Substance abuse impacts the lives of individuals and families throughout Puerto Rico. When a loved one shows signs of opioid or heroin abuse, you want to consider a treatment program to assist with long-term recovery goals. Depending on your situation, the details of a treatment program will vary.
What Are Opioids?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that opioids are a class of drugs or medications that impact the opioid receptors in your body and brain. The category refers to illicit substances, like heroin, as well as prescription medications like hydrocodone or morphine.
Since the drugs impact your opioid receptors, they are labeled opioids, but may be referred to as opiate drugs as well. Prescription opiates are usually used for short-term pain relief in a medical setting. A doctor may recommend the medication when you or a loved one goes through a surgical procedure or faces a serious accident that causes significant pain. Opiates are usually used for moderate to severe pain rather than mild pain relief.
A doctor will usually provide the medication for a short time period. After your body begins healing, the doctor may gradually reduce the dosage of your medication until you no longer need the pain relievers. A key problem with opiate drugs is the addictive quality of the substance. An opioid medication is highly addictive, says the National Institute on Drug Abuse, so it causes a physical dependence when you or a loved one takes a medication or an opioid drug.
Physical dependence does not necessarily mean an individual has an addiction to the substance. It may relate directly to the physical aspects without causing further complications through cravings and mental health concerns.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is an illicit opioid that is made from processing morphine, says the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The substance is highly addictive and is not legal for use in Puerto Rico or the United States.
The U.S. Department of Justice reports that heroin abuse in Puerto Rico is a concern due to the high rate of usage throughout the island. While the use of heroin has gradually fallen over the years, it accounts for most addiction treatments in Puerto Rico. In 2010, the number of individuals seeking treatment for an addiction in Puerto Rico for heroin abuse was almost double the rate of individuals seeking treatment for marijuana and it more than doubled the rate of other illicit substances, says the U.S. Department of Justice.
The National Drug Intelligence Center points out that heroin travels through Puerto Rico from other nations. As a result of the trafficking of the drug through the island, residents have easy access to heroin, with a large number of individuals abusing the drug compared to other illicit substances. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that heroin abuse is a particular concern because it causes an decreased heart rate and a feeling of euphoria.
Detoxification From Heroin And Other Opioids In Puerto Rico
Although opiates are a concern in Puerto Rico due to the high rate of heroin abuse and the growing rate of prescription drug abuse, detoxification is an available option to help with long-term recovery goals. The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that opioid withdrawal symptoms are not usually life-threatening; however, the symptoms are often uncomfortable and painful.
In many cases, the detoxification process takes roughly 3 to 7 days, depending on the individual’s use of opioids and the duration of opiate abuse. During withdrawal, an individual may develop flu-like symptoms. This means they experience chills, body aches, and a fever as part of the withdrawal process. They may also experience anxiety or general irritation throughout the initial stages of detoxification.
Vomiting and nausea may develop within 12 to 30 hours after an individual stops using an opioid. Due to the risk of a high fever and the complexity of the situation, you or a loved one may benefit from a medically-supervised detox program. The medically-supervised program prevents complications with a loved one’s health by ensuring that he or she does not face complications from withdrawal. Medical professionals evaluate an individual’s health and may provide solutions when a health risk develops.
Inpatient Treatment Programs
Treating opioid dependence or abuse depends on the needs of an individual. In most cases, individuals have the option to seek inpatient or outpatient treatment programs to assist with long-term recovery goals.
An inpatient treatment facility removes an individual from their current environment. The individual stays in the facility for treatment and does not engage in normal activities. The advantage of staying in the facility is constant focus on recovery and support from experienced professionals who understand the complexity of substance abuse. The duration of the program ranges from 28 to 120 days or longer as necessary for the individual.
During an inpatient treatment program, an individual has access to a variety of treatment solutions for opioid abuse. The treatments depend on the individual’s specific concerns and needs. Most programs offer counseling and group therapy as part of the treatment process. During individual counseling, a professional identifies the underlying causes of substance abuse and develops a personalized treatment plan for long-term recovery. It may also identify and help treat co-occurring disorders that can otherwise complicate recovery.
