Despite efforts to discourage misuse of prescription pain relievers known as opioids, there are still a number of people in the state of Oregon who suffer from opioid or heroin addiction. Advocacy programs have had success in discouraging people from incorrect use of opioids or the use of heroin, but about 192,000 Oregonians are still at risk. With the right treatment approach, residents of Oregon may be able to fight and conquer opioid addiction for good.
What Is Opioid Dependence?
The term “opioids” represents a class of drugs that creates a sense of pain relief and euphoria in the people who take it. Common opioids include hydrocodone, morphine, hydromorphone, oxycodone and heroin. Although many opioids are legal for use in hospitals (with the notable exception of heroin), clinics and home settings, they are heavily regulated for a good reason. Opioids can be habit-forming, and people who take opioids in a prolonged course also risk developing a tolerance to them. For patients with long-term or chronic health conditions, overuse of prescription opioids may lead them to needing to take higher doses to receive the same kind of relief they once got from lower amounts.
It is not difficult to imagine how proper use can easily become misuse in this environment. About one in three adults are prescribed opioids for various medical conditions in any given year, making it one of the more common classes of drugs available by prescription. Approximately 180,000 Oregonians took prescription opioids in the past year without a legitimate prescription, or without a doctor’s guidance. Almost half will eventually meet the definition of a substance use disorder, indicating that they need treatment to remedy their opioid dependence and prevent further misuse.
How Does Heroin Addiction Begin?
Although there are appropriate uses for prescription opioids, there is no medical indication for the use of heroin, an opioid that comes in a white or brown powder, or as a black liquid. Heroin is most commonly snorted, injected into the body or smoked. Since it is illegal, government officials have little ways to protect the population outside of attempting to prevent its production, import, sale and use in the U.S. It may be cut with sugar, starch or other drugs. The typical method for administration is injection, and the use or sharing of dirty needles contributes to the spread of diseases like Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Once a person begins to use heroin, they may develop a tolerance or dependence very quickly. Often, people who become addicted to heroin started with misuse or even appropriate use of prescription opioids. About 12,000 residents of Oregon used heroin in the past year.
What Is Opioid/Heroin Detox Like?
Once a person realizes that they have to take action to control their dependence on opioids or heroin, they must enter into a period of withdrawal from the drug known as “detoxification.” This involves depriving the body of the drug in an attempt to reduce or eliminate regular dependence on it. Detox is considered extremely important to the addiction recovery process, because it allows a person to eliminate their physical addiction so that they have the ability to process the relevant factors that led to the dependence in the first place.
Detox can be an intense experience for people, with effects lasting for weeks or longer. The typical side-effects patients experience during opioid withdrawal involve diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and pain. In many cases, medication-assisted detox is a preferred method. This allows a person to experience the withdrawal symptoms with expert-administered medications that help to relieve the side-effects and discourage a quick relapse back into the use of opioids. At the conclusion of the detox process, people can begin other forms of treatment to help manage their dependence.
Does Inpatient Treatment Work Best to Recover From Opioid Dependence?
There are plenty of ways to recover from opioid or heroin addiction, and inpatient treatment is widely believed to be the best. Approximately 95,000 Oregonians need a formal treatment plan for their illicit drug use, but have not done so. In an inpatient setting, you can take the time you need to recover from withdrawal and detox without worrying about switching back to your old life, work and social connections. Inpatient programs range in length, and are typically based on your needs and your ability to withdraw from regular life. The shortest inpatient systems last about four weeks, while others may last for 3-6 months.
During inpatient treatment, you will encounter a number of potential treatment methods. Most programs aim to get you through detox first, with therapy beginning toward the end of the detox process. Cognitive-Based Therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly-used treatment methods, which promotes a thorough examination of your thoughts and actions related to certain behaviors, so that you can learn to manage and control them in healthy ways. Dialectical-Based Therapy (DBT) is a very similar but less-common approach, and it encourages you to recognize negative feelings without having to act on them. DBT is ideal for the 3.3 percent of adults in the United States who cope with another mental illness as well as a substance use disorder.
These and other therapeutic methods can be delivered in a variety of ways, from religious to holistic and even adventure. It is up to you to decide on the type of program that will work best for you, whether you would like to take treatment in the wilderness or have your religious affiliation take a prominent role in your recovery.
How Does Outpatient Treatment Work?
When you go through inpatient treatment, you will probably transition to an outpatient program that allows you at least a partial return to your regular life and obligations. However, some people find that a fully-outpatient treatment program is better for their individual circumstances. Experts believe that inpatient treatment, even programs with a shorter duration, are more effective for tackling opioid addiction. However, there are also very comprehensive outpatient methods that can nearly match the intensity of an inpatient program. Outpatient treatment often offers the same kinds of therapies, with the flexibility to allow you to tailor part of it to your schedule. Your doctor can make recommendations about the type of program you need.
What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
There are two stages of the process wherein you might benefit from the addition of medical treatments. The first is detox, when you must get over the strong cravings and feelings of withdrawal as the toxins leave the body. The second is recovery, when you invest your time and effort into therapy to develop coping strategies and formulate a new path without opioid dependence. Both have become vital components of the treatment system, because they help patients to achieve full detoxification and discourage the likelihood that they will relapse. Methadone is a widely-used treatment for heroin addiction, because it delivers a slower dose of the drug to decrease withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine produces a similar arrangement to methadone. When combined with naloxone, an opioid agonist, buprenorphine can manage side-effects and cravings without allowing a relapse to provide the same kind of high produced by active use of other opioids or heroin.
Where Can I Find Opioid Treatment Facilities in Oregon?
Choosing the right treatment center for your opioid or heroin dependence may depend on the locations available to you. Oregon offers a variety of programs and services, with inpatient and outpatient options.
Oregon Health and Science University Hospital Psychiatry
Located in Portland, this facility specializes in inpatient and outpatient individualized therapies. Participants can also receive diet and exercise counseling, as well as suicide prevention. Several forms of insurance are accepted.
Salem Hospital Psychiatric Medicine Center
Conveniently in Salem, this location provides different treatment methodologies including CBT, DBT and wilderness rehab. The residential inpatient programs may involve peer support and education services, as well as a crisis intervention team for emergency mental health needs.
Saint Charles Health System Sage View
This center in Bend offers a highly comprehensive line of available therapies, from CBT and DBT to Christian drug rehab and wilderness treatment. Treatment programs may emphasize family education as an important component of a successful recovery.
With hundreds of possible centers within the state, you are sure to find a program located in the region you need.
Many people suffering with opioid addiction are afraid to admit that they have a problem, but they do not need to go through the process alone. By going to DrugRehab.org and researching treatment centers in Oregon, you may be ready for the next step of battling opioid addiction. Contact us at DrugRehab.org for more information and resources to help you or a loved one on this journey.