This Page was last reviewed and changed on August 29th, 2019
Treatment for opioid addiction will include a comprehensive programme of recovery that incorporates both detox and rehabilitation. Rehab is provided by various organisations across the UK and takes place in either inpatient or outpatient clinics. Choosing the right programme though requires careful consideration as there is much to think about, including where to have the treatment and who is going to provide it.
Opioid addiction can have a detrimental impact on the ability to live a normal life. It could affect your health, relationships, and your prospects. It is therefore very important to seek help as soon as you realise you have a problem.
The Importance of Opiate Addiction Treatment
As we said above, addiction to opioids can literally destroy your life. As well as the impact it could have on your daily life, it can also have a profound effect on the lives of those around you.
As with every other type of addiction, opioid addiction will take over and just continue to get worse without treatment. Your need for these drugs will grow with time, and as your body and brain learn to function with the help of your medication, it will become harder for them to live without it.
Over time, your body becomes less responsive to the effects of the drugs you are taking, meaning that you will need more opioids to achieve the original relief. However, the more medication you take, the greater the chance that you will accidentally overdose, which could have fatal consequences. It is important, then, that you seek help sooner rather than later. The quicker you can get treatment for your addiction, the sooner you can regain control of your life.
You might have already noticed that your addiction to opiates is affecting your relationships with friends, work colleagues, and loved ones. Addiction tends to cause dramatic changes to both personality and behaviour. For example, you may begin to prioritise opiates and put your need for them above everything else. This would include the individuals you love as well as any responsibilities you have at home and at work.
The people in your life may not understand the changes in you and will find it hard to understand why you are acting the way you are. This can lead to factious relationships. In fact, quite often relationships are pushed to breaking point by addiction; in extreme cases, some are damaged beyond repair.
To regain control of your life and to re-establish hope for the future, you are going to need treatment. Treatment will help you overcome your addiction to opioids and can give you the skills to put your life back on the right track. You will learn how to rebuild relationships and make amends for any harm that your actions may have caused up to this point.
You will learn the cause of your illness and the various things that trigger your behaviour. Furthermore, you will be taught healthier ways of coping with various life situations.
Treatment Philosophy and Benefits
Treatment for addiction is about learning how to change your life and rewire your brain around recovery. In the same way that your brain learned how to live with opioids, it can learn how to live without them once more with a good programme of detox and rehabilitation.
The idea behind treatment for addiction is that it is a healing process, but a process that takes time and patience. Expecting an overnight fix is unrealistic and could result in a relapse if you become disheartened with your progress.
The impact that opioid addiction has on the brain and body can never be underestimated, but treatment will allow your body to heal and return to normal physiological function. During detox and rehabilitation, you will learn how to live a substance-free life. You will also learn about all the benefits that accompany such a life.
You might have forgotten what it is like to not wake up and think about drugs. You may have also forgotten what it feels like to be able to make good decisions that are not influenced by your need for a particular substance. Moreover, you may not remember what it is like to spend quality time with the people in your life.
Successfully completing addiction treatment means that these are things that you can enjoy once more. You will have the opportunity to put your life right again, and the longer you are in recovery, the more normal this way of life will become to you. Staying sober will become as natural as taking drugs is to you now.
Tolerance vs. Opiate Dependence
When you start taking opioids, they will likely provide relief from pain or offer a pleasurable sensation that helps you to relax. When prescribed for medicinal purposes, opioids are in essence painkillers. However, they do also induce feelings of warmth and euphoria; it is for this reason that they are often abused.
Irrespective of whether taken for medical or recreational purposes, tolerance can occur. This means that the brain and body become less responsive to the effects of the drug, so you might not get the same relief or pleasure as you did when you first began taking it.
Opiate dependence is different from tolerance. An opiate dependence occurs when your body becomes so used to your medication that it cannot function normally without it. With repeated use of opiates, even at therapeutic doses, there is a risk that you may develop a dependency on it. A classic sign of dependence is the presence of withdrawal symptoms when the effects of the drug wear off.