Group therapy focuses on support and healthy interactions. Individuals discuss their concerns with a group of others who have been through similar experiences. It may also focus on family dynamics in the case of family therapy. A family therapy program allows individuals and families to work though challenges that occur due to substance abuse.
Evidence-based treatments, like cognitive behavioral therapy, allow individuals to address specific behaviors or problems that impact substance abuse. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on changing thought processes to adjust an individual’s behavior. The program allows individuals to make changes to the way they think or to catch problems with their thought patterns before it complicates their behavior. It also ensures an individual pays attention to his or her behavior and avoids opiate use.
An inpatient treatment program may also provide a holistic treatment plan. Holistic programs focus on the individual as a whole person rather than focusing on the substance use and abuse. By evaluating physical health, mental health, emotional responses, and spirituality, the program provides solutions in many areas of an individual’s well-being. It may use tools like spiritual guidance in a religious service, yoga, meditation, or equine therapy as long-term treatment strategies. Equine therapy or other animal therapies help with specific concerns, like post-traumatic stress disorder, that may contribute to substance abuse.
Adventure therapy in an inpatient treatment program allows individuals to get out into nature and explore new activities. The program focuses on treating substance abuse and developing new hobbies that replace certain behaviors. The outdoor environment also helps when individuals need a different experience to change their behavior.
Outpatient Treatment For Opioid Addiction
When you or a loved one does not have an opportunity to stay in an inpatient treatment program, you may benefit from outpatient treatment. An outpatient treatment program does not remove an individual from their current environment. Instead, it works around your schedule and obligations to allow treatment and recovery.
In an outpatient program, you go to the facility each day or according to a set schedule for counseling and group therapy. You may also have cognitive behavioral therapy and other treatments available in the program. You work through the substance abuse without giving up on your personal obligations or family responsibilities. It may help when you have a strict budget or other limitations to treatment. When using the treatment to help transition into a normal lifestyle, you maintain a level of discipline without giving up on your goals. It also provides the support you need to handle new stress and complications in your life.
Outpatient treatment for opioid abuse is most useful as a stepdown strategy following an inpatient stay. Data shows that those who enter an inpatient facility for opioid dependence have a higher success rate upon reentry to normal life than those who rely solely on outpatient treatment.
Treatments With Medications
Medication-assisted treatment programs focus on helping with your goals without facing the harsh withdrawal symptoms associated with detoxification. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, a medication-assisted treatment plan uses traditional treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy with medication to help manage your goals. It may assist with your recovery goals when a co-occurring disorder complicates treatment or you have severe physical dependency and need to gradually reduce the use of a substance for your health. Doctors may use buprenorphine or methadone to help manage your symptoms during detoxification and treatment.
Treatment Programs In Puerto Rico
When you or a loved one needs treatment for heroin abuse or opiate drug use, you want to find the right facility in Puerto Rico for your goals. The key is clarifying your specific needs and then focusing on programs that address your concerns.
The Beachway Therapy Center is a holistic facility that focuses on providing a comfortable environment during treatment. As a luxury facility, an individual has privacy in their own space. The facility provides gender-specific treatments as well as group therapy and alternative therapies.
The San Juan Capestrano Hospital provides a rehab program for opioid abuse. The treatments focus on evidence-based care and medical solutions for substance abuse. As a medical facility, it offers detoxification services and provides treatments for co-occurring disorders. The hospital has 172 beds for individuals seeking treatment for opiate abuse.
The House of Freedom in Puerto Rico is a facility with inpatient and outpatient treatment solutions. The treatment programs provide group therapy, one-on-on counseling and family therapy as part of the recovery program. The House of Freedom also focuses on family relationships and healthy support as a key part of treatment and recovery.
Finding The Right Program
The right program for your recovery goals depends on your situation and health. When you or a loved one needs treatment for heroin abuse or opioid addiction, you want to focus on a program that offers personalized care. To learn more about inpatient and outpatient drug treatment programs available in Puerto Rico, contact us at DrugRehab.org.