Table of Contents
Written by Amethyst Recovery
Amethyst Recovery is a foremost authority on addiction and a trusted online source of substance abuse information. Their expert team of addiction professionals provide well researched content for people in the grip of addiction. All posts are fact checked and sourced.
Opium and Opioid Addiction
“Anyone who takes opioids is at risk of developing an addiction,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Opium is the original, natural substance that comes from the poppy plant. Opium serves as the base of natural opiate drugs such as morphine.
Heroin is also derived from synthesizing opium. Along with naturally-derived opioids, there are also synthetic opioids which are manufactured to replicate the effects of opium. Why is opium so addictive? Why are prescription opioids and heroin also so addictive? When someone uses opioids, whether it’s opium, heroin, or prescription pain medicine, it triggers the release of neurotransmitters into their brain.
Those neurotransmitters can make them feel happy or even euphoric. That then triggers the brain to want to continue seeking out the pleasure-producing stimulus. That’s when an opioid addiction can be born.
Treatment for Opium and Opioid Addiction
Seeking treatment for an opioid addiction can include exploring different options. There are inpatient opioid addiction centers, as well as outpatient programs. Somewhere in the middle are opium partial hospitalization programs.
Partial Hospitalization Programs
A partial hospitalization program for opioid addiction includes components of both inpatient and outpatient treatment. Some features of an opioid addiction partial hospitalization (PHP) program include:
- Treatment is intensive
- Treatment and therapy sessions usually go all day
- At the end of the treatment day, a participant can return home for the night
- Some people may leave a PHP and go to a sober living facility
- PHPs can include dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders
What is the Opioid Addiction Treatment Process Like?
When someone seeks treatment for opioid addiction, there are usually a series of steps they follow. According to research and scientific evidence on addiction treatment, for it to be most effective treatment should be longer-term. Short-Term treatment isn’t likely to be effective for opioid addiction or other types of drug or alcohol addiction.
The opioid addiction treatment process can begin with partial hospitalization. More often, however, a PHP is part of a more extensive process. The steps in the opium or opioid addiction treatment process may include:
- A medical detox during which time the patient is supervised and monitored 24/7. During medical detox, patients are kept safe and comfortable, but they don’t have the freedom to come and go as they please.
- After medical detox, patients may move into an inpatient rehab program. Inpatient rehab has a residential component, so participants have to sleep at the facility where they’re receiving treatment.
- Following inpatient rehab, a person may continue their treatment during partial hospitalization, but they gain the freedom and flexibility to leave treatment at night.
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What Happens in a Partial Hospitalization Program?
A partial hospitalization program for opioid addiction or any other addiction is one where patients still have a highly structured day with intensive treatment. The only difference between a PHP and an inpatient rehab program is that patients can return home in the evening.
While a PHP can vary from place-to-place, in general, there are sessions held anywhere from five days a week to every day of the week. These sessions will usually cover around eight hours of the day. When someone completes their treatment for the day, they can leave.
A partial hospitalization program is similar in many ways to an intensive outpatient drug treatment program. Both usually include a combination of group therapy, individual therapy, and drug education. Many PHP and intensive outpatient programs also include supplemental therapies, such as vocational training or stress management.
Who Should Attend an Opioid Partial Hospitalization Program?
A partial hospitalization program is ideally something a person should do after they’ve completed inpatient rehab. There are a few reasons for this.
First, the person should go through a complete detox before they begin a PHP for opioids or other drugs. Also, a person should go through inpatient rehab to stabilize, and to learn some skills and coping mechanisms that will prepare them for the opportunity to leave treatment in the evenings.
At the Beginning of Treatment
When people first begin an opium or opioid treatment program, they’re often in a state of chaos and destabilization. Going through inpatient rehab provides them with important tools so that they’re less likely to relapse when offered the freedom to leave the treatment facility in the evenings. Depending on the situation, some people might attend a PHP if they can’t participate in inpatient rehab because of home, family or professional commitments.
If someone is a milder user of opium or opioids, they might also start with a partial hospitalization program rather than inpatient rehab.
What Makes a Good Fit for a PHP?
If someone is going to be participating in a PHP for opium, opiates or opioids, there are some things to keep in mind. These include:
- Because of the freedom in the evenings, someone may have the opportunity to relapse. If someone does relapse, they will likely be asked to return to inpatient rehab.
- If someone is going to return home each day after treatment in a PHP, they should have a stable, safe and supportive home environment. If someone doesn’t have this, they might consider a sober living facility as an alternative.
- Someone who feels they’re prepared to have some autonomy and the freedom to come and go can be a good fit for a PHP.
Benefits of a Partial Hospitalization Program
As with other types of treatment programs for addiction and drug dependence, there are benefits specific to a partial hospitalization program for opium or opioids. Some of the benefits of participating in an opioid or opium PHP include:
- There is usually a very high level of care provided in a partial hospitalization program, but it can be less expensive than inpatient rehab.
- People who have other responsibilities outside of treatment have more flexibility to keep up with these when they participate in a PHP (for example caring for children or a family member)
- Partial hospitalization can often include medication management and treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders. Many programs include a variety of medical services.
- Partial hospitalization is a good go-between for someone who’s not quite ready for the full freedom of an outpatient program.
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Seeking Help for Opium or Opioids
If you’re struggling with opium, opioids or opiates, we encourage you to reach out to an addiction treatment facility. Regardless of where you are in your journey, or where you start with your addiction treatment, help is available. Contact Amethyst Recovery for more information about partial hospitalization and other addiction treatment programs for opium and opioids.
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