More people are becoming dependent on prescription drugs in America than ever before. It is now a crisis that is the worst we have faced in American history.
The chilling fact that around 63,000 people die each year from fatal overdose is a sobering indication of the degree of this problem many are calling an epidemic.
At the forefront of the battle against this national epidemic, specialist opiate rehab centers offer several different treatment options for people seeking help with opiate abuse.
The Importance of Understanding Opiate Addiction
Despite our improved understanding of addiction as an illness, many people still hold the misconception that addicts are from a certain background or social status.
The current issue facing our nation with opiates has shown very clearly that anyone can become addicted to this incredibly powerful drug. Sufferers of chronic pain who may have had an accident or illness requiring treatment come from all corners of society and for many of them, taking drugs is not a lifestyle choice.
The difference between prescription drug dependence and other types of addiction is that people can take much longer to recognize the signs. When someone is prescribed a medication by their trusted family physician, there is a tendency to take it for granted that the drugs are “safe” to take.
Even if a physician is careful to explain the ramifications of taking a drug as powerful as Vicodin or OxyContin, an individual can be in so much pain as to not see any alternative to it.
How Does Prescription Drug Dependence Develop?
When someone takes any kind of medication for a sustained period of time, they invariably develop a tolerance to it. When the medication in question is an opiate-based painkiller, once a tolerance has developed it means the individual has to take higher doses to get the pain relief they need.
Because of the highly addictive nature of these prescription drugs, physicians are generally unwilling to increase the dosage for a patient who may need to take the meds for at least three months. This can often lead to someone to seek other routes to get the opiates they need for their pain.
This is when someone is at their most vulnerable to becoming addicted to opiates. Once a person has successfully obtained the higher dose they needed for pain relief, they will soon start to crave opiates to the point where their pain is no longer the reason for their drug use.
This is when someone has gone from being physically dependent on opiates to being addicted to them and they should be urged to attend a program in an opiate treatment center.
Are There Treatment Options for Opiate Addiction?
Because the highly toxic opiate heroin has been in illicit circulation for many decades, there are numerous approaches to treating this form of addiction. An effective approach offered by opiate treatment centers has been shown to be a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and holistic medicine.
For many people who have become dependent on a chemical substance who have taken control of their lives and reached out for help; the last thing they need is more drugs to treat them.
Holistic therapies offer gentler ways to recovery from opiate dependence and addiction and can also reduce the sometimes distressing physical symptoms of withdrawal for patients undergoing opiate detoxification.
Practices such as yoga and meditation provide patients with another approach to stress-management that can serve them well in recovery. Others like acupuncture and holistic massage are more hands-on and can relieve physical aches and pains as part of a patient’s therapy.