codeine intake can result in respiratory failure, coma, and death. This risk escalates, even more, when people combine the drug with alcohol and other drugs other than depressants.

“Purple Drank”

“Purple drank” is a recreational drug made by mixing prescription-grade cough medicine with sodas and candy. Codeine, the powerful opiate previously mentioned, is the main ingredient in purple drank. 

Many popular songs and TV shows glorify the combination of substances that people use in purple drank. This is unfortunate, as it only causes young people to want the opiates in this drug mixture. Additionally, other names for purple drank include syrup, sizzurp, and lean.

Short-Term Side Effects of Codeine Abuse

Similar to when people conduct substance abuse, many side effects can occur when abusing the opiate codeine. Some of the short-term side effects of codeine abuse include:

  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Itchiness or rash
  • Low blood pressure
  • Constipation and stomach ache

Extended, chronic codeine abuse can lead to:

  • Death
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Liver damage
  • Muscle spasms
  • Kidney damage
  • Impaired memory

Clinicians and addiction specialists follow criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) when diagnosing codeine addiction. The technical signs of codeine addiction include increasing consumption beyond prescribed doses and neglecting personal responsibilities to get more of the drug. 

The course of treatment for codeine addiction depends on how severe a person’s addiction is. Regardless, individuals with a codeine addiction will need to attend opiate addiction treatment programs for relief from their substance abuse. 

Codeine Withdrawal

The codeine withdrawal symptoms that a person experiences vary depending on the severity of that person’s codeine dependency and addiction. Regardless, the discomfort of codeine withdrawal often drives people who are purposely trying to quit using the substance back to conducting codeine abuse. The timeline that a person is using to withdraw from codeine along with the intensity of a person’s codeine withdrawal process can be impacted by:

  • Weight
  • Gender
  • Medical history
  • Mental health
  • Length of use
  • Frequency of use
  • Method of consumption
  • Average regular doses
  • Whether or not one used codeine with other substances

Common codeine withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, fever, dehydration, cravings, and depression. Without clinical supervision, these codeine withdrawal symptoms can escalate into serious or fatal complications. 

Don’t take the chance of trying to withdraw from codeine on your own. Here at NJRC, we offer a safe medical detox program to guide individuals through the transition of getting clean from substances. Once individuals complete medical detox for codeine use, here at the New Jersey Recovery treatment center, they can attend our opiate addiction rehabilitation treatment programs. 

Morphine

Doctors often prescribe individuals morphine to alleviate their moderate, severe, and chronic pain. Taking morphine induces a dreamy, euphoric feeling. This Schedule II drug usually comes in tablet and syrup form. Morphine can also be injected, taken nasally and transdermally, or even smoked. Street names for morphine include Miss Emma, monkey, M, and white stuff.

People use morphine to manage their pain after surgeries, cancer-related discomfort, and palliative care at the end of life. Morphine’s accessibility along with the pleasurable feelings that it induces makes it highly addictive. 

Prescribed morphine is now manufactured to deter abuse, but this doesn’t impact illicitly produced morphine. Regardless of how people obtain morphine the drug, they must attend opiate addiction rehabilitation treatment programs to overcome their addictions. 

Side Effects of Morphine Use

Short-term side effects of morphine substance abuse include:

  • Chest pain
  • Nervousness
  • Hallucinations
  • Decreased libido
  • A false sense of well-being
  • Severe respiratory depression

Long-term side effects of morphine substance abuse include:

  • Confusion
  • Restlessness
  • Collapsed veins
  • Suppressed immune system

Using morphine without a prescription is abuse and a criminal offense. It can be difficult to tell if a person is abusing morphine if that person has a prescription. Thus, look for the following signs of morphine abuse and addiction so that you know whether or not it’s time for opiate addiction treatment:

  • Inattention
  • Nodding off
  • Legal issues
  • Mood swings
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slurred speech
  • Doctor shopping
  • Shallow breathing
  • Isolation from loved ones

Morphine Withdrawal

Withdrawal from morphine feels similar to withdrawal from heroin as it produces withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Tremors
  • Irritability
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Chills and sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Depression and anxiety

Quitting morphine using the cold turkey method is quite uncomfortable. When someone quits drugs cold turkey, they stop taking substances abruptly without detox, weaning, or medication assistance. Furthermore, research shows that sudden morphine cessation increases the risk of inflammation and damage to healthy brain cells. 

Clinical detoxification is the safest, most effective way to get clean from morphine. After completing morphine detox, individuals should attend opiate addiction treatment. North Jersey Recovery Center can be at your side to support you every step of the way to morphine-free living. 

Heroin

Heroin is one of the most addictive compounds known to humans. It’s also an illegal opiate. Heroin hijacks the brain’s reward system by affecting the production of the “feel good” chemicals dopamine and endorphins. People abuse the drug heroin by smoking it, snorting it, and injecting it. Moreover, one out of every four individuals who try heroin becomes addicted to the substance immediately. Individuals with heroin addictions should always receive opiate addiction rehabilitation.  

Heroin is synthesized from morphine. It goes by names such as smack, “H”, and junk. The illicit drug comes in fine white powder, black or brown powder, or a sticky black gel called black tar. Street heroin is usually mixed with morphine or fentanyl.

Heroin produces intensely pleasurable effects that can last for hours. New heroin users often enjoy the drowsiness and dizziness that the drug brings without having to experience a comedown or hangover like they do when using alcohol or ecstasy. The feelings of contentment and relaxation are seemingly harmless snares that quickly take hold of heroin users though.

To make matters worse, heroin tempts users as an inexpensive, more accessible option to painkillers. In fact, almost half of the young people who use heroin used painkillers first. Many young heroin users even reported seeing no, little, or moderate risk to using the dangerous substance known as heroin. 

