Opiate abuse is on the rise. A study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America in May 2006 showed one in five teens has tried a prescription painkiller such as Lortab, Vicodin or OxyContin. The study showed that those who had used these narcotics thought they were “much safer” than illegal drugs and nothing wrong with using them on occasion. 29% of adolescents thought that these pain relievers were “non-addictive” ! Over half the group found them to be easily accessible in their homes and schools. Unfortunately these pain meds are just as powerful as other opiates such as heroin. This myth of safety, which surrounds prescription drugs, has created an epidemic of opiate addiction. The numbers are continuing to rise.
Opiate dependent individuals are typically unable to stay clean during the lengthy period of time required for the body to detox. They experience agonizing withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings. Withdrawal from opiates often prevents addicts from entering into an addiction treatment program or going to a twelve-step meeting. Many opiate users need medical detoxification at an opiate detox facility prior to treatment for their addiction. With this in mind, what steps can opiate abusers and family members of opiate addicts take to find the right opiate detox facility?
First, contact an expert to determine your options. Speaking with someone at an opiate detox facility will give you an idea of the types of detoxification available for yourself or your family member. Staff members at most detox facilities will ask questions about the type of opiate being used, as well as the frequency and amount of use. This will give the specialist a better idea of the type of care necessary.
Second, weigh your options. There are many types of detoxification facilities including social detox, traditional medical detox, outpatient opiate maintenance, and rapid opiate detox. If you are considering using a maintenance drug such as Suboxone (buprenorphine) or methadone, research its effectiveness. These drugs are also addictive and can produce varying results.
Third, ensure that the detox facility has counseling or treatment component attached. Be sure to get an assessment by a certified addiction counselor in order to determine the level of care you will need. Most of time, an opiate addict will need intensive treatment at a specialized facility to remain clean after detox.
Fourth, ask questions. A specialized opiate detox facility will have an expert on hand to answer all of your questions. Be sure that you are fully informed before entering the facility for detox. Requirements will differ from one program to another, and you want to ensure safety for you or your loved one. It is important that the facility has accurate information, so that they can provide the most comfortable detox process possible.
Please contact us if you have any questions about detoxification from opiates. We will be happy to answer your questions and provide you with more specified information.
Source : Anne Hart, Savannah Morning News (5-16-06)