Opioid dependence has quickly become a public health crisis nationwide, and the state of Wisconsin is no exception. In fact, educating the public and helping curb the number of individuals that are challenged with opioid and heroin dependence has become one of the missions of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as well as the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. It’s estimated that the rate of opioid use disorder in the state has more than doubled since 2005, a statistic that can be partially attributed to the fact that anyone can become dependent on it and that many prescriptions of opioid-containing medications are filled on a daily basis in the state.
Opioid dependence is highest for those ages 24-29 in Wisconsin, but anyone can succumb to it. The good news is that with increased awareness comes more treatment centers with the mission of helping people overcome such challenges.
Opioids And Wisconsin’s Epidemic
Opioids are a class of drug that affects the nervous system, which is why they’re commonly found in painkillers. In fact, some of the most popular prescription medications that opioids are found in include oxycodone, morphine, codeine, and fentanyl.
Although the purpose of opioids is to alleviate pain, they can become addictive if taken in high doses or over long periods of time, a key reason why many who are taking them after recovering from surgery or bodily injuries may eventually become dependent. Even those who take opioids how they’re supposed to may still feel side effects from them. These effects are typically amplified when individuals begin to abuse them, and may include the likes of nausea, constipation, sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, depression, sweating, and low energy.
While opioids are found in prescription medicines, they are also found in illegal drugs, such as heroin. Heroin is typically used as a recreational hard drug. It is usually injected into the bloodstream and known for producing feelings of euphoria for several hours after administration. It also causes low heart rate, drowsiness, sweating, constipation, depression, and serious risks for overdose and death.
Whether individuals are taking heroin or prescription medications that contain opioids, the fact is that if they’re abused for too long of a time or if they’re taken in elevated concentrations, great harm has the potential to occur. According to data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, about 14 men per 100,000 and 7 women per 100,000 will die from an opioid-related overdose in the state of Wisconsin. Furthermore, about 3,000 Wisconsin residents were hospitalized because of opioid abuse in the last year. The number of hospitalizations for opioid use has been on a gradual incline in Wisconsin since 2006.
Heroin Abuse In Wisconsin
Like we noted, heroin has become a popular recreational hard drug for the euphoric effect it has on the human body. These feelings of euphoria typically last for several hours. While heroin is often injected, it can also be inhaled or smoked. Heroin is extremely addictive and can cause health issues such as liver and kidney disease, heart defects, death from overdose, and the potential of contracting an infectious disease, like HIV/AIDS.
Because heroin users build tolerance, the body will require more and more of it over time to reach the levels of euphoria that users seek. This makes heroin particularly dangerous, as intentional overdoses have the potential to occur. In Wisconsin, deaths from heroin overdose have been on the incline since 2007. In 2015, more than 280 Wisconsin residents died from heroin overdose compared to less than 50 in 1999.
Detox From Opioids And Heroin
Before an individual can enter either inpatient or outpatient treatment, it’s first important to go through the detox process, which essentially consists of eliminating any opioids or opiates (like heroin) from an individual’s system. Why is detox important prior to entering treatment? Because those who attempt to detox and be treated at the same time have a tendency to let their withdrawal symptoms get in the way of receiving the treatment that they need to overcome challenges with opioids and heroin. This being said, detox is also often able to be completed within the treatment center of your choosing. This will commonly be done in a separate wing before rehabilitation begins.
Usually withdrawal symptoms are more intense and last longer for those who have been using heavily on a long-term basis. The good news when it comes to detox is that there is medication that can help people better manage withdrawal symptoms, such as methadone and buprenorphine. Methadone is intended to alleviate symptoms, while buprenorphine is a medication that is designed to actually shorten the period that one may experience withdrawal symptoms. These medications will be administered by doctors or other medical professionals who will assist and monitor your detox process, helping you to remain comfortable.
