Opiate Addiction: Is It a Mental Illness?

Opiate Addiction: Is It a Mental Illness?

Opiate Addiction: Is It a Mental Illness?

Opiates are addictive narcotic painkillers that come in legally prescribed and illicit forms. They are also dangerous, and opiate addicts currently suffer from the highest rates of relapse and overdose, according to National Institutes of Health. In the past, addiction professionals regarded substance abuse as a weakness of character rather than a mental health disorder; today, an ever-growing body of research suggests that addiction should be treated with psychological techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

Treating Opiate Addiction

Substance abuse treatment has come a long way since abstinence education was first introduced in the early 1930s. Today, some opiate addiction rehab centers offer Suboxone in the treatment of opiate addiction. This kind of therapy helps people feel comfortable during early withdrawal and addresses the cravings that typically accompany opiate addiction. Utilizing Suboxone — a combination of buprenorphine and Naloxone, which block opiate withdrawal effects —may reduce the risk of relapse. Relapsing not only raises the risk of overdose, coma, and death, but it also prevents a person addicted to drugs from getting desperately needed psychological and physical care. Following Suboxone treatment with a full course of psychological therapy and drug counseling most often results in life-lasting sobriety.

Despite the fact that Suboxone is remarkably effective at treating opiate addiction, many hold the view that relying on one drug to replace another drug simply prolongs the addiction itself. Abstinence, in this view, is the only thing that works — and although getting through detox is more challenging without medicine, the recovering addict knows his body is growing less dependent on drugs with every passing day.

Treating Dual Diagnosis at Clarity Way

The opiate addiction rehab at Clarity Way helps addicted clients manage early withdrawal with medically assisted detox. This process helps our clients gain strength and focus before beginning therapy, where our staff evaluates each for a potential dual diagnosis. In addition, we work closely with each client to determine what approach to sobriety works best for their individual beliefs and lifestyles — we do not force a one-size-fits-all approach to substance abuse recovery on anyone. Whether that approach is abstinence-only based or requires the help of compassionate detox is determined largely by each client’s preferred goals.

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Posted on November 28th, 2013 in Blog


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