If you are physically dependent on opiates, you could start to notice unpleasant symptoms in between doses or when you try to quit or cut down on your use. Building up a tolerance to opiates does not necessarily mean that you will need treatment though. Physical dependence often occurs before addiction develops, but although it might not necessarily require rehab treatment, it may still need a detox to help break the cycle of abuse.
If you are struggling to quit opiates because you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms, a detox is probably going to be necessary. If you have already developed an addiction, you will need a detox followed by a programme of rehabilitation.
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Determining Treatment Readiness
Many of those who develop an addiction to opioids are reluctant to seek help. This could be because they do not realise the extent of their problem. It is often difficult for those affected by addiction to see when their use has crossed a line to misuse or abuse. The reason is that drugs such as opiates can affect the ability to think clearly.
So it is usually family members and friends who notice the signs of abuse and addiction. This usually happens long before the addict realises there is an issue, but often it is denial that gets in the way of treatment. Therefore, determining when you are ready for treatment will be a matter of accepting that the problem exists, which can be tough for many people. In fact, most of those who get treatment for addiction say that accepting the diagnosis was actually the hardest part of their journey.
If you are worried that you may have a problem, or if someone that you love has suggested that you need help, it is a good idea to sit and think about your current use of opioids. If you have developed a tolerance to your medication, you may feel that it is not working as effectively as it once did. You might have decided to increase the dosage as a result of this, but this could have then led to a physical dependence. This so often happens with continued use, particularly in higher than recommended doses.
You need to know that if you are addicted to opiates, you are likely to have very little control over your use of it. You will feel compelled to use it even if it is having a negative impact on your life. You may spend all your time under the influence of opiates or thinking about the next time that you are due to take them. Your need for the drug could be overwhelming you and you might find it almost impossible to resist the pull. If this all sounds familiar to you, then you are almost certainly ready for treatment.
Learning about Options for Opiate Rehab
There are several options available to you when it comes to opiate rehab. Programmes are either inpatient or outpatient based and are provided by many organisations. To find out what options are available in your area, you can talk to your doctor or look online and use an information database that offers details about free and paid-for services in your local area.
Most outpatient programmes are provided free of charge by the likes of the NHS, while inpatient programmes tend to be the remit of private clinics and come with a fee.
How Much Does Opiate Rehab Cost?
If you would like to be treated in an inpatient clinic, you will almost certainly have to pay, as these programmes are typically provided by private organisations. The cost of treatment will vary from one clinic to the next, but the average price for a 28-day programme is somewhere in the region of four-to-six thousand pounds.
Nevertheless, you may find that some providers charge less than this while others charge considerably more.
The price you pay will typically depend on the reputation of the clinic and its record of success as well as the level of luxury provided at the facility. You can also expect to pay more for a longer stay.
Paying for Opiate Rehab
You have the option of accessing free treatment for your addiction to opioids, so you might be wondering why you should consider paying for it. There are actually very good reasons for doing so if you want to overcome your opiate addiction for good.
One of the main advantages of paying for addiction treatment is that you do not have to wait before a place becomes available. In a private clinic, you should be able to access treatment within one to two days after making your initial enquiry. Unfortunately, where free programmes are concerned, there is often a long wait involved due to the demands placed on these organisations.
Paying for treatment also means that you can access a residential programme. For the most part, these concentrated programmes are only provided by private clinics. The advantage of inpatient treatment is that it is the fastest approach to getting well; many people believe that the opportunity to recover in a short amount of time is well worth the price of private care.
How to Find the Best Opiate Rehab Centre
With so many different rehab centres to choose from though, it can be hard to know which one is right for you and your particular circumstances. Finding the best opiate rehab centre can be overwhelming, but this is not something that you need to do alone.
There are many places where you can get help to find a good rehab centre. Online information databases hold details of various providers in all areas across the UK. You can also speak to your GP about the options available in your local area, or you can call an expert from one of your nearby private clinics.