Side Effects of Heroin Addiction

There are numerous side effects that a person can experience when abusing heroin. Common side effects of heroin addiction include:

  • Paranoia
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Criminal behavior
  • Feeling “junk sick”
  • Sudden weight loss
  • The need to get more high
  • Inability to feel normal without using
  • Unsuccessful attempts to quit or cut back
  • Continuing to use in spite of heroin-related problems
  • Financial difficulties, borrowing money to support the habit

Heroin use brings its own health and social risks, but intravenous users have an even greater possibility of experiencing serious complications from heroin use. This is because these individuals often share their needles and expose each other to blood-borne viruses like hepatitis and HIV. Heroin users also tend to engage in risky sexual behavior that contributes to high rates of viral infections.

The number and severity of heroin side effects build up with the length of heroin use. Prolonged heroin consumption also deteriorates the internal organs, leading to lung, liver, and heart disease. Heroin even wears down the immune system, thus opening the door for communicable and non-communicable diseases. Furthermore, heroin overdose can cause permanent brain damage, coma, and death. To avoid experiencing all of these terrible conditions, individuals with heroin addictions should seek out opiate addiction treatment as soon as possible. 

Heroin Withdrawal

Withdrawal from heroin causes severe physical and psychological pain within just a few hours of the last use. In fact, heroin withdrawal symptoms are typically more intense than weaning off prescription pain relievers. Discomfort from heroin withdrawal may last about one week after the last use, but post-acute heroin withdrawal symptoms may last much longer. Further, people withdrawing from heroin use may experience:

  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Panic attacks
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Poor concentration 

Medical detox can reduce the risk of self-harm and relapse. It can also save lives, as doctors and medical professionals supervise people’s medical status during medical detox and help people avoid dehydration and other potentially dangerous conditions. Please reach out for help to beat heroin addiction. Here at the North Jersey Recovery treatment center, individuals can receive medical detox services and attend opiate addiction rehabilitation treatment programs. NJRC is standing by, ready to help you win.

When It’s Time for an Intervention

People with substance use disorders are often unable or unwilling to acknowledge the severity and danger of their conditions. Well-meaning but emotional confrontations rarely help these individuals take steps to change. However, a planned intervention can be a powerful strategic means to get through to a person suffering from addiction to an opiate. 

An intervention is a meeting that brings together an addict’s loved ones to express concern and support for the addict. Research suggests that over 90% of interventions end with the individual agreeing to treatment. 

Ideally, interventions should involve an experienced interventionist. An interventionist is a professional who can impart knowledge and training to the group beforehand, moderate the meeting, and assist in transporting addicts into addiction treatment programs.

Opiate Addiction Rehabilitation at North Jersey Recovery Center

You may hear about so many treatment options for opiate addiction treatment recovery in New Jersey, that it’s hard to figure out what would be best for you or your loved one. Here at North Jersey Recovery Center, we have found that both intensive detox and rehab are most effective when treating opiate addictions. 

There are various levels of care for opiate addiction treatment. The level of care that a person should receive depends on the severity of his or her addiction.  

Partial Care Program

Partial care programs provide individuals with outpatient treatment that’s approximately five to eight hours a day, five to seven days a week. Our partial-care program gives you a reprieve from temptations so that you can focus on recovery. 

With a low client-to-staff ratio, our professionals can provide a deep level of compassionate care and cultivate relationships with you that foster healing. We know that your background and needs are unique, so we devise your treatment plan accordingly.

Intensive Outpatient Program

Intensive outpatient programs provide individuals with outpatient treatment that’s approximately three to four hours a day, a few days a week. Recovery is a journey, not a destination. Whether you are able to participate in most of your ordinary daily activities or have recently gone through inpatient rehab, you will likely still need professional assistance to progress in your recovery journey. 

The North Jersey Recovery treatment center offers IOP—intensive outpatient programming—to help former opiate addicts acclimate to the real world. This level of intensive outpatient care provides:

  • Monitoring
  • Relationship skills
  • Career assistance
  • Continued therapy
  • Financial education

Partial care programs are for individuals with moderate to severe addictions and intensive outpatient programs are for people with moderate addictions. 

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medical detox and opiate addiction treatment at NJRC will likely include medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT is the use of medications in conjunction with counseling to help you manage your withdrawal symptoms and addiction. This protocol is widely implemented with growing evidence of its effectiveness. 

MAT works in inpatient and outpatient settings. The prescribed medication that people receive in MAT helps normalize their brain chemistry and body functions. It also reduces cravings and the euphoric effects of opiates and opioids. Under a doctor’s supervision, people can use these FDA-approved drugs for months, years, or even the rest of their lives.

Common pharmaceuticals used to treat opioid addiction include buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone. These medications go by brand names such as Suboxone, Subutex, and Vivitrol. These drugs do not cure addictions, but they have shown significant benefits in people with SUD.

Find Hope with Opiate Addiction Rehabilitation in New Jersey

Knowledge becomes a powerful force when you act on it. Make the call for change in your life. Begin your journey toward sobriety at the North Jersey Recovery treatment center, a Legit Script certified and monitored addiction rehab program. If you’re suffering from opiate addiction or recovering from opiate addiction and are looking to attend opiate addiction rehabilitation, reach out to us. You can also reach out to us if you’re suffering from any substance use disorder or any substance abuse and mental health issue combined. Speak with one of our compassionate representatives and begin your journey to recovery today!

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Laura Riley

Medical Reviewer

Laura comes to NJRC with 23 years of vast clinical experience in hospital, residential, outpatient, and community outreach settings where she has worked, supervised clinical teams, and volunteered. She has provided substance abuse and mental health counseling, clinical coordination, and advocacy to individuals, families and groups, and specializes in co-occurring disorders for both adults and adolescents.