When an addict is sick of using opioids, they sometime go to an inpatient opioid detox center to get off their medication. Families and patients are tired of the many problems that opioid addiction has caused including financial devastation, weigh loss, unemployment, and legal problems. The first impulse for those wanting treatment is to seek an opioid detox center and get off the drugs.
If you or a loved one is thinking about going to an opioid detox center for opioid detoxification, think again about this choice. Opioid detox usually leads to a relapse of narcotic addiction. Inpatient opioid detox does help relieve some of the symptoms of opioid withdrawals, but is remains a very uncomfortable process for most. Finally, there are other options available for the treatment of opioid addiction including opioid maintenance treatment.
Avoid Relapse By Going To an Opioid Detox Center
Opioid addiction is a severe illness and in some ways is very different from other drugs of abuse. The relapse rate over time for those with true opioid dependence can reach to over 90%. This means the odds are the majority of people with an opioid addiction will restart their addiction. Most do it within the first month or two of stopping the narcotic. The cycle of getting off and then restarting a narcotic addiction is demoralizing and physically exhausting. There are, however, some benefits of attending an opioid detox center.
The there are other services available in an inpatient detox. Psychologists and therapists will be available to help deal with emotional issues related to drug use. Social services can be very helpful in getting you set up with the needed aftercare appointments and counseling that will be needed. Finally, there are Physicians available to assess the physical status of the addict, see if there is a need for treatment of other mental health related issues, and they can review with you the medication options for the treatment of opioid addiction.
Getting On Opioid Maintenance While In The Hospital
Detoxification is not to only option while in the hospital and being treated for opioid dependence. There are a number of medication options. All the opioid centers will have available medications to ease the withdrawal process from opioids if one chooses to detox. They will have at their disposal other medications to treat depression, schizophrenia, bipolar illness, along with medication for detox form alcohol. If abstinence from opioids is wanted, then there is medication (Vivitrol) which can be started in pill form or a longer term injection that will stop any subsequent narcotics from working for several days to weeks. It is not a cure, but I is a deterrent from restarting opioid use impulsively.
The other medications mainly used are methadone, buprenorphine, and buprenorphine/naloxone (also known as Suboxone). The treatment center needs to be approved to begin methadone and this is less frequently done unless the center is part of a methadone maintenance program. Another choice is buprenorphine alone or buprenorphine/naloxone combination. These medication basically are a supervised form of dependence. While taking them one becomes dependent on them and will be required to see a physician for followup as well as continue counseling on an outpatient. There are many advantages to these medications.
It is very easy and fast to get started on methadone or buprenorphine in the hospitalization. Stabilization can be done in a few days for most. In fact, most of the time it is done as an outpatient. While on these medications addicts are more likely to have improved employment, more stability in their family life, and they are then able to work on reducing or quitting other drugs of abuse. For the moderated to severe opioid addict, maintenance treatment is becoming the best treatment choice.
Opioid dependence can be treated with abstinence or maintenance treatment. While in the hospital, both these options can be explored. With the advent of methadone, and more recently buprenorphine, maintenance treatment is becoming the treatment for choice by patients and doctors. Most opioid addicts do not do well without a narcotic and maintenance treatment helps prevent falling back into addictive patterns. These medications are easily started both as and outpatient an inpatient (for those needing closer supervision and immediate intervention.