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Opioid addiction is a sinister, dangerous disease. But for many, it often begins innocently enough. If you’ve ever been involved in an accident or prescribed painkillers after surgery, you might already recognize the powerful allure these drugs can have. While most people have no trouble quitting once their prescription runs out, others begin to rely on them to function or feel at ease. And with no more refills, they may look for more or turn to heroin to get by.
Unfortunately, this scenario has become common as doctors prescribe more opioids each year. It is estimated that 9 percent of the population in the United States will misuse opioids over the course of their life, which includes both prescription medications and illicit drugs like heroin. As the number of people abusing opioids rises, so do opioid-related overdoses and other medical emergencies. Since opioid abuse can quickly spiral out of control and become life-threatening, it’s crucial to seek help for opioid addiction as soon as possible.
When opioid recovery is needed, Avalon Malibu offers the most comprehensive care at the Cottage House, a comfortable, home-like residential treatment facility that provides the perfect environment for healing the body and mind. Our licensed therapists and physicians support clients as they quietly retreat to confront their addiction and overcome withdrawal safely, achieving freedom from the physical effects and dependencies of opioids.
Opioids are a class of narcotic drugs that are highly addicting. Either made from the poppy plant or created in a laboratory, opioids come in many forms and include prescription painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin and Dilaudid, as well as naturally-derived opiates like codeine, morphine or opium. Illicit drugs like heroin are also included in this group.
The journey from plant to pharmaceutical is a long one that begins with harvesting opium from the pods of the poppy flower. The opium is dried and processed before being sold to drug companies, which purify the raw product to extract morphine and other narcotic opium alkaloids. In medicine, opioid is an umbrella term that refers to all opioid drugs, while opiate describes those derived naturally from the opium poppy plant.
Opioids act as a depressant in the central nervous system and bind to opioid receptors in the brain. When used medically, opioids effectively relieve acute and chronic pain but can produce a strong, euphoric high in larger doses. Opioids also slow breathing and heart rate, which can be fatal in even small amounts and lead to an overdose. With long-term use, opioids lead to physical dependence by changing the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. When opioid levels fall too low, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms appear that make it hard for someone to stop using opioids even if it’s in their best interest to do so. Without professional help, most individuals will keep using opioids in order to feel normal and avoid withdrawal, perpetuating the cycle of addiction and dependence.
People often become addicted to opioids without realizing what is happening to them — dependence and tolerance can set in quickly with regular use. Even those who take prescribed painkillers as directed by a doctor may find themselves addicted. Unfortunately, many addicts suffer from a lack of information and knowledge regarding opioids and treatment, and withdrawal is not easy alone. But with the right combination of care and prescribed medications to aid in the detox process, an opioid-addicted individual can gradually become free and clear of opioid dependence and start healing from the effects of addiction.
Overcoming opioid addiction isn’t easy. Using opioids repeatedly can harm the body, create a depressive mood and impair cognitive functioning. Quitting opioids can be especially harsh due to withdrawal symptoms, which usually start within 12 hours of last opioid usage. Managing withdrawal in a medically-supervised detox is the first step on the road to recovery from opioid addiction, ensuring that individuals are safe, comfortable and cared for throughout the process. Just as the amount of time it takes an individual to become physically dependent on opioids varies, so does the time it takes to detox; but most clients can expect withdrawal to last for three to seven days. Opioid replacement therapy can help ease the transition process and make it easier for individuals to focus on their recovery.
Once an individual is ready, the next step is entering treatment to begin healing from the effects of opioid addiction. Avalon Malibu offers the highest standard of care in our residential program, where clients will find a range of holistic and therapeutic techniques designed to help them address the root of their addiction and develop the skills needed to maintain a sober lifestyle. With four board-certified physicians on our team who specialize in psychiatry, internal medicine, chemical dependency, and neurology, plus certified specialists in holistic techniques like Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and neurofeedback, opioid-addicted individuals can receive the support they need with a highly therapeutic recovery agenda.
As a premier luxury treatment center, Avalon combines the latest evidence-based treatments with a number of holistic and complementary therapies. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive treatment solution where clients and their families can acquire the tools they need to support lasting opioid recovery. Our approach is designed to ensure that each individual can find the treatments that work for them and rediscover a life free from addiction. And since we know that recovery doesn’t end after rehab, we continue to follow and participate in each client’s journey for one solid year upon discharge.
At Avalon Malibu, we know that healing from opioid addiction isn’t easy, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to recovery. That’s why we provide a wide range of traditional and holistic therapies at the Cottage House, a comfortable residential treatment center that overlooks the Pacific ocean. We offer a new paradigm in treatment philosophy that integrates both recovery and healing, giving adults the opportunity for reflection through introspection, education and mindfulness. To learn how luxury opioid treatment in Malibu, California, can help you or your loved one, contact or call us today at 866-332-1068.