Opiate addiction occurs when someone becomes addicted to morphine, codeine, or thebaine, which are naturally occurring, psychoactive, alkaloids extracted from opium. Morphine is the most medically significant alkaloid and the main psychoactive chemical in opium. It is highly regarded for the purpose of relieving pain because it works directly on the central nervous system (CNS). The alkaloids, codeine and thebaine, are used to make other pain medications including semi-synthetic opiates and codeine cough syrup. All have a high potential for abuse and addiction.
Treatment for Opiate Addiction
Treatment for opiate addiction begins with a safe detox to get rid of the drugs in the addict’s system. This can take days and afterward, professionals can evaluate the needs of the addict to determine the program plan that will ensure they receive counseling, therapy, and the resources necessary to remain abstinent and avoid relapse when they leave the facility. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Many drug–addicted individuals also have other mental disorders.” Treating these issues in continuum is critical to recovery. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is widely practiced to change thinking habits and promote positive behaviors.
Tips for Overcoming Opiate Addiction
Recovery of opiate addiction can be complex and up to 90% of opiate addicts who undergo addiction treatment will relapse. In general, the longer a person uses opiates and the more chronic their abuse, the longer it will take to recover. Physical recovery is easier than the psychological recovery from opiate addiction. The following tips can prove helpful in overcoming addiction:
- The longer time one stays abstinent, the easier it may be to avoid the cravings. 12-Step meetings can help addicts after they leave a formal treatment program.
- Identify “triggers” and avoid those circumstances, places or people. Getting away from environmental factors that remind the addict of using or causes undue stress can prevent relapses.
- It is important to build relationships with people who have your best interest at heart, and that means no drugs.
- Get rid of all paraphernalia and “stash”, block calls or messages from dealers and fellow abusers.
- When cravings become intense, think of the serious consequences that you endured while using and how much better your life has become without drugs. Do something positive to take your mind off of the obsession.
- Stay close to coaches, friends, and family who will encourage and support your abstinence.
- If you are Spiritual, use it, it can be the most positive grounding you will have to remain sober.