With opioid addiction and overdoses at an all-time high, there has never been a greater need for detox and treatment in Tennessee. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, there were 1,451 people who died of drug overdoses in the state in 2015. The number of overdose deaths for 2015 is a record, the highest in the history of the state.
Heroin and opioids are highly addictive and potent drugs, and are extremely difficult to quit without professional help. Fortunately, there are treatment centers out there that offer skilled, compassionate, and effective programs.
Many people find themselves addicted to opioids after being prescribed medications by their doctor for pain relief due to illness or injury. Whatever way you came to start using opioids, the fact is that leading the life you want is next to impossible while you are dependent on opiates, like heroin, or synthetic opioids, even if they’re prescribed to you. As long as you are dependent, it is difficult to focus on anything else.
At DrugRehab.org, we understand how hard it can be to take the first step down the road to recovery. We want you to know that we are here to help. You can contact us to get information on rehabs in your area. We are standing by to assist you.
Undrstanding Opioids And Opiates
Many times you will see the term “opiates” and “opioids” used interchangeably, but the terms do describe slightly different drugs. Opiates are any drug derived from the opium poppy, including heroin. Opioids are synthetic and semi-synthetic substances designed to mimic the pain relieving properties of the opium poppy. Opioids generally describe the prescription medications many people get from their doctors for pain relief.
There are a number of opioids on the market, ranging in potency and prescribed for different circumstances. These include:
- Oxycodone (OxyContin)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
Humans have been using the opium poppy and its derivatives for thousands of years for both pain relief and its euphoric effects. However, the prescription opioids of today can be much, much more powerful than the opium of old. They can be extremely effective at relieving pain for those going through surgery, suffering from an injury, or dealing with chronic pain. Unfortunately, they can also be highly addictive.
Along with lessening or eliminating pain, opioids also produce a euphoric feeling for many users. The sensation that everything is okay, increased confidence, lowering of stress, and other pleasurable effects can be too tempting for some users, leading to increased and prolonged usage.
The Causes Of Addiction To Opioids
Addiction is a complex disease that is still not fully understood. However, there are some physical characteristics to opioid use that help explain why people cannot stop using the drugs. When an individual takes opioids, the brain is flooded with endorphins. There are so many endorphins produced by the drug that the brain stops making its own. When the user stops taking the drug, the brain is left without the normal level of endorphins – leading to withdrawal symptoms like depression, irritability, and more.
No one wants to feel the effects of withdrawal. It is far easier to take more opioids to reach a feeling of normalcy or pain relief. Over time dependency grows as the cycle of use continues. Increased tolerance to opioids is inevitable as an individual keeps using them. It takes more of the drug to produce the same effects.
One of the most unfortunate aspects of today’s high levels of opioid addiction is that many of those who are dependent did not start out as recreational users. They were prescribed opioids by their doctor for a reason. They may have experienced withdrawals when their prescription ran out, or they may have discovered that taking more produced a better effect. Regardless, they found themselves dependent on opioids.
Derived from morphine, heroin is a powerful street drug that has only become more popular as prescription pain medication users no longer have access to their opioids. The drug is either snorted, smoked, or injected. For those who are dependent on opioids, heroin is often the next logical step due to its wide availability and cost.
One of the biggest dangers with heroin use is the unpredictability of the drug. Because it is manufactured and sold illegally, there are multiple opportunities for cuts to be made to the drug – cuts that the user has no knowledge of. The heroin may be cut with poisonous products, or as has been occurring more recently, with powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl. When the user takes the heroin at a normal dosage, they wind up overdosing due to the fentanyl or other, more powerful, synthetic opioids added to it.
The overdose epidemic has continued to grow in Tennessee, with the most recent increase in deaths attributed to cuts like fentanyl. There were 1,062 overdose deaths in 2011, in comparison to 1,451 in 2015. To put things in perspective, traffic fatalities in 2015 reached 970, far less than the overdose deaths.
Detox And Treatment For Heroin And Opioids
There are several different treatment options for those who struggle with heroin or opioid dependency. These include:
The detox process is one where your body adjusts to the lack of opioids, detoxifying and returning to a more healthy baseline. Detox is something that every drug dependent person must go through. It can be a difficult process due to the withdrawal symptoms that occur as your body’s physiology shifts back to a more normal level.
