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Myths About the Opiate Addiction Cure

Like many of the medical and psychiatric treatments, there are a number of myths that surround the treatment for opiate addiction. Unfortunately, these myths may prevent those in need of treatment from seeking it out. Dispelling these myths will help dispel some of the fear associated with finding an opiate addiction cure.

1.Opiate Addiction can be Cured

Opiate addiction is a chronic and relapsing disease. This means that like high blood pressure or diabetes, there is no cure. It can be treated and it can be controlled but it will always be there. This is why even people in recovery for a long time can slip back into addiction.

2.Treatment has to Involve Religion

Treatment does not have to involve religion. Although some treatments were once religious based, many realize that you cannot force religion or spirituality on anyone.

3.You Cannot See your Family or Friends During Treatment

After the initial detoxification, you can see your family and friends. If you are in an inpatient program, they can come to visit. If you are in an outpatient program, you can see them any time that you like. Family and friend relationships are often encouraged because as long as they do not use opiates, they are an invaluable part of your support structure.

4.Inpatient Treatment has to be Long Term

Although if your addiction is particularly severe, you might want long term treatment, inpatient treatment does not have to be long term. You can go with short term intensive inpatient treatment and then transfer to outpatient. This is a common occurrence for detoxification and later counseling.

5.If you are Ordered into Treatment it will not Work

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, treatment does not have to be voluntary to work. This is one of the Principles of Addiction Treatment. Involuntary treatment takes longer and may not be as effective as voluntary treatment but it does work.

Is Long Term Treatment the Opiate Addiction Cure?

Finding an opiate addiction cure is extremely difficult. This is made more difficult by the fact that opiate addiction is a long term relapsing disease that has a variety of treatments but no cure. There are however many types of  long term treatment as an opiate addiction treatment.

Long Term Inpatient Treatment

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, long term treatment provides 24 hour structured care. This means that the structure required to change is built into the treatment. Change takes time and effort. In order to provide an opiate addiction cure, change has to be possible.

Long term inpatient treatment often takes place in a therapeutic community. This treatment lasts anywhere from six to twelve months. In a therapeutic community, the entire community helps you to change. This includes the staff and the other patients.

Long term Outpatient Treatment

If you choose long term outpatient treatment, treatment centers offer a variety of resources to not only end your addiction but to change your life as well. These services include:

  • Medication
  • Counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Child care services
  • Drug education
  • Alternative treatments

In order to make a complete recovery you need these services to change the cause of your addiction as well as correct the consequences.

Combination Long Term Treatment

Combination long term treatment is a combination of inpatient and outpatient treatment. You begin your treatment journey in inpatient treatment. Here you stabilize and detoxify. Then once you are stable, you transfer to a less restrictive less structured outpatient program.

This outpatient program may include sober housing or housing assistance while you continue your treatment. Combination care is one of the most effective treatments for opiate addiction.

Regardless of which type of long term treatment that you choose, they all have a high rate of success. It is because there is no cure that long term treatment for opiate addiction is so effective.

Is an Opiate Addiction Cure Even Possible?

Opiate addiction is one of the fastest rising and deadliest addictions. It is a very serious problem particularly when it is coupled with chronic pain. Due to the chronic relapsing nature of addiction, an opiate addiction treatment is not possible. It is however highly treatable. Like diabetes or high blood pressure, opiate addiction may be treating using one of a few different methods.

Medication Assisted Treatment

Medication assisted treatment is treatment for opiate addiction using medications and counseling. This happens in both inpatient and outpatient settings. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, some of the medications useful in treating opiate addiction are:

  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone
  • Suboxone
  • Subutex
  • Naltrexone

With the exception of naltrexone, these medications lessen the effects of opiate withdrawal. This makes it possible to attend counseling, work, and live a normal life while you are in detoxification.

The counseling methods useful in managing an opiate addiction are:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Contingency management
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Motivational enhancement
  • Multidimensional family therapy
  • 12 step facilitation therapy

Each of these methods is designed to discover the cause and the consequences of your addiction. In this method once you are through detoxification the doctors will taper you off the medication gradually. This usually happens over a period of weeks or months.

Medication Management Therapy

Medication management therapy has the same types of medication and counseling that medication assisted treatment uses. The key difference is that medication management is useful for very severe addictions and those suffering from chronic pain conditions.

All of the medications with the exception of Naltrexone, can be useful in treating chronic pain. Naltrexone is useful in preventing relapse by making sick if you take opiates.

You can stay on these medications indefinitely if you need to. Although this is no preferable to being completely drug free, it is an alternative to those who suffer with addiction and chronic pain.

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