Substance abuse has become a global reaching pandemic. Opiate is one of the drugs causing desolation among many people. When prescribed, these drugs help relieve pain, but unfortunately, continued use of the drugs and their deeply calming effects may cause addiction and physical dependence. For this reason, Just One Recovery understands how challenging it can be to be beleaguered by the compulsion to use opiates. Therefore, we have created an opiate addiction treatment program in Orange County, CA, to provide individualized treatment to people with this form of natural dependency.

How Do You Help Someone Addicted to Opiates?

Family members of people who develop opiate addiction undergo emotional turmoil seeing their loved ones become dependent on this substance. An addict of these drugs cannot do without them, which puts their future at risk. The family members of these people are the ones that have to deal with the daily frustration. However, they can play a pivotal role in helping their loved ones receive treatment for dependence. Although you will not force the person using the drugs to stop using, there are specific things that you can do to help them receive the treatment necessary to overcome the addiction. Some of these things include:

  • Learning about the various signs of opiate addiction to understand the level of care required based on the needs of your loved one.
  • Open up to the person on the concerns you have regarding their addiction. You can also encourage other close friends and relatives to join the conversation and air out their interests.
  • You can also explore the various treatment options with the loved one and even offer to accompany them to various opiate addiction treatment centers to find the best.
  • Be involved in the treatment process and keep encouraging your loved one
  • Give hope and support to the loved one because rehabilitation and healing is a long journey.

Reasons for Considering Opiate Addiction Treatment

Extended dependence on opiate may have many detrimental effects on your life. You might end up forgetting about all other aspects of your life. Some people end up killing critical relationships, while others lose jobs because of unethical behavior at the workplace. Getting another job when you are addicted to these substances also becomes difficult, which results in unemployment.

When it comes to the physical aspect of the effects of this addiction, opiate can cause mayhem on your body. Some of the effects that you may experience include:

  • Continuing nausea
  • Declined heart rate
  • Pain in the bones
  • A decrease in blood pressure
  • Stimulation of the nervous system in a negative way

Opiate abuse may also result in permanent mental impairment and memory disturbance. Although these effects are upsetting, there are treatment options available that can prevent these effects.

Treatment for Opiate Addiction

There are numerous ways the disease can be treated, but the ones that prove more fruitful are those that involve inpatient detox followed by inpatient rehabilitation. Inpatient rehab facilities have individualized programs that help patients to focus on themselves, thus finding the cause of their addiction and how to avoid future usage.

Inpatient Detox

Trying to detox on your own is a risky thing because of the withdrawal symptoms of stopping the usage of opiate. The majority of patients who try to detox at home end up relapsing. But when opiate detox is done in a controlled and monitored environment where you can receive all the medical attention you need, treatment will be comfortable.

Detox is the process where the body is allowed to remove all the drugs in it, and in this case, the drug is opiate. Inpatient detox programs are medically supervised to enable safe management of the withdrawal symptoms when you quit using opium. Experts often use medications to control the withdrawal symptoms on former opiate users as the drugs leave the body.

Withdrawal symptoms can go for days or even months, depending on:

  • The type of opiate drug you are addicted to
  • The period you have been addicted to the drugs
  • The severity of opiate dependence
  • The technique of consumption or abuse
  • The amount of opiate you take at a time
  • Underlying medical condition
  • Family history
  • Genetic makeup

Take note that the kind of detox you need is tailored to your needs. But the typical steps involved in the detox procedure are:

  1. Evaluation

Once you visit an opiate addiction treatment center, medical experts will screen you for mental and physical health conditions. The blood samples taken will be tested for opiates in your system. Doctors will then determine the level of medication you will require based on the number of drugs in your body. In your first visit to the facility, the medical providers will review your medical, drug, and psychiatric history. The information will set a foundation for your long-term treatment.

  1. Stabilization

Under this stage, psychotherapy and medication are used for stabilization. The reason for stabilization is to prevent any injury that might occur to you due to withdrawal symptoms. At this stage, doctors use medications to make it easy for former addicts to stay sober. Keep in mind the reason for many opiate relapses is the inability to cope with the withdrawal symptoms. Some of the withdrawal symptoms you might experience at this stage include:

  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Perspiring
  • Hopelessness
  • Unease

During detox, some of the medications that may be prescribed by your physician include:

  • Methadone
  • Naltrexone
  • Clonidine
  • Antidepressants
  • Benzodiazepine

Note that although opiate withdrawals are not life-threatening, they may result in significant health complications. For this reason, inpatient detox is the best treatment because the medical help you will need will be provided. Also, understand that the higher the doses of opiates you were abusing, the longer and severer the withdrawal symptoms will be.

  1. Preparing Entry into Treatment

The last stage of detoxification is readying for the treatment program. The physician handling your case will familiarize you with what to expect and the steps that will be involved in the process.

How Medication help with the Opiate Addiction Treatment Process

As mentioned earlier, doctors rely on medication to treat opiate addiction and control withdrawal symptoms. Some of the medicines used are:


Methadone is a long-term medication for treating opiate addiction. Methadone is also an opiate used to treat opiate addiction, and it helps suppress withdrawal symptoms. Because it is highly addictive, clinics that sell the drug distribute it daily to prevent addiction.