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Types of Opiate Addiction Treatment
Opiate and opioid addiction treatment takes many different forms. Regardless of whether you are recovering in an inpatient or outpatient facility though, you can expect to be given a bespoke plan of care that includes a variety of treatments options.
Treatment providers can access a range of treatments, such as:
The above is just some of the treatments that might form a part of an opiate recovery programme. Most treatment providers also utilise what are known as holistic, or complementary, therapies. These treatments are designed to work alongside the above traditional therapies to offer a more whole-person approach.
Holistic therapies are designed to improve the mind, body, and spirit and enhance overall wellbeing. They include things like:
In addition to the above treatments, medication can also be used. Medication often forms a part of treatment programmes for opiate addiction. In many cases, substitute opioids are administered to help with withdrawal while there may also be a need for other medications to be used to help relieve the symptoms that occur during the detox process.
Inpatient Facilities vs. Outpatient Treatment
As we stated above, there is a choice between inpatient or outpatient programmes when looking for a treatment provider for opiate addiction. The main difference between the two is in how intensive they are.
Inpatient programmes are condensed over the course of weeks. As such, they are very intensive and concentrated. Outpatient programmes, on the other hand, tend to be spread out over a much longer period with a requirement for treatment much lower. In an outpatient programme, you might have a couple of hours of treatment every week whereas, in an inpatient programme, you will spend almost all day, every day in treatment for your illness.
We mentioned above that most inpatient programmes in the UK are provided by private clinics. These offer the most concentrated and structured form of treatment and are the most time-consuming way of getting better. As soon as you enter a programme of treatment in an inpatient clinic, you will be fully immersed in recovery activities and will be expected to commit to the programme completely.
You will have little time to focus on anything but getting better, and if you do have any free time in between counselling and therapy sessions, you will be expected to use it wisely.
Inpatient clinics can accommodate a number of patients at any one time. Some clinics are quite small will accommodate less than ten patients, while other larger clinics can house many more at any one time. The atmosphere in an inpatient facility is typically quiet and calm and there will be no access to any temptations or distractions that could derail your progress.
Programmes usually run for around four to six weeks, but if your needs are more complex, your programme is likely to be longer. During treatment, you will live with other recovering addicts and will have both individual counselling and group therapy sessions. In these sessions, you will learn more about your illness and how to overcome it.
Outpatient programmes are far less intensive than their inpatient counterparts, mainly because you will not have to stay in the clinic. Instead, you will attend counselling as and when required but will return home after each session.
As you might imagine, recovering from addiction while also getting on with daily life can be a challenge, so it is important to have plenty of support at home if choosing this option. Outpatient treatment is typically provided by local support groups, local counsellors, charities, and, of course, the NHS.
There will be fewer hours of counselling and therapy each week when compared to inpatient programmes and it is because of this that outpatient programmes tend to run for much longer. One of the most significant benefits of outpatient programmes in the UK though is that they rarely come with a cost attached. This means that they can be accessed by everyone, regardless of their means.
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Private Opiate Rehabs and Confidentiality
Privacy and confidentiality are important issues when it comes to medical treatment; in terms of addiction treatment, it is no different. You do not have to worry that anyone will find out that you are having treatment for addiction in a private rehab facility as staff should adhere to strict confidentiality policies.
Your details will be kept confidential at all times and your case will never be discussed with a third party without your permission. Unless you want other people to know you are in treatment for addiction, and unless you choose to tell them, they will remain oblivious.
What is Residential Opiate Treatment
Residential opioid treatment is another term for inpatient treatment. As the name suggests, a residential programme is one where you reside in the clinic for the duration of the treatment process. You will move from your everyday life to a clinic, where you will live with other recovering addicts until you are ready to return home.
The Role of Medications
Medication often plays a significant role when it comes to beating addiction. It may seem strange that when trying to break free from one type of addictive opioid you would be prescribed another. However, the idea behind this type of treatment is that a substitute opioid can help to make the withdrawal process more manageable.
