Drug use and misuse goes beyond legal issues. People who are addicted to opioids have a difficult time stopping on their own due to the physical and mental effects of addiction.
According to MedLinePlus, opioids include heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, and other drugs. Even when legal drugs are prescribed for a legitimate medical need, addiction can still develop. This guide explains more about opioid addiction and how it can be treated.
Different medications have different effects on opioid misuse. Methadone eases the withdrawal symptoms that accompany long-term opioid use. It also lessens future cravings. While methadone interacts with the same brain receptors that are triggered when using opioids, they do not cause a euphoric feeling like other drugs.
Naltrexone is provided to reduce the risk of relapses during treatment. It blocks the receptors in the brain that respond to opioids. Accordingly, a person will not experience the same effects from using opioids while on naltrexone.
Addiction issues often come about because of underlying mental health disorders. Counseling treats these disorders, while also providing you healthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress. Counseling can be provided individually, or it can occur in a group setting. Counseling can also involve family members, so they understand what addiction is and how it should be addressed.
While residential treatment programs use counseling and medication to address addiction issues, they also provide a safe living space for those undergoing treatment. This allows a person to acclimate to a life without drugs, while also offering them access to peers going through the same struggles. Many people transition to outpatient treatment once programs are complete.
Opioid addiction is a complex problem with no easy answers. While addicts often end up incarcerated, the best chance of maintaining sobriety lies in the treatments listed above.