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Opiate Addiction Rehab

About 9 percent of the population will misuse opiates at some point during their lifetimes.

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About 9 percent of the population will misuse opiates at some point during their lifetimes. Opiates are medicines used to treat and control pain. Heroin, morphine, codeine, Oxycontin and other illegal and prescription drugs are all considered opiates.

Opiates bind to specific receptor sites in the central nervous system called opiate receptors. When they bind to receptor sites, they change how you receive pain signals. They both block some of the signals and affect other parts of your nervous system, so you feel relaxed and sleepy. While this combination makes them effective at controlling pain, it also makes them highly addictive.

Addiction to opiate drugs has us in a worldwide chokehold. Estimates collected by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggest that between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse prescription opioids globally — with more than 2 million people in the US struggling with addictions stemming from prescription painkillers. 467,000 others are thought to be addicted to heroin in America.

opiate stats

Part of the reason why this epidemic is occurring is because of how easy it is to obtain a prescription pain drug. In 2010, doctors issued more than 210 million prescriptions for opioids in America alone. In that same year, the CDC found that 5% of people in the US age 12 or older used prescription painkillers for reasons other than medical problems. Approximately 15,000 people in this age group die every year of overdoses involving prescription painkillers.

Data collected by the American Society of Addiction Medicine show that nearly 2 million people in the US ages 12 and older are dealing with an addiction to prescription opioids. Sadly, the CDC says that women are more likely to develop an addiction to prescription opioids than men because they are more likely to receive prescriptions at higher doses to treat chronic pain. Women also tend to use the medication for a longer duration, which significantly increases the likelihood of developing an addiction. Between 1999 and 2010 the number of women who died from a prescription overdose jumped 400%, compared with a 237% jump among men.

opiate deaths

Opiate addiction is oftentimes an unfortunate side effect of treating legitimate pain. It is common for people taking prescription painkillers to develop a tolerance, and this often causes people to search for higher doses to achieve the same effect. It’s important to make sure you know the signs, symptoms and treatment options for opiate addiction so you can act quickly.

If you’re addicted to opiates, there is help. At JourneyPure Emerald Coast, you can get the healing treatment you need to begin your path to recovery.

Where Do Opiates Come From?

The earliest known opiate is opium, which comes from the opium poppy. Grown throughout the Middle East and Asia, opium was one of the first pain medicines. Morphine and heroin were both derived from opium. Over time, people manufactured synthetic opiates in laboratories.

Opiates and prescription opioids are colloquially interchangeable. Naturally derived from the poppy plant, opiates contain active narcotic components. Opioids, on the other hand, are synthetic or semi-synthetic versions of opiates. Health providers prescribe narcotic opioid painkillers for people to manage their pain. They function by sedating the central nervous system. When used inappropriately, individuals can become addicted to the way their prescriptions make them feel.

Examples of popular opioids include:

  • Morphine — This drug is often used in hospital to manage severe pain.
  • Heroin — A recreational drug derived from morphine. It is a popular choice for people who no longer have access to or the funds for prescription opioids.
  • Vicodin, Lortab (hydrocodone) — This drug creates a dumb and drowsy feeling among users. The drug is normally found in liquid medication form to suppress coughing and treat severe pain.
  • Codeine — Though found in some cough syrups, codeine also acts to relieve moderate amounts of pain.
  • OxyContin — Partially synthetic opioid used to treat severe pain in patients with cancer. An overdose involving OxyContin usually involves respiratory failure, a circulatory system collapse and quite possibly death.
  • Fentanyl — This opioid, said to be 100 times stronger than morphine, is usually prescribed to manage severe, chronic pain in cancer patients or people who have just undergone surgery. The drug is available in patch, spray or lollipop form.
  • Methadone — Use to treat pain or to help individuals detox from opiates.

Sadly, chronic pain is a very pervasive health problem in the United States. One survey conducted by the National Institute of Health Statistics revealed low back pain to be the top cause of pain (27%). Meanwhile severe headaches/migraines account for 15%, neck pain for 15% and facial ache/pain for 4%.

opiate pain

The American Academy of Pain Medication says that more Americans are afflicted with chronic pain than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. For perspective — 100 million Americans experience chronic pain, while 25.8 million have diabetes, 23.3 million have heart disease and 11.9 million have cancer.

Opiates and Addiction

Physicians commonly prescribe opiates after dental work, surgery or an injury. The immediate effect of any opiate is to block pain signals and help you relax.


Because all opiates work similarly, once you take one opiate, it is easier to become addicted to other opiates. That’s why is easy for a person who abuses prescription painkillers to become addicted to heroin, and why someone who experiments with a drug such as Vicodin or oxycodone is at risk for heroin abuse later. Tolerance for opiates builds with continued abuse, and heroin is cheaper, stronger and easier to abuse than legally prescribed painkillers. That’s why people who abuse painkillers eventually turn to stronger opiates such as heroin to get a better high.

