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Opioid Rehab & Addiction Treatment Programs Near Me

3 min read · 7 sections
Opioid rehab is a common way for those suffering from opioid use disorders to recover from their substance use disorders and improve their wellbeing. Learn more about how opioid rehab can help you or your loved one below.

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of drugs that are extracted or synthesized from the opium poppy plant.1 Some forms of these drugs are prescribed as medications to treat severe acute pain (surgery, fractures, etc.) or “breakthrough pain” associated with cancer, while other forms of these drugs are synthesized and consumed illegally.1 Opioids work by attaching (binding) to opioid cells (receptors) in the brain, thus activating these receptors and as a result, block  pain signals from the brain to the body, resulting in reduced pain sensation.2,3 When opioids bind to their receptors, dopamine is released, causing feelings of euphoria (extreme pleasure).  These short-lived euphoric feelings create an intense desire for more dopamine, thus creating reinforcement for continued opioid use. This cycle can often lead to opioid misuse or addiction.2,4

  • Opiates specifically refer to drugs within the class of opioids that are naturally derived, such as heroin or morphine.
  • Opioids represent a broader class of pain medications, that include naturally derived, synthetic (man-made) and semi-synthetic (man-made from a naturally occurring substance).2

Different types of opioids can include:1,2,5,6,7

  • Prescription opioids, including codeine, hydrocodone (Vicodin), morphine, tramadol, and oxycodone (OxyContin).
  • Illicit opioids, including heroin.
  • Fentanyl, which is a prescription opioid but it can also be made and distributed illicitly.

Signs of Opioid Addiction

Opioid addiction or opioid use disorder (OUD) is a chronic medical condition that affects the brain and body. It occurs when an individual cannot cut back their opioid use or quit opioid use despite the negative consequences on their lives and others around them. In order to be diagnosed with an opioid use disorder, you must demonstrate at least two symptoms within a year.8 Symptoms include:8

  • Cutting back or quitting social activities or hobbies that interfere with opioid use.
  • Developing a tolerance or needing to take larger amounts of opioids to feel an effect.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you cut back or stop opioid use.
  • Having strong cravings to take opioids.
  • Inability to cut back or control your use, even if you want to.
  • Not being able to stop taking opioids even after it has caused or worsened a physical or mental health issue, or issues with social or personal relationships.
  • Ongoing opioid use interferes with your ability to function at home, school, or work.
  • Spending a lot of time getting, using, or coming down from opioids.
  • Taking a higher dose of opioids or taking opioids for longer than planned or prescribed.
  • Using opioids repeatedly in situations that can be dangerous, such as while driving.

While an OUD can look different from person to person, there are some other warning signs that may indicate a loved one might be struggling with opioids. These can include:5,8

  • Behavior or mood changes.
  • A difference in eating or sleeping habits.
  • Social isolation.
  • Legal issues.
  • Less attention to hygiene.
  • Poor attendance at school or work.
  • Running out of or losing prescription opioids frequently.
  • Skipping important meetings or appointments.
  • Spending time with a different social group.
  • Tracks (puncture marks) from needle injections on arms, or wearing long sleeves even in hot weather, to cover tracks.
  • Unexplained money issues.
  • Visiting multiple doctors or pharmacies to get opioid prescriptions.

Opioid Addiction Treatment & Rehab Options

Since opioid addiction can leave a lasting impact on the brain and alter brain functioning, opioid treatment programs need to teach participants a new set of skills to avoid relapse and address any other issues that may be present, including mental health disorders.9,10 Opioid addiction help can be offered in a variety of ways, including:9,10

  • Drug detoxification, where patients are medically supervised and stabilized during the withdrawal process after stopping use of opioids.
  • Inpatient treatment, where intensive care is provided along with around-the-clock supervision while you stay at the facility for the duration of treatment. This typically lasts between 3 and 6 weeks.
  • Outpatient treatment, where you live at home and participate in regular home, school, and work responsibilities while attending scheduled appointments that can take place at opioid treatment centers, a clinic, or a doctor’s office. Treatment frequency and intensity can be stepped down as you progress.
  • Counseling, which can be provided in individual and group sessions, typically uses behavioral therapy techniques to increase motivation towards treatment and sobriety, develop relapse prevention skills, incorporate healthy activities to replace substance use, and build peer support.
  • Family therapy may be incorporated if you wish and can help strengthen relationships and improve communication skills.
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which uses medications to help ease withdrawal effects in the short-term and can also be used in the long-term to help alleviate urges and cravings in hopes of preventing relapse. Frequently Suboxone is used in the treatment of OUDs. MAT is often combined with behavioral therapy to further treatment goals and maintain sobriety.

How Long Does Opioid Rehab Last?

The time spent in opioid rehab is different for everyone, depending on the severity of your OUD and other needs, as well as the progress that you make in treatment.9 Studies have shown that spending longer periods of time in treatment typically result in better results.9 Spending at least 90 days in inpatient and/or outpatient treatment has been shown to be more effective at reducing or stopping substance use.9 However, treatment length should be tailored to meet your unique needs.9

Opioid Addiction Medications

There are multiple opioid addiction medications that can be used for MAT. Opioid addiction treatment centers take multiple factors into account when choosing which medication best suits your individual needs. These factors include your physical health, substance abuse and mental health history, employment, medication interactions, treatment compliance, and personal preferences.11 Commonly prescribed opioid addiction medications include:9,10,11,12

  • Methadone, a long-acting synthetic opioid agonist, meaning that it attaches to and activates the same (opioid receptors) in the brain as other opioids do. When methadone occupies and activates opioid receptors in the brain, it does so more slowly than other opioids such as heroin and fentanyl in an opioid-dependent person. As a result, treatment doses of methadone ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings but does not produce the euphoric high associated with opioids of abuse.
  • Buprenorphine, a synthetic partial opioid agonist, meaning it binds to opioid receptors the same way methadone does, but activates them more slowly. Like methadone, buprenorphine also reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings, making it easier to detox from opioids without causing a high. It also blocks the rewarding effects of any other opioids used, making it a safe and effective maintenance medicine that can help support long-term recovery.
  • Naloxone, an opioid antagonist or blocker meaning that it blocks opioids (oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl, heroin, etc.) at the receptor in the brain, resulting in acute opioid withdrawal if opioids are in an individual’s bloodstream. When naloxone (its brand name Narcan) is used on its own, it is a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of opioid overdose. Depending on your location, local pharmacies or community programs may have this medication available.
  • Suboxone, a brand name prescription medication composed of buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone, when taken as prescribed, works to alleviate opioid withdrawal because of buprenorphine, but if an individual relapses and uses opioids while taking Suboxone, they will experience opioid withdrawal symptoms because of naloxone.
  • Naltrexone, an opioid antagonist that is longer acting than naloxone and therefore is used to prevent cravings and urges in long-term opioid treatment in hopes of preventing relapse.

Opioid Rehab Cost & Insurance Coverage

The cost of opioid rehab depends on your insurance carrier, your provider, and various other factors. However, most opioid rehab centers (including American Addiction Centers’ various nationwide treatment facilities) accept health insurance for the treatment of opioid use disorders. Find out below whether your insurance may cover the total or partial cost of rehabilitation.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Opioid & Opioid Rehab

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