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Opioid Treatment

What are Opiates?

Opiates are drugs such as heroin that are derived from morphine; opioids, like prescription drugs oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, fentanyl and morphine, mimic the effects of naturally-derived opiates. Illegally manufactured fentanyl (IMF) is an opioid that is lethal in very small doses. All are highly addictive drugs that bind to opioid receptors in the brain to induce a pleasurable sensation. Opiate use impacts even basic physiological functioning (heart rate, breathing, and sleeping patterns).

opioid addiction - break free from opiates

America’s opioid epidemic is a public health concern, with over 115 people dying every day of opioid overdose (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Rates of opioid overdose have been rising for years, and over 33,000 Americans overdosed and died in 2015 (NIDA).

Over two million Americans aged 18-25 have reported misusing opiates in the last year alone and in 2016 (NIDA). Opiates are among the most potent and habit-forming narcotics and have serious psychological and physiological effects when abused.

Withdrawing from opioids without medical assistance is risky, as symptoms can be quite severe. Our medication-assisted opioid detoxification is accompanied by daily therapy and followed by extensive aftercare.

The short-term effects of opioid use may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Nausea

The long-term effects of opioid use may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in abdomen
  • Opioid-induced constipation (OIC)
  • Damage to the brain and liver
  • Tolerance and dependence

Should I seek treatment for opioid addiction?

Signs of an opioid problem may include:

  • “Doctor shopping” to obtain multiple prescriptions
  • Snorting, injecting, or otherwise taking prescription opioids not as intended
  • Prioritizing/planning around obtaining and/or using opiates
  • Exhibiting high-risk behaviors
  • Disinterest in other activities
  • Using opiates in spite of negative effects
  • Symptoms of withdrawal and/or cravings

If you recognize any of these signs in yourself or others, you or someone you know may have an opioid problem and require medical help to safely detox.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms generally begin somewhere around six hours after the last dose, peak in severity around the 72-hour mark, and last about one week.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms may include (NIDA):

  • Depression
  • Stomach cramping
  • Severe pain in bones and muscles
  • Insomnia or restlessness
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Cold sweats and goosebumps
  • Leg spasms (“kicking” the habit)
  • Severe cravings

What happens after medical detox?

Guests continue along a personalized, collaborative treatment track following medical detoxification at Royal Life Centers at the Haven in Lacey or RLC at Puget Sound in Sumner. Following detox, guests may continue treatment in the more structured setting of our residential inpatient program at RLC at Puget Sound. RLC at Sound offers a nine-week program, where our primary focus is supporting you throughout reintegration on your recovery journey. Our program consists of three different, three-week treatment phases designed to help you build a healthy foundation and utilize effective coping skills to redefine your life. The first phase (PHP) helps you build a foundation for increased personal freedom and self-trust. The second phase gradually reintegrates you into daily life with therapeutic support, and transitions you into the third and final phase (IOP), which consists of life skills and job readiness training. Nine-week guests reside at Royal Life Housing, our sober living community, complete with amenities and regular UA testing. Guests may also continue their recovery with us at the OP level and stay at our guest housing residences. Our addiction specialists— case managers, therapists, and in-house sober living staff— are available to support our guests at all stages of their recovery journey. If you or a loved one has an opioid use disorder, or any substance use disorder, please reach out to us about your detox and treatment options. Our admissions staff is available 24/7 at (888) 716-4070 to answer your questions and address your concerns Because We Care.

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