The Science Behind Opioid Addiction and How Treatment Centers Help

In recent years, opioid addiction has grown into a public health crisis, affecting individuals, families, and entire communities. While a lot has been done to stem the tide of opioid addiction, there’s still room to educate the public both on the addiction and the role treatment centers play in addressing this issue.

Opioids and How They Work

In basic terms, opioids are a class of drugs that are used to reduce pain. They include synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, illegal substances such as heroin as well as prescription painkillers like hydrocodone and oxycodone. Opioids are highly effective at relieving pain, however, even prescription opioids carry the potential for addiction if not taken as prescribed.

Opioids work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, leading to a cascade of effects including pain relief, euphoria and a sense of well-being. These effects are useful under medical supervision, but unfortunately, the brain can quickly adapt to opioids over time, requiring increasingly higher doses to attain the same relief or high. That’s where the problem starts.

As the body develops tolerance to opioids, individuals taking them may require more of the drugs to experience the same level of pain relief or pleasure. They may also become dependent on opioids to carry out their daily life functions and some may experience withdrawal symptoms if they fail to take them. Both tolerance and dependence on opioids may contribute to opioid addiction.

The Role of Treatment Centers

Detoxification

Addiction treatment centers play an important role in helping individuals address and overcome their addiction. The first step in this process is detoxification. During detox, individuals are weaned off opioids under medical supervision and any withdrawal symptoms are safely managed.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Sometimes those battling opioid addiction may be given medications such as buprenorphine, naltrexone or methadone to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. This makes it easier for them to focus on their recovery.

Counseling and Behavioral Therapy

This is an integral aspect of most addiction treatment programs. Counseling therapy aims to address the root causes of addiction and also helps individuals understand what drives their negative behaviors and how to replace them with healthier habits. Additionally, those undergoing therapy will learn to identify their triggers and develop effective coping strategies to deal with them.

Support and Relapse Prevention

Long-term recovery from opioid addiction requires ongoing support. Addiction treatment centers offer aftercare programs to help individuals maintain their sobriety and prevent relapse. These programs may include 12-step meetings, group therapy and sober living homes, among others.

We Can Help

At Findlay Recovery Center we understand how challenging opioid addiction is. That is why we are dedicated to offering affordable treatment programs and tailor-made treatment plans to help individuals attain and maintain sobriety. Our addiction treatment center in Ohio provides a conducive environment for those in recovery and our qualified staff are always on hand to help. Feel free to reach out to us to see how we can help you or your loved ones overcome opioid addiction.

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