Opiate use disorder or opiate addiction has reached such alarming levels in the U.S. that the federal government has declared a state of emergency. There were 18,335 opiate overdose deaths recorded in 2016, most of them due to the synthetic opiate, Fentanyl, which is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Unfortunately, like many addictions, people may try to hide the symptoms or deflect questions. Sufferers and their loved ones may miss signs of trouble because they do not want to imagine that the addiction is impacting themselves or a loved one.
Concerning Signs For About Opiate Addiction
At Unique Health, we ask screening questions, like the ones below, to help us to decide if the patient could be suffering from opiate use disorder:
- Has the person taken opioids for longer than intended or in larger amounts than intended?
- Does the person crave or have a strong drive to use opioids?
- Does the person spend a good amount of time and effort to get and use opioids?
- Has the person missed work, given up spending time with friends and family or doing enjoyable activities to use opioids?
- Does the person give up important social, recreational or work-related activities to get and use opioids?
- Has the person been in situations that are hazardous to emotional health or physical safety to get or use opioids?
- Are opioids having a negative effect on the lifestyle? And does the person continue to use despite the negative impact?
- Does the person want to cut down or stop using opioids but can’t?
Opiate Addiction Outpatient Treatment Options
Patients suffering from opiate addiction require inpatient or outpatient detoxes. Unfortunately, addiction is a chronic disease which impacts the patient, family, and community well after the detox concludes. Ongoing care is provided in outpatient settings. Options include:
- Intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment which lasts from 2-4 weeks
- Opiate Maintenance Treatment (OMT) mostly occurs in federally designated Methadone dispensing clinics. Methadone needs to administration daily by staff.
- Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT) mostly in the form of naltrexone (orally), Vivitrol Intramuscular Injection on a monthly basis, or Buprenorphine/Naloxone (commonly known as Suboxone.
- Ongoing involvement with self-help groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Smart Recovery.
- Weekly counseling or psychotherapy, with a significant focus on relapse prevention.
- Ongoing psychopharm/psychiatric care with patients own psychiatrist.
Most importantly, patients need love, affection, and help from family and loved ones throughout this tough journey.
Unique Health provides most of the aforementioned outpatient treatments except Methadone.