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More than 2.5 million Americans are currently suffering from opiate use disorder which is contributing the more than 60,000 deaths from fatal overdoses each year.

This is the crushing truth of the wave of prescription drug abuse that has reached crisis levels in America.

In recent years, rising numbers of people have become dependent on the opiate-based prescription drugs they take to relieve the symptoms of chronic pain. People from all walks of life are increasingly finding themselves in a spiral of taking painkilling medication in progressively bigger doses, just to cope with their everyday lives.

Ultimately, prolonged use of opiate-based drugs leads to addiction.

Is There Treatment for Addiction to Prescription Drugs?

Fortunately, because of our better understanding of addiction, there are many opiate rehab centers offering treatment approaches that target opiate abuse. Patients who also have a chronic pain condition can also find other ways to manage their symptoms without relying on the euphoric effects caused by opiates.

Some of the medications used in opiate rehab centers include:

  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone
  • Extended-release naltrexone

These medications either: block the effects of opiates, replace them with a similar effect or create a reaction to when opiate-based drugs are used when taking them.

Depending on the individual’s specific needs, a medical opiate detoxification and rehab program will be devised that incorporates elements of behavioral therapy, counseling and complementary treatments to provide them with the very best foundation from which to rebuild their lives.

The Importance of Behavioral Therapy in an Opiate Rehab Center

Once a patient has been assessed and has successfully completed supervised opiate detoxification, they will begin sessions in behavioral therapy, commonly cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. This is particularly important for people with opiate addiction as the drug alters the brain’s chemistry, which can rob someone of their ability to control their behavior.

Behavioral therapists spend considerable time with patients in order to help them both understand the root causes of their addiction, so as to work out what negative behaviors drive it. Why does someone take opiate-based drugs? Is it to ease painful symptoms or perhaps to self-medicate for another underlying mental health condition?

By unraveling the reasons behind opiate addiction and identifying these negative behaviors, behavioral therapists can teach patients how to adapt their thinking and also their view of themselves, the world and their future. CBT has been proven to be highly effective in bringing about significant and very positive changes to recovering opiate addicts.

Behavioral therapy sessions generally last from 45 minutes to an hour and therapists often set home assignments, with a strong research-bias. This motivates and encourages patients to gather more information about their illness and arms them with better knowledge, which is a considerable strength to acquire for sustainable recovery.

How Are Patients Supported When They’ve Left Rehab?

A program in an opiate treatment center generally lasts for as long as each patient needs before they have the confidence to return to their daily lives. Many will have to make significant changes in the people they mix with and places they go in order to ensure they don’t fall back into negative behavior patterns they’ve worked hard to combat. Although it is always going to be a challenge overcoming a drug as potent as opiates, the fulfillment gained is immeasurable.

When patients take their first steps back into the world after treatment, they will have a strong network of support amongst therapists, counselors, and others in recovery from addiction. This empowers them to face the daily challenges of life without having the need to abuse drugs, which is invaluable protection from relapse. Most opiate treatment centers will offer an aftercare program to support the medical needs of patients and also to monitor progress for as long as it is needed

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