Some of the common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Flu-like symptoms
It is fortunate for those seeking treatment today that medically-assisted detox can ease the symptoms of withdrawal. Under the supervision and guidance of a healthcare professional, you can go through detox safely. Medically-assisted detox includes medication that can make withdrawals easier and make it much more likely that you will finish detox and move on to further treatment.
Detox Must Happen Before Treatment Can Begin
Detox is unavoidable and must occur before you can start the main part of treatment. While it is possible to go through detox on your own, it is not recommended. It is much safer to detox under the supervision of a medical professional – and much more likely to be successful.
Treatment options for heroin and opioid dependency may include medically-assisted detox, inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. While you can choose which options best suit your circumstances, it is advisable to speak to a treatment professional for guidance in what treatments will work for your situation. The vast majority of patients with heroin or opioid dependency go through inpatient treatment due to its effectiveness.
Often referred to as residential treatment due to the fact that patients live at the treatment center during their rehabilitation program, inpatient treatment is the standard for heroin and opioid dependency. Over a specific period of time, often 30 or 45 days, you will receive 24/7 care from healthcare professionals dedicated to your recovery. One of the best things about inpatient treatment is that you get to escape from the environment that facilitated your dependency – and get compassionate care at all hours from those best equipped to help you.
Treatments at an inpatient center may include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Holistic treatments
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Group therapy
- Adventure therapy
For most people recovering from heroin and opioid dependency, outpatient treatment is best suited for the time following inpatient treatment. With outpatient treatment, you live your normal, day-to-day life, including work, school and family obligations, and visit the treatment center at regular intervals. Often two or three visits a week is standard, where you can get treatments like group therapy and individual therapy.
There are medications designed specifically to help people recover from heroin and opioid dependency. Methadone is the most well known. With methadone, you visit the methadone clinic periodically to get your dose of methadone – which helps curb the cravings for opioids. Another medication growing in popularity is buprenorphine (suboxone, zubsolv), which can also help with recovery, and can be taken at home. Buprenorphine is said to make those taking it feel more normal, with little to no side effects. It can be taken to reduce (and nearly eliminate) cravings and is even safe for longer periods of time. This medication requires a special monthly visit to a doctor trained to prescribe it, will often involve therapy sessions at the time of prescription, but can be taken home for the remainder of the month, unlike methadone.
Treatment Centers In Tennessee
Tennessee has a variety of great treatment centers, so help is never very far away.
Located in Nashville, TN, Cumberland Heights is situated along the beautiful Cumberland River. Spanning 177 tranquil acres, Cumberland is a nonprofit recovery center offering inpatient and outpatient care. They have programs specifically for adolescents, young adults, men, and women, so you can go through treatment with a peer group that is comfortable and familiar. Cumberland has been helping patients for over 50 years.
Cornerstone of Recovery
This treatment center is located in Louisville, TN, in the Eastern part of the state. Here the treatment team seeks to bring issues like addiction out into the open where they can be seen clearly and left behind. They base their treatment on the Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual model, treating patients holistically. Both inpatient and outpatient care are offered, as is medically assisted detox. Cornerstone even offers programs specifically for the aviation industry and the railroad industry, making them a truly unique treatment center in the Tennessee region.
Situated in Burns, TN, Discovery Place sits on a lovely natural campus filled with grass, trees and a lake. Discovery Place prides itself on offering the highest quality of care at the most affordable price. In addition to its residential treatment and outpatient program, Discovery Place also has a large alumni network that can aid you in staying clean long after you have completed treatment. Discovery Place is so committed to helping you maintain sobriety that if you find yourself struggling after treatment at any time, you can contact Discovery Place and return for a free week-long treatment program.
Get Started On Your Rehab Journey
The fact that you are researching information on drug rehabs in Tennessee is an important first step on your journey. Our team at DrugRehab.org is excited to help you find the right rehab for your unique circumstances. Please contact us now to talk with a team member, ask questions and get guidance on which treatment center is ideal for your needs!