Inpatient And Outpatient Treatment From Opioids And Heroin
Following detox, the next step is rehabilitation. There are two main types of rehabilitation that individuals typically seek when attempting to overcome opioid or heroin use – inpatient and outpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment is typically best for those that have used for a long time, as it involves an individual checking into a center for 30, 60, 90 or up to 120 days for around-the-clock treatment. Inpatient treatment temporarily disassociates an individual from their normal, everyday life. It allows them to focus specifically on their rehabilitation, which is what certain people need to overcome opioid and heroin challenges. Outpatient treatment, conversely, enables an individual to live out their lives as usual with the exception of attending one-on-one and group therapy sessions several times a week. For this reason, outpatient therapy is best intended for those who can maintain everyday life alongside treatment without remaining connected to people or places that could threaten their recovery.
As noted, inpatient treatment consists of 24/7 monitoring and around-the-clock treatment and care, and rehabilitation facilities typically specialize in different forms of therapy. Some of the most popular inpatient treatment types are faith-based therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy, all of which help a person come to terms with their challenges, understand how it has affected themselves and their loved ones, and help replace unhealthy habits with healthy ones.
While the aforementioned are among the most popular, many other residential facilities have begun to work alternative types of treatment curriculum into their programs as well. For instance, in holistic therapy, patients may perform yoga, art, or exercise as a means of overcoming dependence issues – again, a way that unhealthy habits can be replaced with otherwise healthy ones. Another type of therapy is wilderness therapy, where patients undergo certain challenges in the great outdoors as a means of stimulating the mind, soul, and body.
Outpatient therapy is by design less intensive than inpatient therapy. It often consists of individual counseling, group counseling, family counseling, or a combination of the three. Outpatient therapy is ideal for those with low to moderate levels of dependence that don’t require 24/7 observation or daily care. Outpatient therapy may also be complemented with medication.
Medication-Assisted Treatment For Opioid And Heroin Dependence
Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is when a patient takes prescription medication to help wean them off of opioids over a designated period of time. Such medication is often administered to complement therapy or treatment that an individual is undergoing. According to SAMHSA, the three most common medications that are prescribed to recovering opioid users are methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. Certain medications are designed to help wean individuals off of opioids, while others are more designed to help suppress cravings and can be taken safely for long periods of time with little to no side effects.
Heroin And Opioid Detox And Treatment Facilities In Wisconsin
Opioid and heroin dependence have become a serious issue in the state of Wisconsin. The good news is that many communities are stepping up to the plate in terms of increasing awareness on signs and symptoms of opioid and heroin abuse. More good news is the fact that rehabilitation treatment facilities are now serving the community to address this epidemic and help people get back on the right track to a healthy lifestyle.
Wisconsin has no shortage of rehabilitation treatment centers when it comes to detox and both inpatient and outpatient treatment. In Appleton, Affinity Health Systems specializes in treating patients challenged with opioid use in an outpatient manner. The treatment facility pairs patients with a life coach to help them along in the recovery process and also offers one-on-one counseling, group counseling, and post-recovery assistance to help prevent the likelihood of a relapse.
Ho Chunk Nation Behavioral Health, located in Black River Falls. The center specializes in outpatient opioid treatment and offers cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy. The treatment center will take patients ranging from adolescent to adult and also offers the opportunity for patients to receive individual counseling, group counseling, family counseling, and marital counseling to help patients overcome challenges with opioid or heroin use.
Rogers Behavioral Health in Oconomowoc is an inpatient facility that specializes in treating those with opioid and heroin challenges. The firm is specifically targeted to adolescents and uses a variety of behavioral techniques to help its patients overcome the challenges that they’re facing head on. It offers long-term, short-term, and partial-day treatment programs for its patients.
Contact Us Today
For more information on opioid and heroin dependence, and to discover where to seek rehabilitative treatment in the state of Wisconsin, visit DrugRehab.org today. DrugRehab.org is your one-stop resource for all the information you need to know regarding opioid and heroin dependence, whether you’re seeking information for yourself or for a friend or family member. Contact us today at DrugRehab.org and get you or your loved one back on the path to a healthy lifestyle.