The U.S. is in the middle of a third wave of it’s opiate addiction crisis. Widespread availability of heroin from coast-to-coast is causing unfathomable damage. Recovery from opiate addiction is possible, but for most people it will be one of the hardest things they ever do. The best way to beat an addiction to heroin or any other opiate is by attending an opioid rehab program like NJRC which specifically treats opioid use disorders.
What are Opiates?
Opiates are a class of controlled prescription medications or illicit substances derived from opium, a compound naturally present in opium poppy flower pods. Opiates are widely prescribed as painkillers, and they tend to be abused heavily due to their sedative and euphoric side effects. Sustained use of any opiate will result in physical dependence on the drug, i.e. opiate addiction. No one is immune to opiate addiction. If you use opiates regularly, you will become dependent on opiates. There are no exceptions.
Opiates alter the nervous system to numb pain and induce feelings of pleasure. Thus, opiates have a high potential for misuse. This also means that there is a high potential for people that are prescribed opiates to develop an addiction to opiates. 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 options 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. 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. Opioid dependency is physical, whereas addiction is a psychological phenomenon. However, people with opioid dependencies often do drift into opioid addiction. When this happens, opiate addiction treatment is the most effective solution.
When is Opiate Addiction Rehab Necessary?
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 painkillers and illicit opiates, like heroin, act on the body’s natural opioid receptors, effectively “hijacking” the brain’s reward pathways. This causes chemical alterations that induce feelings of pleasure and pain relief. With prolonged, regular use, eventually the body starts to make less and less of the natural endogenous opioids.
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, opioid overdose deaths have steadily increased year after year fatalities from 1999 through 2021. The data clearly shows that opiate use is dangerous and comes with a serious risk of death for those who continue to misuse opiates and other opioids.
The signs of opiate overdose include the following symptoms:
- 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 nasal spray or Evzio (brand name versions of naloxone) kits from local pharmacies if they want to. There are also state-sponsored and charity programs which offer free NARCAN
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.
When Is An Intervention for Opiate Addiction Needed?
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 conducted with a professional, trained interventionist successfully end with the individual agreeing to treatment.
Staging An Intervention Without A Professional
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. Amatuer or family interventions without a professional are statistically somewhat less successful.
However, if funds are not available to hire a trained interventionist, a trusted and respected person outside the family, such as a pastor, priest, rabbi or imam may suffice. Even a former boss or favorite football coach can work. The key is the person leading the intervention must not be a family member or emotionally involved. They must be respected and not easily manipulated. Everyone participating in the intervention must “hold the line” as well and follow the plan to the letter, allowing the leader to maintain control.
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 (PHP) provide individuals with outpatient treatment that’s approximately five to eight hours a day, five 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 (IOP) 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 PHP or residential 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:
- Relationship skills
- Career assistance
- Continued therapy
- Financial education
IOP treatment is an excellent follow-up for a partial care program (PHP)
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. How you use MAT is a personal decision between yourself and your care provider, but MAT can unquestionably be an asset to recovery.
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!