As many as 60% of people addicted to substances have at least one co-occurring mental disorders. Common disorders associated with opiate addiction are:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Conduct disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depressive disorders
  • Antisocial personality disorder

opiate symptoms

The complexity of symptoms often makes it hard to detect co-occurring disorders, and as a result, many people receive treatment for one without receiving proper treatment for the other. Accompanying mental and substance abuse disorders are biological, psychological and social factors. The unfortunate reality is that people with addiction issues and co-occurring mental disorders are more likely to experience homelessness, physical illness, jail, suicide attempts and death.

Meanwhile, although the evidence is not conclusive, some investigations suggest that certain life and environmental factors may affect an individual’s propensity to develop an opiate addiction.

Genetic Factors — Studies suggest that people with relatives who have had an opiate addiction may have a higher chance of developing that addiction than their counterparts without such relatives. On the biological side, some people may be born without endorphins, which serve as the neurotransmitter for pleasure. These people may turn to narcotics in order to obtain endorphins.

Indirect Genetic Influences — Some researchers have posited that possible causes for opiate addiction may work through genetic influences. For instance, some people are born with a natural tendency to be impulsive, which could be linked a heightened risk for opioid addiction. In addition, our personalities could influence the types of people we hang around, which many times leads to peer pressure.

Coping Factors — People with poor coping skills may turn to opiates or other substances to numb the effects of whatever may be distressing them. The euphoric effects of the drug can could counteract and negate the negative feelings. Sadly, it isn’t a long road between opiate-induced elation and addiction.

Unmatched Pleasure — The high you may feel from opiates may surpass the happiness you feel in your regular life. The opioids attach to receptors in the brain responsible for pleasure, reward and overall joy.

opiate pleasure

Opiate Addiction Versus Physical Dependence

It is important to know that opiate addiction and dependence are not synonymous. Addiction is characterized by the never-ending pursuit of substances despite knowing how harmful the consequences can be. Physical dependence, on the other hand, normally involves a tolerance that eventually requires you to seek higher dosages if you want to achieve the same high.

Addiction is a neurological disease that stems from substance abuse. Opiate addiction leads to psychological, physical and environmental elements that can affect your ability to control yourself and your behavior when using. People who are addicted may not exhibit obvious signs of opiate abuse. These people can normally go undetected at first because they are able to mask their behavior to make sure there are no overt clues.

People who are physically dependent on a substance can expect to experience withdrawal symptoms if they completely stop or even reduce their intake. In cases of physical dependence, it may be harder for a health provider to distinguish between a worsening drug problem and a legitimate need for higher doses to manage pain.

Short- and Long-Term Effects of Opiates

Opiates can cause people to feel drowsy or sleepy. They can also cause nausea and constipation. If someone takes too many opiates, breathing and respirations slow down and be fatal.

Over time, chronic use or abuse of opiates can cause many health problems. Because many opiates are injected, the injection sites can become infected. People can get Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS or other diseases from shared needles. Kidney, liver and heart problems also occur. High doses of opiates can cause heart or respiratory failure and death.

The effects of opiate abuse can be absolutely devastating on you and your family. Some of the more common effects that accompany opiate abuse include:

  • Job loss and unemployment
  • Incarceration
  • Domestic abuse
  • Divorce
  • Child abuse
  • Homelessness

Addiction is an issue that affects many people beyond the user. The National Council on Child Abuse & Family Violence estimates that more than 8 million children in the US live in a home where one or more parents have a substance abuse issue. Meanwhile, substance abuse is present in families where children are the victims of abuse in 40% to 80% of cases. Substance abusers are in no condition to care for their dependents.

opiate children

Additionally, addiction can bring many harmful effects to society. A decent portion of illicit criminal activity involves drug use — with nearly half of all incarcerated people meeting the criteria for substance abuse and addiction. It also carries a large price tag for our health care system. Your health inevitably suffers. Data revealed that there were almost 4.6 million drug-related emergency department visits in 2009. About 27% of those visits were related to the nonmedical use of prescription drugs.

Abuse of opiates may also come with certain long-term health repercussions. These may include:

  • A compromised and weakened immune system, which can leave your body susceptible to illnesses you would have otherwise fought off easily
  • Lingering gastrointestinal issues, including constipation, bleeding ulcers or bowel perforation
  • Medical issues that relate to intravenous administration, including embolism events or contraction of blood borne illnesses (think HIV or Hepatitis C)
  • Dangerous respiratory issues
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Higher propensity for seizures
  • Damage to memory function

opiate brain damage

Researchers are also currently investigating a possible relationship between opioid abuse and long-term brain damage. Some studies have shown that heroin use can deplete the brain’s white matter — a necessary ingredient in one’s ability to make decisions, control behavior and respond reasonably to stressful situations.

