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.
The Opioid Epidemic
It would be almost impossible not to know about the devastating effects of the opioid epidemic in the U.S.
“Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids,” according to the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The opioid epidemic has a direct relationship to the drug opium. Opium is the basis of many of the most abused drugs including heroin. Even synthetic opioids such as the deadly fentanyl are created to mimic the effects of opium.
If you’re wondering about opium rehab options, or what the opium rehab process might look like, you aren’t alone. Many people are asking similar questions about not only opium but other opiates and opioids.
The Numbers Behind the Epidemic
The abuse of opioids, which includes prescription pain medicines, heroin, and synthetic opioids, has led to such a crisis in the U.S. that the costs associated with it are in the billions.
The following are key statistics regarding the opioid epidemic in the U.S.:
- Anywhere from 21 to 29 percent of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain are believed to misuse or abuse them
- Anywhere from 8 to 12 people who are prescribed an opioid develop a substance use disorder
- It’s estimated that between 4 and 6 percent of people who abuse prescription opioids move onto using heroin
- The number of opioid overdoses went up 30 percent from July 2016 to September 2017 in 45 states
- In 2016, more than 42,000 people died from opioids including prescription pain medicines, heroin, and fentanyl.
So what does all this have to do with opium? As was touched on, opium is the base of many naturally-derived opioids. It’s also what synthetic opioids are created to be similar to.
Opium vs. Heroin
Opium is a naturally-occurring opiate. Opiate is the specific term used to describe narcotics that are naturally derived. It’s often used interchangeably with an opioid, although opioid technically refers to synthetic narcotics. Opium has long been used as a pain medicine and a recreational drug.
In fact, the use of opium for both purposes is believed to go as far back as 4,000 BCE.
There is an active chemical compound in opium that is responsible for its ability to fight pain, but also the euphoric high and the pleasant feelings it creates. That chemical compound is morphine, which is often used in medicine.
At the Center of the Addiction
Heroin, which is at the center of the opioid epidemic, is derived from opium but only partially. It’s semisynthetic. Heroin is created when opium is first changed to morphine, and it then goes through a process of synthesis. That synthesis into heroin makes the morphine more potent. Opium, morphine, and heroin are all highly addictive.
Opium is usually smoked, but it can also be injected intravenously or used in pill form, while heroin is primarily used intravenously.
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Opium activates certain receptors which are located throughout the brain and the entire central nervous system. In doing so, opium can change how the body senses pain. At the same time, it can create an artificial feeling of euphoria or a sense of well-being. That high is what people chase when they use opium as well as other drugs including morphine and heroin.
The high can be powerful, and addiction can occur quickly. This may mean someone requires an opium rehab program to stop using the substance. Most opium rehab programs are a process. Long-term treatment is typically the best option for someone to stop using opium and other opiates or opioids.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug treatment should help people stop compulsively seeking and using drugs. Addiction is characterized as a chronic disorder, and short-term treatment is not sufficient for many people to fully recover and stay in remission from the disorder.
The Opium Rehab Process
Since opium rehab should follow a certain set of steps, the following is a general overview of what to possibly expect:
- The first step of any opium rehab process should be a medical detox to help rid the system of the drug and any other substances being used.
- During medical detox, patients’ assessments may begin by a team of medical, psychological and addiction specialists.
- Once someone has safely detoxed from opium, their team of care professionals can start building an individualized addiction treatment plan. This plan can change and evolve with the needs of the patient, but it needs to be highly tailored to who they are on a personal level.
- If necessary, the plan may include dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders.
- Once an intake assessment and a treatment plan are created, most patients will begin inpatient rehab.
- Following inpatient rehab, some patients may go to a partial hospitalization program, while others may participate in outpatient rehab.
- Aftercare plans can go into effect after treatment is completed. Aftercare plans following rehab for opium might include participating in a 12-step program like Narcotics Anonymous or another support group.
- Long-term follow up from the rehab facility is an important part of someone continuing to abstain from opium and other substances.
Types of Therapy at Opium Rehab
The specific types of therapy and treatment modalities used in an opium rehab can vary depending on the facility and the individual. One of the most common forms of therapy used in rehab programs is cognitive-behavioral therapy, however.
Therapy programs can take place in a group or individual settings, or a combination. In addition to group or individual therapy, many opium rehab programs will also include supplemental therapy, as well as family support and therapy programs.
How Can You Help a Loved One Go to Rehab for Opium?
As the loved one of someone who struggles with addiction, you may be searching for ways to get that person to participate in a treatment program. This is difficult, especially when the addicted person doesn’t recognize that they have a problem with opium or other substances.
One option is to have an intervention. Interventions don’t mean you’re forcing your loved one into an opium rehab program, but you are putting pressure on that person and showing there will be consequences if they opt not to participate in treatment.
There are different types of interventions, but the core concepts are the same. Interventions should be used as an opportunity to show the person how their use of opium or other substances is negatively affecting their own life and the lives of the people around them.
Selecting Opium Treatment
You may be wondering is there an opium rehab near me, or what should I look for in a rehab for opium. Sometimes it can take people a few tries to get the right program that works well for them. Some general questions to consider when selecting an opium rehab program include:
- How qualified is the facility in treating opium/opiate/opioid addiction in particular?
- Are any other substances being abused at the same time?
- Is a co-occurring mental health disorder part of the situation?
- How comfortable would I be, or my loved one be, leaving home for treatment including going out-of-state?
- What private insurance coverage is available, and what are my payment options for treatment?
- Is a medical detox available on-site for continuity of care?
Why Residential Treatment is the Best First Step
Opiate and opioid addiction are challenging to treat, especially in people who are long-term users.
Professional treatment is almost always the only way a person is going to be able to stop using opium or other opioids. Beyond that, residential treatment is an important first step.
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Finding Help for Opioid Addiction
Residential treatment for opium addiction allows people to receive the in-depth, comprehensive treatment they need. It provides them with a supportive and caring yet fully supervised environment.
This can reduce chaos in the early days of treatment. Staying in residential treatment for an adequate amount of time and then continuing with a full opium rehab process is likely to yield the best outcomes.
If you’d like to learn more about opium rehab and what options are available, contact Amethyst Recovery.
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