Opioid Addiction

Opioid Addiction

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Treatment for opioid addiction at Rock Recovery Center gives Floridians a second chance at life. Because opioids are such addictive substances, they possess the power to completely take over someone’s livelihood. We want to provide our patients with the tools and knowledge to give them the best opportunity for a complete recovery.

The History of Opioids

Opioids are most commonly used to treat pain and discomfort. They naturally come from the white, milky sap of the opium poppy. Studies show that humans have been using this substance for centuries. Opium can be dated back as far as 3400 BC when it was called “the joy plant.”

Because opioids have been around for centuries, they’ve also made their way into modern medicine practices. With new technology, they can now be derived naturally, as well as synthetically produced. With different forms of opioids being available to be prescribed, it makes sense why so many individuals fall victim to addiction.

Different Types of Opioids

Over the years, many different types of opioids have emerged. They can consist of legal and illegal substances, as well as be derived naturally or made synthetically. 

Prescription Opioids

  • Morphine: Morphine is usually injected into a vein to help administer pain relief. This is often known as a “morphine drip.” Morphine is typically used to treat moderate to severe pain.
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin): Hydrocodone is a type of opioid oftentimes given to individuals after extensive surgeries. It’s used to reduce pain and produces a euphoric feeling to numb the patient. It can also be used as a cough suppressant for adults. 
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin): This is a prescription pain pill used to help individuals cope with pain after major surgeries. 
  • Codeine: The main component of most cough syrups. It helps treat severe allergies, coughs, and sore throats. 
  • Fentanyl: A type of synthetic opioid often compared to morphine. Although it’s used in hospitals to treat severe pain, it’s also sold illegally on the street. Fentanyl is normally around 50 to 100 stronger than most comparative opioids. Even a small amount of this drug can cause an overdose.

Illegal Opioids

  • Heroin: Heroin is one of the most well-known illegal opioids. It is considered one of the most addictive drugs on the black market. It can be injected, smoked and even snorted into the bloodstream.
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How Do Opioids Affect the Brain and Body?

The effects that opioids can have on the brain and body are alarming. They cause both to become very dependent on the feelings they give when taken. Because of this, they are classified as extremely addictive drugs.

How Opioids Affect the Brain

When entering the body, opioids attach themselves to the nerve cells in the brain called opioid receptors. By doing this, they start to affect different regions of the brain and send off signals of pleasure. The different areas that are highly affected are the regions of the brainstem, spinal cord, and limbic system. This allows these parts of the brain to start giving off feelings of relaxation and contentment, even when in pain. 

How Opioids Affect the Body

Opioids affect the body by blocking the signals from the areas of pain. This allows individuals to have feelings of comfort while the reaction is taking place. If used on a daily basis, opioids can cause individuals to develop serious illnesses. They can also slow down the metabolism to make them harder to break down. 

Can Opioid Prescriptions Lead to Addiction?

Consuming illegal opioids isn’t the only way someone can develop an opioid addiction. Individuals who are prescribed opioids are subject to becoming addicted to the substance, as well.

Florida’s Pill Mills

In the early 2000s, especially from 2003 to 2010, Florida experienced a large increase in doctors prescribing opioids for cash only. By 2010, more than 90% of doctors buying the oxycodone supply in the U.S. were traced back to practicing in Florida. This caused an increased number of prescription pill overdoses during these years.

In February 2010, the Drug Enforcement Administration began its investigation into the distribution of these pain pills in the state. The state also passed new laws making it much harder to prescribe opioids without proper knowledge or consent. Since then, the number of opioid-related deaths has significantly dropped in Florida. 

Opioid Addiction in Florida

Like the rest of the U.S., Floridians are experiencing the detrimental effects of the opioid crisis that has swept the nation. In 2016, more than 4,500 deaths were attributed to opioid overdoses. At Rock Recovery Center, we want to help change the narrative. We want to give individuals affected by opioid addiction a way out of the abusive cycle.

The First Steps to Recovery

Acknowledging that you need treatment for opioid addiction isn’t easy. Once this has been identified, the first step to recovery will be the detoxification process. Treatment center staff will provide you with around the clock care to ensure that detox is a smooth process. 

What is Opioid Detoxification?

Opioid detoxification is the process of removing the substance slowly from the body. Our goal is to give you a comfortable experience when going through opioid detox. Once complete, you will be able to live day-to-day without relying on opioids.

Typical Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

During the detox process, many patients experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can range from mild to severe. They include things like shaking, vomiting, sweats, fever, headaches, trouble sleeping, etc. 

The period of withdrawal can be one of the hardest during treatment. We are here to assist with that. The goal of staff is to give you the support needed in order to make it through the symptoms. This will give you the highest chance of a full recovery.


Treatment for Opioid Addiction

We take treatment for opioid addiction seriously at Rock Recovery Center. Because of the severity of the opioid situation in Florida, we want to provide a safe haven for our patients. In order to do that, we offer many levels of treatment for all types of people.

Partial Hospitalization Program

Our partial hospitalization program (PHP) is for the most intense opioid addictions. Under the influence of opioids, the senses are what are affected the most. Often, patients can develop both a mental disorder and an addiction disorder at the same time because of this.

In PHP, we focus on our patient’s psychological wellness in order to combat the changes the opioids have made to the brain and body. We incorporate dual diagnosis programs, which treat both disorders at the same time. 

Intensive Outpatient Treatment and Outpatient Treatment

In intensive outpatient and regular outpatient treatment our patients are allowed to keep somewhat of a normal schedule when it comes to their outside responsibilities. These can include things like work, school, and taking care of their family members. 

As the name suggests, intensive outpatient treatment will have a stricter treatment load. It is also suggested sometimes to be paired with an inpatient program to maximize effectiveness. Our outpatient treatment programs cater to those with more mild addictions. These patients will have more flexibility with their plans and allow them to live at home while attending treatment.

Therapies Used in Treatment

Our staff at Rock Recovery offers a variety of therapies while on the road to recovery. We know how important it is to be able to appeal to different interests of our patients. Some of these include:

  • Adventure Therapy: Doing the same thing every day in treatment can become boring and lackluster. Our goal is to give each of our patients a chance at opportunities they may never get to experience anywhere else. In Adventure Therapy, we introduce our patients to hands-on activities in the natural world. This can include things like kayaking, rafting, camping, etc.
  • Fitness Therapy: Exactly as the name states, we use fitness to provide a type of therapy to our patients. Because working out produces endorphins, we use this as a way to encourage healthy hobbies. 
  • Holistic Therapy: Holistic approaches have been used for decades in modern therapy. By introducing our patients to spirituality, we want to give them a sense of purpose. This can tend to be forgotten when developing an addiction disorder.