Signs of Opiate Addiction and Withdrawal

People who are addicted to opiates may be sleepy, lethargic and feel less pain. As a result, they can have unexplained cuts or bruises. They just don’t feel the injury when it happens and don’t treat it.


Most of the time, however, you’ll only suspect an opiate addiction when you find evidence in a person’s home. This includes needles, empty vials or prescription bottles, tubes or bands (used to help find a vein to inject heroin or other opiates).

Those who are addicted to opiates often exhibit certain physical signs that you should keep an eye out for. These physical symptoms can include:

  • Unexplained exhaustion or drowsiness
  • Constricted pupils
  • Slow or otherwise labored breathing
  • Nodding off at random times or even complete loss of consciousness
  • Overt elation or euphoria
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Seizures
  • Constipations
  • Itching
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in weight

opiate behavior

Beyond physical symptoms, there are certain behavioral clues that you can watch out for if you suspect a loved one may have an opiate addiction issue. These include:

  • Visiting a medley of health providers in order to obtain prescriptions — sometimes referred to as “doctor shopping.”
  • Unpredictable and dramatic mood swings
  • Discovering empty pill bottles in weird locations or even just having more pill bottles than usual
  • Sudden and mysterious financial issues
  • Social withdrawal or general isolation
  • An increasing inability to do well in school
  • Complete lethargy
  • Failure to keep up with family responsibilities
  • Hanging out with a different crowd then they did before
  • Wearing long sleeves to hide any track marks

Withdrawal Symptoms Associated with Opiate Addiction

Opiate withdrawal, however, does have specific symptoms. People undergoing opiate withdrawal may be shaky and have insomnia. A runny nose, itchy skin and red-rimmed eyes are also common. Sometimes people get nauseous, vomit, or have diarrhea. They crave another dose of opiates, and the symptoms go away when they receive more.

Although deciding you’re ready to detox is definitely a commendable decision, it’s important to know that the process isn’t one you should ever consider doing alone. Detoxing alone is not only dangerous, but the discomfort of withdrawal is one of the primary reasons people give up on or delay treatment. A medical detox helps to lower the risk of that happening. During a medical detox, a patient may receive medication to help relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms, such as benzodiazepines, antidepressants and non-opioid agonists.

Because opiate addiction involves physical dependence, withdrawing from the substances usually involves a host of uncomfortable side effects. Medically assisted detox services can help alleviate the acute symptoms associated with opiate withdrawal, which may include:

  • Feelings of nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia or just general trouble with sleeping
  • Hallucinations
  • Intense physical and psychological cravings
  • Muscle tension
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Agitation
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Bone pain

These symptoms can persist for anywhere between a week to one month. After this you can expect to experience some post-acute withdrawal symptoms that are more emotional and psychological than physical. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms are the result of your brain’s chemistry trying to balance back to normal. It can feel like a rollercoaster. The most common post-acute withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety and general jitteriness
  • Low levels of enthusiasm or interest in the world around you
  • Difficulty sleeping and resultant tiredness
  • Inability to concentrate

opiate patience

To get through post-acute withdrawal symptoms you will, first and foremost, need to have patience. Recovery can’t be hurried and trying to resume your life as it was before too quickly will only make you feel weak and exhausted. Exhaustion and defeat are two reasons why people may relapse. Practicing self-care and giving yourself as many breaks as you need will help you to maintain focus on your recovery. Just be good to yourself.

Opiate Addiction Rehab in Florida

There are several pharmacological replacement therapy options available to help treat opiate addiction, including:

  • Buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex)
  • Naltrexone
  • Methadone

Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naltrexone, and is itself a mild opiate. Unlike other opiates, the drug does not bring on a more intense high as you increase the dosage. The mild high produced by Suboxone can help ease withdrawal symptoms and fight cravings as you move through the detoxification process. Together with counseling this treatment option can help you gain the skills to control your cravings and avoid triggers. As is true with other opiates, sudden stoppage of Suboxone can cause withdrawal system. It’s important to use the medication exactly as indicated in order to avoid this.

Meanwhile, naltrexone functions by attaching the opioid receptors in the brain, which disallows you from feeling the euphoric effects of opioids. Typically, you’ll receive this treatment only after you are no longer dependent on opioids. It should be used in conjunction with group support meetings and counseling so that your entire addiction can be addressed — not just the physical aspect.

Methadone is employed to help reduce the acute symptoms related to opioid or heroin withdrawal. Methadone itself is a highly addictive drug and should only be used under the supervision of a health professional.

What Types of Setting Should I Seek for Opiate Addiction?

If you have a loved one suffering from opiate addiction, you need to remember that you can’t force them into treatment. If they don’t want help, then forcefulness may cause them to totally disconnect from you. The best you can do is help guide them toward making the decision to commit to recovery. Understanding the different treatment settings may help you with this.