While you withdraw from the opioid that you are addicted to, your doctor might administer another less powerful type of drug. By doing this, your detox may not be as unpleasant as it otherwise would be, and once you are free from the drug you were addicted to, the new medication can be reduced gradually before it too becomes problematic.
Medication is also prescribed during recovery for other reasons. For example, if you were to experience symptoms of anxiety or depression, your doctor might believe that anti-depressant drugs are appropriate for you. It could also be the case, for example, that you have a dual diagnosis and would benefit from long-term medication for your mental health disorder.
It might be prudent to mention here that during opiate detox, you may also experience unpleasant flu-like symptoms. If you do suffer such symptoms at the time, it might be appropriate for medication to be prescribed to make you more comfortable.
The Role of Therapy
To overcome any addiction, it is important to break the cycle of abuse. While this takes place during the detox process, it is also important to address the psychological element of the illness. This is what happens during rehabilitation.
Therapy is one of the main treatments used during addiction recovery and is a vital part of the process. Addressing the underlying cause of the addiction is one of the most essential elements of treatment, so for this, counsellors will use various types of therapy.
Talking and behavioural therapies can help you to learn why you became addicted and how you can change your behaviour so that you do not find yourself in a similar situation again in the future.
It is often the case that the cause of addiction is not immediately obvious. Sometimes, painful memories can cause negative emotions, which can then trigger negative behaviours. Nevertheless, the brain is a complex organ that is capable of burying memories and emotions, so some people require therapy to help them get to the root cause of their addictive behaviour. Before they can overcome their illness, they will need to know what caused it in the first place.
Family therapy is also important when it comes to addiction recovery. In many instances, family issues such as toxic relationships, conflict, and childhood neglect cause addiction, so family therapy can help to resolve these issues. It is also useful for dealing with any problems that have arisen within the family unit because of the addiction.
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The Use of Group Therapy in Opiate Addiction
While individual therapy is a massive part of addiction treatment, group therapy sessions are also likely to feature in your treatment programme. You might be reluctant to take part in group therapy sessions because you may have spent such a long time bottling up your feelings and hiding your addiction from those around you. Keeping quiet and secretive may have become second nature to you, so sharing your feelings with strangers might not be something you are entirely comfortable with.
What you should know though is that group therapy can be a vital part of any opiate treatment programme. Studies have shown that sharing stories and experiences with others is a therapeutic exercise and can help with the healing process.
As humans have a natural propensity to congregate in groups, peer-to-peer sessions can be a powerful tool when it comes to overcoming addiction. A report published by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) found that group therapy serves to reduce isolation and allow addicts to witness the progress of others.
Members of a group will apply positive pressure on other members to maintain their sobriety, and with the positive support they offer, addicts are much more likely to want to get sober and stay sober.
After Opiate Rehab
It is easy to assume that treatment ends with rehabilitation, but this is not the case. Recovery from opiate addiction is a lengthy process and while detox and rehabilitation are important parts of the process, maintaining sobriety is also essential.
When you leave rehab, you will need to work hard on staying clean and sober and to do this, it is important that you access a good support programme. Fortunately, there are plenty of options within your local community.
Support groups are available, and you will be encouraged to get involved. Having access to a group of like-minded individuals who are also going through the same process as you will give the support and encouragement that you need to stay on the right path. Without this type of support, you may find it more difficult to integrate back into society, possibly finding yourself on the path to addiction once more.
If you choose an inpatient treatment programme, your rehab provider will also likely offer aftercare support for a period of up to one year after your programme ends. Aftercare support could mean regular outpatient counselling or phone contact as and when needed. This additional support can mean the difference between staying sober and ending up right back where you started.
Never Too Late!
Many people delay getting treatment for addiction for various reasons. It may be that they are afraid of what a sober life will mean for them or that they do not believe they will make it through the rehab process. Others believe that they are beyond help and think that it is too late for them. We want you to know that it is never too late!
