Are you struggling with addiction to opiates? Perhaps someone you love is exhibiting worrisome signs that they may be abusing these substances. You may think that the issue will just clear up over time without treatment. Many other people have believed the same thing. Sadly, instead of getting better, they watched their careers, relationships, and health slowly deteriorate while continuing on a destructive, downward path.
Alarmingly, opiate overdose deaths continue to rise. You may be shocked how dangerous this type of addiction can actually be. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017, more than 70,000 drug overdose deaths involved opioids. That’s almost 70% of all reported drug overdoses for that year. That number was six times higher than it was just 18 years prior.
To put things in perspective, about 130 Americans die each day because of an opioid overdose. That means, each day, 130 families are devastated and wish that their loved one got the help he or she truly needed before it was too late.
Luckily, no one is beyond help. No matter how hopeless you may think you are, addiction treatment can be the difference between a life renewed and another statistic. Are you ready to learn more about how to get help? Rehab for Opiate Addiction in Denver, Colorado is available at Denver Recovery Center. We offer excellent holistic rehabilitation programs that can change your life.
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What are Opiates?
Opiates are mind-altering drugs used for treating chronic or severe pain. These drugs are derived from the psychoactive compounds found in the opium poppy plant (Papaver somniferum). For generations, poppy flowers have been cultivated for their medicinal properties that can help with pain, coughing, diarrhea, and sleep problems.
Opiates are the chemical compounds that produce psychoactive effects, known as opium alkaloids. You have probably heard the term opioid and may think that the terms mean the same thing. Opioids is a blanket term for both naturally occurring opiates, like morphine, and synthetic compounds that impact specific receptors of the brain, such as fentanyl.
Common Opiates and Opioid Drugs
Opioids (fully synthetic drugs):
How Do Opiates Work?
The opioid system in the brain, spinal cord, and digestive system controls pain, rewards, and even addictive behaviors. Three main opioid receptors are activated by the body’s naturally occurring peptides. Opiates taken medically or recreationally can also activate these receptors.
Heavy use of these drugs changes the way the brain functions. As a result, the reward system is hijacked and reprogrammed to become dependent on these highly addictive drugs. This is why it is so difficult to stop using, even if you have a strong desire to quit.
Opiates and Addiction
When your brain and body become dependent on opiates, it creates a vicious cycle of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. These pervasive thoughts consume daily activities and habits. For many struggling with this addiction, it’s nearly impossible to shake thoughts of obtaining and using the drug. The only way to quiet these thoughts is to use the drug. After the high wears off, the thoughts begin again, and the cycle continues.
Without treatment, those suffering from addiction sacrifice their friends, family, career, and health just to get that fleeting high.
Some may think those struggling with addiction are junkies or degenerates looking for a quick escape from their troubles. This is certainly not the case. Some individuals dealing with an injury or a recent surgery may be prescribed these drugs to help them recover. In time, the person may feel the drug isn’t helping enough. So, they take a little more. As their tolerance builds up, they may not feel normal or right without the drug. The cravings begin. Withdrawal symptoms start. Soon they may search for other, illegal ways to find similar painkillers.
One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is knowing the symptoms of drug abuse and getting help as soon as possible. You don’t need to wait until you or a loved one hits rock bottom. In fact, early intervention can prevent many major problems, including life-threatening overdoses, before they begin.
What Are the Signs of Opiate Abuse?
If you think you or a loved one needs opiate addiction help, familiarize yourself with the common red flags. Noticing these signs can make a huge difference in a person’s ability to recover from these very addictive substances.
Signs and symptoms of opiate use include:
- Being unable to stop use of the drug or use as prescribed
- Poor coordination
- Slurred speech
- Pale, clammy skin
- Shallow or slow breathing
- Mood swings
- Brief periods of euphoria
Other Signs of Addiction
In addition to the physical symptoms of drug abuse, one may show common psychological and behavioral red flags that are associated with addiction. Those displaying these signs often need additional help and treatment for addiction. Be on the lookout for:
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Losing interest in social and leisure activities
- Absence from school or work
- Financial difficulties
- Changes in sleep habits
- Excessive weight loss or gain
- Disappearing for periods of time
- Associating with a new peer group
- Mood swings
- Anxiety or depression
- Presence of drug paraphernalia in living areas like pill bottles or needles
- Denying or rationalizing drug use
- Engaging in high-risk activities while high or trying to obtain drugs
- Evidence of drug withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit
If you or a loved one is dependent on opiates, know that enduring the withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable and often lead to relapse. Depending on how long and how much of the drug you consumed, withdrawal symptoms can begin hours after the last time you used. Even worse, they could last for a week or more, and that doesn’t include the Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome symptoms that can last for months.
Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Muscle aches/cramps
- Intense cravings
- Nausea and vomiting
- Profuse sweating
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Racing heart
- High blood pressure
It is not easy to quit on your own. If you are willing to seek help, it may make enduring withdrawal much more tolerable. Many people have found medically managed detox programs that provide pharmacological and psychological support helped them finally get clean.
Of course, detoxing from the drug is just the first step. Once the drug is out of your system, and the withdrawal symptoms have subsided, the real work begins. Addiction treatment centers can help you finally take control of your life with a variety of therapies.
