The right painkiller rehab program can be difficult to choose, but it’s one of the most important choices that an addicted person will make on the road to recovery. In order to make the best choice, it’s important to know what options are out there, as well as the differences between them. Each treatment facility is unique and different, so addicted people and their families first need to decide what they feel is most important in a treatment program, and then make a decision based on those individual needs and wants.
This article will outline some attributes found in painkiller rehabilitation programs. The descriptions are not exhaustive, by any means, but they might be helpful for people who are just beginning to research their options and learn more about what kinds of care might be best in the fight against these devastating addictions. If you have additional questions about treatments, after reading this article, we encourage you to call us at The Orchid. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have.
Individualized Painkiller Rehabilitation Programs
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration keeps a list of all of the drug and alcohol treatment programs available in the United States. In 2012, there were more than 11,000 treatment facilities on this list, and it’s likely that new programs are added each day, as the threat of addiction continues to grow and more and more people are choosing to fight back.
Since there are so many types of treatment options available, addicted people can be choosy. In fact, it’s perfectly acceptable for addicted people to look for programs for painkiller addictions that are specific to their addictions and their backgrounds. While the drugs they take might not be unique, they might come to addiction down a very individualized path, and as a consequence, a treatment that works for one person might not work for another. Treatment simply must be individualized in order to be effective. Addicted people should spend some time looking at the different options available to find one that fits their needs.
Program types include:
- 12-step based
Each program has a series of components, which could include things like self-help groups, dietary education, counseling, hypnosis or exercise. Some addicts might find these components beneficial, and they might look forward to participating in alternative therapies. Others might prefer to focus on treating the addiction as a physical ailment only, and they might be uncomfortable with alternate therapies. By looking at the components of the treatment programs available, addicts can make an informed decision about what’s right for them.
Painkiller rehab programs might also need a closer level of individualization, due to the nature of the addiction itself. Each painkiller works in a slightly different way, working on different parts of brain chemistry and altering that chemistry in subtle ways. Addicted people who take different drugs may need different treatments as a result. For example, a study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that, among opioid abusers, 71.9 percent used methadone, compared to 34 percent who used another drug such as OxyContin or Vicodin. These two groups may be using the same type of drug, but their experiences might be radically different due to the differences in the actual drugs that these people are taking. Methadone users might inject the drug, for example, opening up their bodies to infections and blood-borne diseases. Painkiller addicts, on the other hand, might crush and sniff the drugs they take, and this might do damage to their delicate nasal passages. Both groups might also have different mental changes due to the different drugs they abused. Since these groups are so very different, they might need different therapies as a result.
Similarly, the level of drug use might have a role to play in the rehab process for prescription drug abuse. Someone who has only taken a low dose of Percocet for a few weeks is vastly different from someone who has been supplementing a high dose of OxyContin, for example, with fentanyl for 30 years, and the types of treatment that the two will require will be vastly different as well. Some treatment programs are well equipped to handle the needs of advanced addicts who have tremendous withdrawal symptoms and who are at high risk for relapse. Other programs are designed for people who have less acute addiction histories and who are just developing the habits that might, one day, blossom into a full-blown addiction to a variety of substances. It’s an important part of the puzzle for people who are looking for care for the addictions they face, and addicts should be sure that the facility they choose provides the kind of care that will be appropriate for the addiction they have.
Special Concerns for Women
Additionally, women might have very different responses to painkiller addictions when compared to men, and they might also need individualized care as a result. For example, a study in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs found that male opiate addicts tended to use heroin and they tended to combine it with marijuana. Women, on the other hand, commonly began their addiction path with painkillers, and then moved to buying methadone on the street to keep their signs of withdrawal at bay. Once the addiction was in this late stage, the women added other drugs into their methadone use, including ketamine, benzodiazepines and amphetamines. Multi-drug abuse like this is complicated as the body needs to adjust to the lack of multiple drugs, instead of just one. This study seems to suggest that women are more likely to need this sort of intensive care for the addictions they face.
Women might also come to painkiller addictions as they attempt to self-medicate for traumas they have faced and lived through earlier in life. A study in the American Journal of Psychiatry finds that women who have endured childhood sexual abuse were more likely to develop depression later in life, and they were more likely to attempt suicide, than women who did not endure this abuse. Living with this sort of buried trauma can be incredibly damaging, and it might lead women to develop chronic pain syndromes, as they attempt to blame the emotional pain they feel on physical pain in their bodies. If these women are prescribed with painkillers for their chronic pain, the perfect conditions for an addiction are in place, and difficulty can quickly follow. Since this might be a situation that is unique to women, it makes sense that care provided just for women might be more effective than care designed for both women and men.
Outpatient vs. Inpatient Painkiller Rehabilitation Programs
Women who do not have a long history of drug abuse and addiction, and who do not have underlying mental illnesses or unresolved trauma issues, might benefit from outpatient care. These types of programs typically involve:
- Individual classes
- Private therapy sessions
- Relapse management, including urine screenings for drugs
- Support group meetings
Women might be asked to participate in these steps a few times per week, keeping track of progress and moving forward with therapy while continuing to live at home and maintaining ties with friends, family members and coworkers. For some women, this is the best way to treat an addiction, as this care allows the woman to attend to her responsibilities. According to a study in the Journal of the National Medical Association, women often don’t get the addiction care they need because they are concerned about abandoning their children and their communities while they get the help they need. Since these women can stay home while accessing outpatient care, this might be a good option for many.
Women who have more complex addiction histories, on the other hand, might need more intensive addiction care so they can avoid the temptation to relapse to drug use. Women who participate in outpatient programs might be forced to walk by spots in which they used to buy and use drugs. They might live in homes in which drugs are currently being used. They might also live in homes in which they are physically or mentally abused. All of these triggers could quickly and easily lead to a relapse, meaning that women who participate in these programs might be at great risk of going right back to their addictive pasts. Inpatient programs for addiction might help women to break this destructive cycle.
In an impatient program, addicted women stay in a treatment center for 30 to 60 days while undergoing detox and rehab programs that help them heal. Inpatient programs might also provide therapy, support groups and relapse management, but inpatient programs might also provide additional treatments such as massage, yoga or art therapy that can help women heal from emotional trauma that sits beneath their addictions. Inpatient programs also provide a zero-tolerance policy for substance abuse, which means people who use this option will not be surrounded by other people who are using and abusing substances. For some women, this clear zone, removed of temptation, is incredibly helpful.
Painkiller Rehabilitation Programs at The Orchid
The Orchid is a South Florida drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility that specializes in treating women who are suffering from substance abuse problems as well as a history of unresolved trauma. The Orchid’s distinctive blend of treatments and therapies addresses the unique needs of addicted women, and help them make a full recovery. The holistic approach we take at The Orchid provides a high rate of abstinence and low relapse rate, providing you with the tools you need to maintain your abstinence throughout the rest of their life. By addressing the root causes of drug addiction, The Orchid can help women who suffer from the disease efficiently, safely and with understanding.
Studies suggest that women who attend programs like ours do a little better in recovery than women who attend standard treatment programs for addiction in which both men and women are accepted in equal rates. For example, a study in the journal Addiction found that women who use these programs tended to have dependent children, were lesbian and struggled with sexual abuse as children. While it’s wonderful to see that these women are getting the help they need to improve, it is hoped that more women will sign up for care when they know that care is available.
At The Orchid, all of our rooms are reserved for women, and all of our staff members are women. The treatments we provide have been tested on women, and we use a variety of techniques that are designed to address the unique needs and differences of women. We encourage you to call us to find out more about our program and how we can help you overcome a painkiller addiction. We would be happy to speak with you.