No matter how severe your addiction is, you are not beyond help. With the right treatment programme and the support of family members, friends, and staff at the rehab facility, you can say goodbye to opiate abuse for good.
Here at UKAT, we have helped countless individuals who believed they would never be free of their addictions. We have seen them turn their lives around and go on to become productive members of their communities. We can help you too.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens during opiate rehab?
You will learn more about why you became addicted and what triggers your addictive behaviour. Group therapy sessions will allow you to learn from other recovering addicts and will offer a supportive environment in which you can learn ways of avoiding a relapse going forward.
How long does opiate rehab last?
The length of your rehab treatment will depend on the type of programme you have chosen. If you choose inpatient treatment, you can expect your programme to last between four and twelve weeks. Outpatient programmes may continue for much longer than this.
Opiate Rehab: Away from home or not?
Where you choose to have treatment is usually a matter of personal preference and convenience. Choosing to be treated in a local facility has some obvious benefits, not least of which being ease of access. The closer your rehab clinic is to your home, the easier it will be for you and your family members to get there.
In addition, many local employers offer placement programmes for those in recovery from addiction and this could lead to job opportunities once you are back on your feet. If you choose to recovery in a clinic that is in another region, these job offers may not be appropriate for you.
Having said that, there are some benefits to having treatment away from home. If you live in a large city, you might benefit from heading out to the countryside for treatment where it is quieter and more peaceful. You may also prefer to be away from your local community where nobody knows you.
Why seek help for opiate addiction?
Treatment for opiate addiction is vital if you want to get your life back under control. Addiction is a progressive illness that will continue to get worse if you do not act. You might be hoping that your current situation will resolve itself with time, or that once you stop taking your medication, that things will get back to normal. However, if you have developed an addiction, quitting your medication will not be as easy as you might think.
What other options exist for someone who cannot afford treatment?
Not all addiction treatment in the UK is provided privately, so if you cannot afford to pay for rehab, you can still access great care. The NHS and charity organisations offer outpatient programmes free of charge, so you can speak to your doctor for a referral or refer yourself if you prefer. To find out more about the options available to you, check out an online information database, where you will find details of the various treatment programmes in your area.
What factors into the cost of addiction treatment?
The cost of addiction treatment can vary greatly from one facility to another. The price you pay is likely to be influenced by many factors such as the type of facility you choose and where it is located.
You can expect to pay more for luxurious clinics that are more like upmarket hotels than hospitals. The reputation of the clinic may also be a factor in how much you pay. Furthermore, the length of your stay will also affect the price.
Am I addicted to opiate?
It is hard to tell whether you have a physical dependence to opiates or a full-blown addiction as one usually precedes the other and, more often than not, the two occur concurrently. If you have a physical dependence on opiates, you will experience withdrawal symptoms whenever you try to stop taking them.
With an addiction, you will be compelled to use your medication and will feel as though you are unable to function without them. Your use of opiates will begin to interfere with your ability to live a normal life and even though you know that taking your medication is likely to cause harm to you and your loved ones, you will take it anyway.
Why do people start taking opiate?
Most people begin taking opioids to treat a medical condition. They will be prescribed these drugs by a doctor for moderate to severe pain, with many believing they are completely safe to take. There are some individuals who take them for recreational purposes though.
What are the signs of addiction?
If you are worried that you may have an addiction, there are certain signs that could indicate you have a problem. For example, you might be experiencing significant cravings for your medication and you may be using it to help you feel ‘normal’. You might be preoccupied with the drug and think about it constantly, and you could become defensive or angry with anyone who suggests your use of it is out of control.
You may have lost interest in things that you used to enjoy, such as spending time with loved ones or taking part in hobbies or activities. You might be using more of your medication than advised by your doctor or using it in a way that was not prescribed.
If your use of opioids is taking over your life and crowding out everything else, and if you are unable to quit even if you want to, then it is likely that you have an addiction and are in need of professional help.
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