According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 4.2 million Americans have used heroin at least once in their lives. Of that number, 23 percent became addicted to the drug. Opiates, including such highly-addictive drugs as heroin, oxycontin, methadone and codeine to name a few, are some of the most abused drugs in the United States. In fact, statistics show over 5,500 people every day abuse prescription painkillers for the first time, which often leads to a pathway of addiction. For those who find themselves needing treatment for opiate addiction, there are a number of benefits to seeking inpatient treatment for this form of addiction.
Unlike many other illicit drugs that are associated with criminal activity, opiates are most often drugs that are found in medicine cabinets across the country. Recent opiate addiction statistics show that three of every four people who are abusing prescription drugs obtained them from a friend or family member, making the problem even more prevalent. In addition to this, many doctors contribute to the problem and keep the cycle of addiction going with their patients. Nearly 80 percent of prescription painkillers are prescribed by only 20 percent of prescribers, most of whom are primary care physicians.
As with most types of drug addictions, treatment for opiate addiction works best when a person enters an inpatient treatment program. Because these drugs are so highly-addictive and difficult to stop taking, most addicts take longer to rid themselves of the drugs. It is not uncommon for most opiate addicts to spend anywhere from 3-12 months in a rehab facility, with some staying even longer. A variety of tactics are used to combat the addiction, such as:
- Group, individual, and family counseling
- Mental health assessments
- Medical supervision during the withdrawal process
- Exercise and nutrition programs
Since these drugs take such a physical toll on an addict’s body while withdrawing, medical personnel within the facility will usually have an opiate addict on a very structured and supervised pain management program. Relapse is often a problem with these drugs, especially once patients re-enter the same surroundings from which the addiction originated. Treatment programs typically focus on finding the root of the addiction and helping addicts learn alternative coping methods.
As with most people who find themselves battling drug addiction, the hardest step is admitting a problem exists and asking others for help. Most drug addiction treatment facilities realize this, and attempt to make it as easy as possible for people to get the help they need. If you or someone you know is battling opiate addiction, now is the time to seek the help that’s needed. Many facilities have former addicts on their staffs that act as counselors or mentors to current addicts, making it easier for those in need of help to discuss their problem with someone who has walked a mile in their shoes. By making the decision to seek help today, tomorrow and the days ahead will be filled with hope.