Treatment for Opiate Addiction
For many, simply quitting drugs, especially opiates, isn’t as easy as it seems. It is not just an issue with willpower. Many people suffering from addiction have underlying causes, such as family history, trauma, or mental health issues, that fuel their urges to use drugs. If these issues aren’t addressed, all the willpower in the world may not be helpful to finally get clean.
This is why you shouldn’t be embarrassed or scared to ask for help. Many people have been in similar situations. They felt hopeless, powerless, and out of control. When they finally chose to embrace treatment, however, they found they were not alone with their struggles. They discovered a support system helping in the path to recovery and working through the difficult times.
If you’re struggling with addiction, you probably have a lot of questions about treatment. What will it be like? How long will it take? How will it actually help me? These are all valid questions.
The best treatment centers for opiate addiction provide an individualized approach combining evidence-based therapies to help you get and stay clean. A team of professionals works with you through every step of your recovery process with proven interventions to help you stay motivated and engaged during treatment.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment for this addiction. Your length of stay and treatment can be very different from someone else seeking treatment. So what does this kind of treatment look like?
Once you make the brave choice to get treatment, an admission counselor will listen to your story, struggles, and concerns. From there, you will be assessed to find out the most appropriate level of care. Many people dealing with addiction need detox, residential, or partial hospitalization placement. Some individuals with a strong support network and relatively short-term abuse of the drug may begin in an outpatient program.
Because these drugs are notoriously hard to quit, many people find medication-assisted treatment to be helpful. This can include medically supervised treatments of methadone or buprenorphine. After you fully detox from the substance, other medications (like naltrexone) may be used.
Medications alone won’t address all of the issues. People who are seeking treatment benefit from a combination of medication-assisted treatment and counseling to help with any underlying issues. Counseling can include individual, group, or family sessions using a variety of evidence-based therapies.
Therapies for Recovering From Opiate Addiction
Psychotherapy, sometimes known as talk therapy, is effective in helping those struggling with addiction determine the root causes of their drug use, identify self-defeating beliefs, and develop essential coping skills. During psychotherapy, you work extensively with a counselor who will help you identify your strengths and needs. Together, you create a plan to use your personal strengths to help forge a new way of thinking and behaving. As a result, you create new habits for dealing with others, drug triggers, and stressful areas of your life.
For example, if you struggle with controlling your anger, a therapist will help you determine what tends to trigger your outbursts and how it leads to your substance abuse. You may be given assignments (like completing a daily anger log) or exercises (like deep breathing) to practice during treatment. In time, you can create new habits and thought patterns that allow you to manage your anger effectively instead of resorting to drug use.
The most common forms of psychotherapy used in drug treatment are cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Other therapies may also be used depending on a person’s individual needs.
Many treatment centers also offer a holistic approach to recovery. This means treating you as a whole person instead of a diagnosis. Holistic therapy helps you make major changes in the way you live that help solidify your recovery. There are several holistic therapies available. As you go through treatment, you will inevitably find one that resonates with you.
For example, some holistic therapies help address the mind/body connection. Those who habitually abuse drugs often lose touch with this vital connection. As their mind races with obsessive thoughts, they neglect the basic needs of their bodies. As a result, they are no longer mindful of the crucial messages the body sends them for overall health and well-being. Certain therapies, like meditation and yoga, help to re-establish the mind/body connection. In addition, nutrition education can teach you how properly nourish the body to feel better and have more energy.
Another main focus of holistic therapy is finding outlets to pursue a meaningful life without the crutch of drugs. Once sober, you will find you have much more free time. After all, you are no longer spending much of the day getting high or trying to obtain drugs. By finding engaging and fulfilling leisure pursuits, you can create new, positive habits to replace your drug use. Adventure therapy, physical fitness, and experiential activities give you exciting opportunities to expand your leisure interests and continue on your journey of self-discovery.
Is There Rehab for Opiate Addiction in Colorado?
If you are living in Denver or are interested in receiving treatment in this area, you have access to a treatment center that offers a full continuum of care in nearby Broomfield, Colorado. Denver Recovery Center believes no one is beyond help. They offer a distinctly holistic, individualized program providing a variety of evidence-based addiction therapies.
Trying to quit on your own is difficult. If you don’t have the proper resources and support network, you may find yourself falling into the same old patterns. We offer a comfortable, confidential community that is dedicated to supporting your recovery.
The Colorado landscape offers exciting opportunities for leisure and self-discovery. We use the natural wonders of Colorado to help with your recovery. A scenic hike or the chance to finally simply be in the outdoors has inspired both Colorado natives and those from all over the country to shift their perspectives and find meaningful pursuits without the need to use drugs.
Get Help for Opiate Addiction Today
Many people struggling with addiction think tomorrow will be better. They put off seeking help because fear and addictive tendencies keep them from thinking rationally.
Do you want to know what many of those who made it through our program regret? Not calling sooner. Once they discovered they could live a happy, fulfilling life without using drugs, they wished they could have all the time back they spent miserable, sick, and tired.
Of course, you can’t turn back time. You can, however, stop waiting for tomorrow. Simply calling (844) 602-3175 gets you started on the path to a better future. Our admissions counselor will listen to your story, answer your questions, and help you find a program that best suits your individual needs.