A resident of Connecticut is more likely to die from an accidental overdose than a motor vehicle accident, according to the Connecticut Office of Injury and Prevention. With heroin and opioid addiction rates increasing across the country, the need for quality rehab options has never been greater.
Fortunately, there are numerous detox and treatment centers capable of effectively treating opioid addiction in Connecticut and throughout the U.S. With treatment from healthcare professionals who specialize in addiction, it is possible to leave behind opioids and start leading the life you were meant to lead.
Understanding Opioids And Opiates
In learning about treatment options, it can be helpful to understand the difference between the terms “opioid” and “opiate”. Opioid refers to synthetic and semi-synthetic drugs made to mimic the qualities of the opium poppy, as well as all opiates. Opiate is a term that encompasses all drugs naturally derived from the opium poppy.
There are a variety of opioids prescribed for pain in the U.S., including:
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin)
Opioids are used frequently by medical professionals to help patients combat pain. The drugs attach to opioid receptors in the brain and lessen the perception of pain. The stronger the opioid, the more relief it can provide. Opioids are a necessity for some situations, like surgery, and are very useful for other circumstances, like chronic pain and injury.
Unfortunately, the same properties that make opioids so effective at providing pain relief also produce risk of addiction. It is the euphoria, general sense of well-being, happiness, sociability, and lowered stress, that attracts individuals back to opioids again and again. For those who keep using opioids for the euphoria, or recreationally, addiction often results.
What Causes Addiction To Opioids?
Opioids cause physical changes that make them high risks for addiction. The rush of endorphins in the brain that comes from using opioids is substantially stronger than the amount of endorphins normally produced by the brain. When the brain repeatedly receives this large flood of endorphins, it begins to decrease the natural production of them. The result is that the person’s brain fails to produce enough endorphins on its own. When the opioids are taken away, the person is left with negative symptoms known as withdrawal.
The tolerance for opioids goes up fairly quickly in most people, so they find themselves taking more and more of the drug to get the same results they first experienced. The increased usage, combined with the need to keep taking the drugs to avoid withdrawal (dependence), creates a pattern of addiction.
One of the most surprising things about the recent surge in opioid addiction is the fact that many people started the path to addiction after getting a prescription for opioids from their doctor. High prescription rates of opioids has been a problem, especially in the last decade, and some of those who were prescribed opioids became addicted—many without even realizing what was happening.
The street drug heroin is derived from morphine. People will either snort, smoke, or inject heroin. Most people begin by snorting or smoking the drug, but many start injecting the drug as their tolerance grows.
One of the major risks of heroin use is accidental poisoning or overdose. Heroin is often cut with different substances, some of them poisonous, and the person using it has no way to know what is in the heroin he or she is taking. Recently, the biggest problem with heroin has been overdoses due to the drug being cut with fentanyl and other synthetic, highly potent opioids. Fentanyl is much cheaper than heroin, so heroin is cut with it to save money. People may take their usual dose and experience an accidental overdose.
The heroin and opioid overdose epidemic has hit Connecticut hard, with the biggest increase in overdoses in recent years attributed to heroin cut with fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. A report released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that Connecticut had a higher rate than average of drug-induced mortality, at 16.4 per 100,000 residents compared to the national rate of 14.6.
Due to the dangers presented by opioids in Connecticut, the state became one of 29 states to receive funding from the CDC for fighting the epidemic.
Detox And Treatment For Heroin And Opioids
There are several different options for detox and treatment for heroin and opioids, including:
As the name suggests, detoxification is the elimination of toxins from the body. Detox is a process that can be extremely unpleasant, especially from opioids, due to the many withdrawal symptoms you may experience. The most extreme withdrawal symptoms pass as the drug fully leaves the body and the brain regulates back to a normal level.
Withdrawal symptoms may include:
Detox is never easy, but it can be made more bearable with the help of a medial professional and medications. Medically-assisted detox occurs under the supervision of a healthcare team that is there to make you as comfortable as possible. You may be given medications to ease withdrawal symptoms during this process. Success rates of those going through medically-assisted detox are higher than those who try to quit on their own.
Detoxing Before Getting Treatment
When you are detoxing, the majority of your attention is focused on getting through withdrawal. Treatment centers require anyone entering treatment to complete detox first, either at the treatment center, at a detox center, or on their own. Once you have gone through detox, you will be better prepared to get long-term treatment.
Heroin and opioid dependency is best treated through inpatient programs, although some people choose to try outpatient programs instead. Ideally, you will go through an inpatient program first and then participate in an outpatient program to help you transition to everyday life.
The best way to determine which treatment will be most effective for your circumstances is to speak with a treatment professional.
Also known as residential treatment, inpatient programs require participants to sleep, eat, and live at the treatment center for the entirety of the program. Usually, treatment lasts 30 or 45 days, although there are longer programs available.
Inpatient treatment offers a lot of advantages. You can stay at a peaceful, positive facility where the main goal is your success. You are surrounded by healthcare professionals, and you get to participate in a variety of treatments throughout your stay. You also get to escape from the environment that facilitated your substance abuse or dependency, which can make a big difference in the success of your treatment.
Inpatient treatment may include:
- Group Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Adventure Therapy
- Holistic Treatments
Outpatient care does not require you to stay at the treatment center. Instead, you are able to take care of all your obligations, like school and work, while participating in treatments two or three times a week. Treatments offered at outpatient centers may include individual and group therapy, among others. There are also some outpatient programs which are more intense than most—however, they are still not a substitute for an inpatient program.
Methadone and buprenorphine (Suboxone, Zubsolv) are the main types of medication used in medication-assisted treatment for heroin and opioid dependency. With methadone, you visit a methadone clinic regularly to get your dose of medication, which helps curb cravings for opioids. Buprenorphine is available by prescription from your doctor, so you can take it at home—a fact that makes buprenorphine highly desirable for many people struggling with opioid dependency.
Contact Us To Find A Treatment Center In Connecticut
You are not alone on your path to recovery. At DrugRehab.org, we work with individuals and families throughout Connecticut who want to find the right treatment center for their specific needs. If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid dependency, there is no better time than now to seek treatment. The sooner you begin, the sooner you can be living an opioid-free life.
We are dedicated to helping people like you and your loved ones find the care they need for opioid dependency. If you are struggling with opioids, please contact us at DrugRehab.org to learn more about treatment in or near Connecticut that is right for you.
Connecticut Opioid Drug Rehabs
- Bridgeport (5)
New Britain (1)
New Canaan (1)
New Haven (5)
New London (2)
North Haven (1)
West Haven (2)