Opiate Treatment: Helping Patients Overcome Opiate Addiction
In medical terms, opiates are a group of narcotics that are used to relieve pain. Morphine, heroin and other opiates are widely used in the manufacturing of painkillers. Drugs containing natural or synthetic opium can only be purchased with a medical prescription. However, opiates also have high potential for abuse. Tens of thousands of people across the world purchase opiates from illegal sources. In the US alone, there are over one million opiate addicts. Opium, morphine, codeine and heroin can be dangerously addictive. When used over a prolonged period of time, opiates can lead to major physical and psychological addiction.
Professional opiate treatment often is necessary when it comes to helping a person overcome opiate addiction. With advancements in medical science, new and improved drug treatments have been made available that can make it easier for a person to successfully get rid of his or her opium addiction. There are many rehabilitation centers in the US that are engaged in providing effective opiate treatment to people. Let’s take a look at a few drug treatment methods used to treat opiate addiction
While this is not a method, detoxification is the first step in treating opiate addiction. The process of detoxification involves a controlled withdrawal of the drug under medical supervision. It is a way of cleansing the internal system and the body. Anxiety, vomiting, diarrhea and tremors are some of the common withdrawal symptoms experience by patients at this stage. The severity of symptoms depends on the speed of withdrawal. It is important to understand here that detoxification is only the first step in opiate treatment. The patients need further medical help to overcome their opiate addiction. If the treatment is left at this stage, in all likelihood, the addicts will start taking the drugs once again.
- Methadone Maintenance
Methadone maintenance is a drug treatment program in which methadone, a synthetic drug, is used as an alternative to heroin, opium or any other harmful drug. Through years of research, it has been found that many opiate addicts are unable to stop the intake of drug. As opiates are highly habit-forming, many patients find it extremely difficult to get rid of their addictions. Methadone maintenance may not have gained full acceptance in the medical fraternity, but studies have shown that it has assisted some patients.
Buprenorphine is known to provide a mild opiate-like effect. The acceptance and use of this drug is growing rapidly in opiate treatment. Even though there are a few withdrawal symptoms, Buprenorphine can be very effective when it comes to helping a patient reduce his dependence on more potent drugs.
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