Different Types of Addictions: Opiates and Treatments

September 26, 2023

Written By: Cindy Sneller-Casey DNP, RN, CNS, NEA-BC, CEN

Addiction recovery is complex, and different types of addictions pose unique complications for treatment and recovery. Thus, each addiction recovery journey should be handled with care. For example, opiate addictions can foster life-threatening withdrawal symptoms and concerns and therefore must be handled appropriately to ensure optimal recovery results and long-term sobriety. Fortunately, there are a number of services, treatments, and therapies available for clients with opiate addictions.

At Buena Vista Recovery, recovery from opiate addictions involves identifying and overcoming the underlying cause of recurrent substance use. Moreover, the detoxification process is specialized to fit different types of addictions, providing medication and psychological support to ease discomfort and withdrawal. Following detox, clients and their doctors, specialists, and therapists are able to gauge where the client is at in their recovery journey to curate the best-suited, personalized treatment plan to secure lasting sobriety and prevent future relapse.

Treating Different Types of Addictions

It is common for individuals struggling with substance abuse to be addicted to one or multiple substances (known as polysubstance use). However, many are good at keeping their addiction(s) under wraps until the consequences of their substance use begin to interfere with the lives of their loved ones. 

Thus, becoming familiar with different warning signs of addiction is important. Some warning signs of drug addiction may include:

  • Increasing dosages for the same effects
  • Bloodshot or glazed eyes
  • Constricted or dilated pupils
  • Weight changes
  • Bruises or other signs of injection
  • Personality, attitude, or habit changes
  • Depression
  • New social circle
  • Involvement in criminal activities

Opiate Addiction

According to a publication titled Opioid Addiction by authors Azadfard, Huecker, and Leaming, “Three million US citizens and 16 million individuals worldwide have had or currently suffer from opioid use disorder (OUD).”

If two or more of the following criteria are met, clients may be diagnosed with an opioid addiction:

  • Increasing dose or tolerance
  • Desire to cut down on use
  • Excessive time spent obtaining or using the drug
  • Strong desire to use
  • Interferes with obligations
  • Using opioids in dangerous situations
  • Reduced or eliminated important activities 
  • Continued using the drug despite physical and/or psychological problems
  • Need to increase the dose
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when decreasing use

Treating Different Types of Addictions at Buena Vista Recovery

There are different types of treatments and programs offered at Buena Vista Recovery, including:

  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Drug inpatient rehab
  • Alcohol inpatient rehab
  • Substance abuse treatment therapy
  • Intensive outpatient programs
  • Outpatient treatment

Buena Vista also offers a number of therapies for substance use disorders. These are:

  • 12-Step rehab programs
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Grief therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy

The first step of any treatment, though, is detoxification. Detoxification, at Buena Vista Recovery, is offered for both alcoholism and drug abuse. Moreover, drug detoxes are specified for the following: Drug detoxes, prescription drug detoxes, and stimulant drug detoxes.

Starting the Detoxification Process for an Opiate Addiction

One of the most concerning elements of detoxification is the surfacing of withdrawal symptoms. This can create stress or overwhelming feelings for clients as they start their recovery journey. Some of the withdrawal symptoms clients may experience while detoxing can include:

  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Abdominal cramping and diarrhea
  • Bone and muscle pain
  • Sweating or chills
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Racing heart
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature

The type and severity of withdrawal symptoms experienced by a client will depend on the length of time they have used opioids, the intensity of use, and how often the drugs are used. Because of the potential intensity of the symptoms, clients often find themselves relapsing when detoxing. This is why a medically supervised detox program is crucial for a successful process. Other than managed medications, a medically supervised opioid detox also provides a structured routine, the removal of common relapse triggers, a supportive social network, and therapeutic options to assist with healthy coping.

Opiate addiction detoxification works to get the client through their withdrawal symptoms with less discomfort and more ease. It is meant to implement a safe process of detoxification. Often, medication management is used in detoxification to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. These medications can also help reduce discomfort due to sleeping problems, vomiting, or diarrhea. 

Treatments for Opiate Addiction Beyond Detoxification

There are many treatments and pathways clients may find beneficial in recovering from an opiate addiction. One of the services offered in opiate addiction treatment is Buena Vista’s 12-Step program. This program revolves around clients surrendering to a higher power in a faithful, non-religious way. Clients lose the notion that there is a “cure” for addiction and rather emphasize recovery as an individual process. They become more self-aware, accepting of help, and much more self-directed in recovery.

Furthermore, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) uses FDA-approved products to help clients treat their opioid dependence. The most common drugs utilized in MAT include buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone. MAT uses a combination of these medications with counseling and behavioral therapies in order to help clients sustain recovery and sobriety. Medications may also be used in a detox program in order to help clients with their withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Here at Buena Vista Recovery, our facility to open to help clients heal from all different types of addictions. There are a number of drug-related addictions, including opiate addiction. Opiate addiction affects millions of people worldwide. When starting recovery, clients enter a detox program, receiving medically supervised care from professionals as they navigate withdrawal symptoms and cravings. After, clients begin their initial treatment program. This includes therapy, treatment, and potentially medicated treatment in order to heal the client fully and sustain recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to opiates, call Buena Vista Recovery at (480) 741-9414 to learn more about our opiate addiction treatment program and other programs we offer.