Naltrexone is used to stop the urge to use opiates. It does so by blocking the harmful effects of opioids, which are a significant cause of relapse. The medication is used as part of counseling or any other treatment method proposed by your doctor. If you are addicted to opiates, it’s advisable to stay away from them for seven to ten days if you are planning to use naltrexone. This helps reduce the adverse effects the drug can have on your brain when you stop using it.

Take note that while other medications for opiate addiction help reduce cravings, naltrexone blocks opiate receptors, removing any needs for the drug. The medication is recommended for former addicts who are past the withdrawal stage and want to continue with the recovery process.

When it comes to administering the drug, doctors can do it in the form of tablets, implant devices, or injectable. When taking pills, make sure you have a caregiver who will make sure you adhere to the doctor’s instructions.

The other form of naltrexone is an implant device that looks like a small pellet. It is inserted in the lower abdominal wall. After insertion, the equipment releases enough amounts of naltrexone in the body for between three to six months. Currently, this form is used in an inpatient treatment because it will be easier for doctors to monitor possible side effects of the medication.

If you opt for the injectable form, you will receive an injection of the medication every month. You must visit a clinic for the dose so that a doctor or nurse can administer the drug. After an injection, you may notice redness or experience pain in the area of injection. Although this is common, you should inform the doctor or nurse if it doesn’t go away after a few days.


Clonidine is also used to treat opiate dependence withdrawals because it reduces anxiety, sweating, restlessness, and cramps. The drug works by blocking the brain from producing chemicals that may trigger the sympathetic nervous system, thus reducing the painful symptoms of opiate detox.

Take note that clonidine is only used to treat the symptoms and not to cure addiction. The pros of using the medication are that it reduces the need for more drugs, you can stop right away, and it has no schedule.

Clonidine helps treat addiction by assisting former addicts in tolerating the withdrawal symptoms easing the process, thus enabling them to continue with the next stage of treatment after detox.

Physicians administer the drug in the form of a tablet or patch. Tablets are administered every few hours on your first day. Over the next few days, the medication will be run based on the withdrawal symptoms being experienced.

Similarly, a patch is placed on the area of your skin that has no hair to deliver medication to the rest of the body. In the first two days, the patch may not reach a steady-state hence the reason doctors use a combination of the patch and tablet. The patch will be applied for one week, but if the withdrawal symptoms persist, the doctor may recommend you stay with it longer. 


Benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety and touchiness that is a common withdrawal symptom for people addicted to opiates. Because these medications are also addictive, physicians are always cautious when prescribing them.


Antidepressants help opiate addicts fight depression. If you have a dependence on opiates, you cannot produce enough happiness-inducing chemicals in your brain because, most of the time, you rely on drugs to stay happy. Prozac and Zoloft are the commonly used antidepressant for opiate addicts who are depressed.

How does Counseling Treat Opiate Addiction?

Besides using medication and detoxification, opiate addiction may be treated through counseling. It does so by changing your behavior or attitude towards drug abuse, building life skills, and enabling you to stick to other forms of treatment. The types of counseling available for this treatment include:

  1. Individual Counseling

During counseling, you will be exposed to various behavioral therapies. Cognitive-behavioral therapy during individual counseling is aimed at helping you recognize and stop negative thinking and behaviors. It teaches you how to cope by enabling stress management or change of thoughts that make you use opiates.

Another therapy you may receive in counseling is the motivational enhancement. It is intended to encourage you to stick with your treatment plan despite the many challenges.

Contingency management therapy, on the other hand, rewards you for small achievements such as staying off the opiates, thus enabling you to stay on course.

The therapies help you set goals, speak about setbacks, and celebrate positive changes. During the sessions, you can also share your personal or family problems.

  1. Group Counseling

Group counseling is very instrumental in the recovery process. As an opiate addict, at times, you may feel as if you are undergoing the struggles alone. However, when you sit in a group therapy where other former addicts share their experiences, you get to realize that other people have been through or are experiencing similar problems. Through their successes and failures, you get to learn new strategies of coping or dealing with various situations that you will encounter as you receive treatment.

  1. Family Counseling

Opiate addiction may break crucial relationships with your partner, spouse, employer, friends, or family members. If you had broken these relationships at the time of addiction, treatment might not be successful if you don’t repair or improve the relations. You do so by attending counseling sessions with your partner, spouse, or family members.

Other Opiate Addiction Treatment Options

Treatment options are different and can be tailored depending on circumstances and unique needs. Apart from inpatient detox and rehab programs, other treatment options include:

Outpatient Rehab

These offer effective treatment and therapies, just like inpatient rehabs. The only difference is that they allow patients to go home. And because they can’t protect their patients from the real world, such patients are at a high risk of relapsing. The treatment is, therefore, suitable for people with moderate opiate addiction or those committed to recovery.

Residential-Based Treatment

Residential based treatment provides a sober living home because it combines housing and treatment services. You can choose the people you want to live with, so you can support each other in the new healthy ways and strengthen what you have learned in rehab.

Find an Opiate Addiction Treatment Center Near Me 

It will be unfortunate to allow opiate addiction destroy your life or that of a loved one. For this reason, if you are seeking opiate addiction treatment for yourself or a family member in Orange County, CA, don’t hesitate to call Just One Recovery at 714-538-8085.