Treatment Options for Opiate Addiction

An opiate drug is a drug that is derived from the opium poppy, which is a flowering plant. Opiate medications or drugs can be in its natural form or in a synthetic form. There are opiate drugs that are used amongst the medical field and are prescribed to help alleviate acute pain. Some of the opiate medications that are legal in the United States (when prescribed by a medical professional and used exactly as prescribed) are Oxycodone, Dilaudid, Fentanyl, and Hydrocodone. The most widely known illicit opiate drug is heroin. Opiates have highly addictive qualities, and if abused, can lead to dangerous side effects, addiction, or death.


Every individual who suffers from addiction will have to go through some kind of detox process. A person who suffers from opiate addiction and is beginning his or her treatment process will experience the bulk of his or her withdrawal symptoms during his or her detox process. Withdrawal symptoms for an individual with an opiate addiction can range from mild to severe. The duration of one’s withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as six hours after an individual’s last use and can last for as long as a week (in some cases longer). Some of the possible withdrawal symptoms an individual may experience throughout his or her detox process can include any combination of the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Runny nose
  • Hypertension
  • Fever
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Agitation
  • Excessive eye tearing
  • Muscle aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Goosebumps
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Depression

An individual’s withdrawal symptoms will, most likely, change throughout his or her detox process. Each person’s withdrawal symptoms will be unique to the individual, as several factors will weigh into a person’s specific withdrawal symptoms that he or she may experience.


There are several different kinds of treatment options available for individuals who struggle with opiate addiction. When considering the type of treatment that is best suited for an individual is it essential to take into account the following: the duration of one’s opiate abuse, the dosage abused, if an individual mixed the opiate with other drugs or alcohol, the method of ingestion, and an individual’s personal health history. If a person has a co-occurring disorder, he or she would be best accommodated at a dual diagnosis treatment center. If a person has been abusing opiates for an extended length of time, it may be best for him or her to go to a residential treatment facility, where twenty-four-hour support will be available for the duration of the treatment program. There are also outpatient treatment programs, which can be helpful for people who do not have the ability to live in a residential treatment facility. Whichever treatment option is selected it is imperative for an individual to go into treatment with an open mind. Treatment for substance abuse or addiction to any drug (or alcohol) will be an intense experience, and is meant to be life changing. Allow the treatment program to work by allowing yourself the opportunity to shed unhealthy, old habits and patterns and make space for a new and healthier way to live.


After the successful completion of a substance abuse or addiction treatment program an individual will be faced with the task of fully reintegrating him or herself into the real world. A treatment program will arm an individual with an aftercare plan that is uniquely designed to help the individual maintain his or her sobriety. Many aftercare plans will include specific suggestions, such as the number of support group meetings an individual should attend weekly, dietary and exercise advice, specific relapse prevention plans, and possible accommodation recommendations. Some individuals will elect to go from the completion of their treatment program right into a sober living facility for a certain period of time. Also known as a halfway house, sober living facilities can offer an individual with additional support as he or she transitions out of the treatment program and back into one’s life.

Further Information

Substance abuse and addiction are all consuming, and if left untreated can result in extremely difficult long term consequences, and in some cases death. There is no need to go through this alone. If you or someone you know is in need of addiction treatment for drugs or alcohol, please seek help immediately. We are available to answer any questions you may have regarding substance abuse or addiction. For further information, do not hesitate contacting us at: 323-207-0276. You can also feel free to reach out via email at:

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