Opioid overdoses have doubled in the United States during the pandemic. People in isolation and struggling with job insecurity, loss of loved ones, and fear of illness are relapsing or doubling their substance use as a coping mechanism. Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge (PAATC) is here to help anyone who is ready to take the first steps toward recovery. Call us at 844.442.8673 or use our online form to connect with someone who can help.
The very first step in opioid addiction treatment is detox. When someone abuses an opioid such as oxycodone, the body still has the toxins that the drugs leave behind. When a person stops taking opioids at the beginning of treatment, the body goes through withdrawal. A medically supervised detox program like the one at PAATC is the safest way to ensure the patient’s safety and comfort during the detoxification of the physical systems. To learn about the benefits of opioid detox, please reach out to Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge today at 844.442.8673.
What Is Opioid Use?
The word opioid is typically used to refer to any drug that interacts with the brain in a particular way. Opioids flood the brain’s reward circuits with the neurotransmitter dopamine responsible for regulating movement, emotions, and pleasurable feelings. The resulting euphoric response is one reason that psychological addiction can take place in just a few days. Physical dependence is not far behind. As the opioid floods the brain over time, it loses its own ability to function normally without the opioid. Thus, any pleasure the drug user feels is the result of the drug.
Prescription Pain Relieving Drugs and Addiction
Opioids are highly effective in pain management. Doctors prescribe them because of their ability to bind with the brain’s pleasure centers and attach to other receptors in both the brain and spinal cord, masking pain in the body. The introduction of OxyContin to the market ultimately caused the spike in addiction to opioids. Because pharmaceutical companies advertised these as non-addictive, prescribers felt comfortable using them widely, not foreseeing the opioid crisis that would ensue.
- Oxycodone is the main ingredient in OxyContin (a brand name for time-release oxycodone). When patients can no longer get their prescriptions filled, they can find illegal sources for oxycodone or turn to another opioid.
- Morphine is technically an opiate as it comes from the poppy plant rather than from a lab. It has medical uses but is highly addictive. It relieves physical, emotional, and psychological pain, but many people acquire it through illegal channels.
- Codeine, a common ingredient in cough syrup, is also an opium derivative. People do not realize how quickly they can become dependent on codeine, and before they know it, they are physically addicted.
Medical professionals can legally prescribe these and other opioids, but unfortunately, they can lead to the spiral of addiction. Ridding the body of these drugs is the first order of business, and that is best done in a monitored detox program.
3 Advantages of Opioid Detox
At PAATC, we have a medical team in our opioid detox center ready 24/7 to guide you safely through the process. There are numerous advantages to medically supervised detox. The top three benefits are safety, support, and success:
- Safety: Withdrawal is unpleasant and can also be life-threatening. Under medical supervision is the safest way to detox. Medical professionals slowly ease patients off the addictive drug until physical dependence is gone. They closely monitor the withdrawing patient and alleviate the worst side-effects of the process with medication if necessary.
- Support: While the medical team cares for the physical symptoms of withdrawal, the patient experiences a range of disruptive and potentially frightening emotions. Having a compassionate support staff to see patients through this time alleviates feelings of isolation, panic, and self-doubt. During the last stages of withdrawal, cravings are at their worst. Detoxing patients who are at home are highly vulnerable at this time. The presence of compassionate, non-judgmental staff members helps the detoxing patient have a far better experience than toughing it out alone.
- Success: Professional detox programs provide the continuity of care that makes a successful recovery more likely. Research shows that medically-supervised, inpatient detox has the best results for long-term sobriety.
Let us make your detox successful. Contact Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge today.
How Can PAATC Help?
Once the chemicals are out of the body, there are fewer physical cravings, and the patient can take the next steps in recovery. At PAATC, we ensure a smooth transition from detox to the next phase of the patient’s individualized rehab plan. Our treatment centers for opioid addiction offer therapeutic options that are all evidence-based and rooted in faith. Call us today at 844.442.8673 to get started on your journey or fill out our online form.