An opiate addiction treatment center is an institution – usually a rehab facility – that specializes in helping clients overcome opiate addictions.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 20% of all drug treatment admissions are opiate-related. In other words, one in five individuals getting help for drug addiction are there because they got addicted to some form of opiate, including prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin.
What is treated at an opiate addiction treatment center?
Opiate addiction centers treat those recovering from:
- Addiction to prescription painkillers (opiates) like:
- Oxycodone (Percocet, OxyContin, Percodan)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet)
- Fentanyl (Duragesic)
- Pethidine (Demerol)
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
- Propoxyphene (Darvocet/Darvon)
- Heroin addiction
What kinds of opiate treatment centers are there?
When looking at treatment options for opiate addiction, the first choice to be made is whether to go to an outpatient or inpatient rehab center.
Outpatient opiate treatment programs offer many of the same services as inpatient rehab programs, but patients don't stay at the facility. They live at home and come in for treatment. In general, outpatient opiate treatment centers are better suited for those whose addictions are less established, as well as those who aren't able to leave home for some reason.
Inpatient opiate rehab facilities offer residential care, meaning all attendees live on site. The opiate rehab center takes care of all needs, including room, board, addiction therapy, medication, and specialized treatment. Inpatient rehab is recommended for those who've struggled with opiate addiction for a long time, those who've relapsed several times, or those with a dual diagnosis (people with a mental health condition as well as opiate addiction issues).
For those with jobs they don't wish to leave for the duration of their stay at an inpatient opiate addiction rehab facility, there are executive rehab centers. These are upscale rehab facilities that allow business professionals to continue working as they go through opiate addiction treatment. Similarly, luxury drug and alcohol rehab centers offer rehab options in luxurious surroundings, often beautiful places like ocean-side resorts or mountain spa-like settings.
How much does it cost to go to an opiate addiction rehab center?
In 2014, over 14,000 people died from opioid overdoses in the U.S. The most common drugs people overdosed on were oxycodone (OxyContin, etc.), hydrocodone (Vicodin, etc), and methadone.
Particularly when looking at attending a private opiate rehab facility, a common concern is how to pay for it. Don't let this dissuade you from attending an opiate addiction treatment center. In some cases, it's a matter of life and death.
Some opiate addiction treatment centers, including rehab facilities, will take insurance. This is particularly true since the Affordable Care Act stipulates that certain health plans must cover benefits that include treatment for substance abuse.
Other rehab centers may require private payment. However, even rehab facilities that don't take insurance often have financing options to make things easier.
What happens at an opiate addiction treatment center?
Opiate addiction treatment centers tend to treat clients in four phases:
- Detoxification (detox)
- Addiction therapy
- Recovery (ongoing self-care and support)
During intake, a rehabilitation professional asks questions to get a better understanding of the patient's situation and whether they're a good fit for the opiate treatment center. They usually get a family history (including history of addiction), more information on the person's situation (how long they've been using their drug of choice, progression, etc.), and payment information.
Federal law requires inpatient rehab centers to keep patient information private, so opiate addiction rehab centers keep treatment confidential.
While many rehab facilities offer treatment courses of 28 days, for opiate addiction treatment, stays of 60 or 90 days are often recommended.
2. Detox (including medically assisted detox)
Due to the specific nature of opiate addiction, opiate addiction treatment centers are specially equipped to handle medically assisted detox, or helping ease someone's experience of detox and withdrawal by providing a substitute drug.
When someone uses an opiate like OxyContin, Vicodin, or heroin for an extended period of time, the body adjusts. The drug becomes physiologically required in order to function properly, and when its presence is removed, the body goes into withdrawal. Without proper care, detox and withdrawal can be painful and even fatal. With the right care, it is a much more comfortable process.
Medically assisted detox utilizes medication to ease withdrawal and aid in the overall rehab process. Methadone is used primarily for those those struggling with heroin addiction. Some recovering heroin addicts continue to take methadone for months or even years after rehab. There is some risk of getting addicted to methadone itself, which is why treatment should be tailored and closely monitored.
Buprenorphine is one of the most popular methods of treating those recovering from addiction to prescription opioids. It has significantly fewer addictive properties than methadone and some addiction recovery specialists actually recommend staying on buprenorphine for months, years, or indefinitely. This is called maintenance therapy.
Other medications include benzodiazepines, which are anti-anxiety medications, and barbiturates, which are mild sedatives that help the mind and body stay calm as toxins are released during detox and withdrawal.
3. Addiction Therapy
In many cases, drug addiction began in part to as an attempt to self-medicate – to treat the pain or overwhelm in a person's life themselves. Recovery, including addiction therapy, is in part about validating the original suffering, learning to cope, and moving beyond the need for opiates to numb emotional or psychological pain.
Most opiate addiction treatment centers offer a combination of individual and group therapy. Some may also offer family therapy. Therapy helps address things like:
- Direction and instruction on how to work through trauma, if applicable
- Healthy ways of dealing with intense emotions and thought patterns, in order to become more resourceful and resilient
- How to identify opiate addiction triggers (i.e. moments when the person wants to use) and what to do instead, like engaging in self-care instead of going back to substance abuse
- Support in establishing a healthy new life, since the ideal way to ensure sobriety is to thrive
What happens after opiate addiction rehab treatment?
Leaving a rehab center is not the "end" of recovery. Like many things, staying sober is an ongoing commitment. Some people may choose to live in a sober living environment like a halfway house. Many successful recovering addicts will attend support groups like NA indefinitely. Others may actually return to the opiate rehab facility on select weekends to get some extra support. The important thing is to determine what works for that specific person, and to do it.
Opiate addiction can destroy lives. However, opiate addiction treatment can be extremely effective and help participants end substance abuse for good. Many people go through rehab and recovery and go on to live productive, fulfilling, and happy lives.
Making the choice to end addiction is courageous. It's also the start of a new life – one based on greater self-awareness and an expanded sense of support, community, and possibility.