Residential Treatment: This is a hospital-like setting in which you can expect to stay for around 30 days depending on the nature of your addiction. Residential treatment is ideal for people who cannot manage their own treatment for a severe opiate addiction. In this setting, you receive near-constant medical supervision and counseling sessions.

Inpatient Treatment: This setting differs from residential treatment in the amount of monitoring and supervision you’ll have. The setting has the feel of either a hospital or a home. Inpatient treatment is a smart choice for someone in recovery who may need medical intervention in order to avoid relapse.

Outpatient Treatment: During outpatient treatment, you receive therapy and counseling either every day or on a weekly or monthly basis. These sessions can help you transition back into life outside of rehabilitation while staying on track for sustained recovery.

Support Groups: Community support groups are valuable on every level of opiate addiction treatment. Narcotics Anonymous is one of the better-known organized community support groups for people recovering from many different types of drug addictions.

Although it is possible to beat an addiction to heroin or painkillers alone, the chances of opiate rehabilitation success are much greater with professional treatment. That’s because people who quit alone don’t benefit from therapies and treatments that can address challenges such as depression, self-destructive thought patterns and habits, physical health and fitness, and spiritual recovery. Holistic opiate addiction treatment is available at JourneyPure Emerald Coast that addresses each of these contributing factors. We offer addiction and recovery counseling as well as help for individuals with dual diagnosis.

At JourneyPure Emerald Coast, you can:

  • Get help with detox. Withdrawing from opiate abuse is uncomfortable at best and unbearable at worst. The risk of overdose from relapse is high. You can reduce difficult withdrawal symptoms such as vomiting, hallucinations, chills, insomnia, anxiety, cravings, appetite problems and more.
  • Get treatment for mental health disorders and/or trauma. Our trained and compassionate clinicians will identify and treat any preexisting disorders. You don’t have to abuse opiates to find relief from the problems in your life. There are safe and legal alternatives. You deserve better than addiction.
  • Get access to the latest evidence-based therapies and treatments. Addiction therapy is so much more than peer-led support groups. Ask JourneyPure Emerald Coast about the groundbreaking therapies and treatments we offer, such as motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral, biofeedback and more.
  • Discover your purpose in life. Enrich your journey with a spiritual commitment to discover your best self. Through 12 Step and/or alternative support, you can find out who you are and where you want to go.
  • Access an effective and supportive aftercare program. Many clients worry about what will happen after residential care ends. Partner with one of our post-care specialists who will give you a helping hand when you need it most. You’ll also gain access to JourneyPure Coaching, our proprietary app.

We know that everyone is different, and we treat you as an individual. Private and group therapy, holistic treatments and experiential therapy are all available to help you recover from an opiate addiction.

Enroll in Opiate Rehab in Florida Now

Survey data collected by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services reveal that 10% of all American adults describe themselves as “in recovery” from either drug or alcohol abuse problems. Meanwhile, NIDA purports that the relapse rate for people with drug addictions falls between 40-60% following addiction recovery. It is therefore important that your recovery is managed well.

opiate recovery

JourneyPure Emerald Coast’s multi-faceted treatment strategy increases a user’s chances of success in overcoming their addiction to opiates. Treatment plans are individualized and designed to address the mind, body and spirit. The facility utilizes traditional therapy methods, which usually include some combination of individual, group and family sessions. Beyond traditional therapy, JourneyPure also utilizes newer, evidence-based healing approaches such as experiential therapy, as well as an adapted version of the 12-step approach used by Alcoholics Anonymous.

Experiential therapy aims to help you develop the skills you need to sustain your substance-free life. This category of treatment can include equine therapy, adventure therapy, music therapy and art therapy. Through these activities, you can see in yourself solutions to your problems. You can evaluate negative responses to issues and take the time to work through your extreme emotions. You’ll experience successes, overcome obstacles and take charge of your own outlook and happiness.

JourneyPure is also highly committed to providing comprehensive aftercare services to make sure that recovery is sustainable. Everyone faces their own unique set of challenges as they move forward in recovery, and the treatment facility’s staff and JourneyPure Coaching app is completely open for you to use as a guide through your new drug-free lifestyle. The relapse prevention program can help you to develop new positive habits and interests that will be your tools in your life of recovery. Licensed therapists and compassionate clinicians are ready to guide you.

Among opiate addiction rehab facilities in Florida, JourneyPure Emerald Coast offers a private, beachside location, so you can recover in a beautiful setting. Healthy meals, exercise and time for rest are also included in your recovery. You deserve a recovery that’s designed to meet your specific needs. Isn’t it time you live the lifestyle you deserve? Recovery from opiate addiction is possible. Call JourneyPure Emerald Coast at (800) 493-5253


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