synthetic opiates treatment and rehab

Modified: 20th Aug 2019

The U.S. is in the middle of an opioid crisis. In fact, the epidemic forced the Department of Health and Human Services to declare it a public health emergency in 2017.

58.5 million opioid prescriptions were written that year. Of that number, 21-29% of the scripts were misused. Between 8-12% develop an opioid addiction.

How did we get here?

In the late ’90s, drug manufacturers made assurances that opioids weren’t addictive. As such, doctors started prescribing opioids in greater numbers. They were under the impression that it was safe to do so.

They were wrong. 

More than 130 people die every day due as a result of an opioid-related overdose. Sadly, only 10% of those addicted to drugs seek proper treatment. 

Don’t be a part of the 90% who doesn’t. It’s not hopeless. You can overcome your opioid addiction.

If you or a loved one is dealing with an addiction to synthetic opiates, treatment is available. In this guide, we explain what those treatment options are. 

Synthetic Opiates Inpatient

“Opioids” is the common term that describes painkillers derived from the opium poppy. Some are natural, while others are semi-synthetic or synthetic.

The most common types of synthetic opiates are:

  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lorcet, Norco)
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone (Percoset, OxyContin)
  • Tramadol

Of all the synthetic opiates on the list, heroin is the only illegal substance. The other drugs are all prescription medication.

In some cases, morphine is semi-synthetic. In general, it’s still considered a natural opiate that derives from the opium poppy. 

Due to the extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, your chance of recovery is greater if you detox at a professional facility. 

If an opioid addict tries to detox on their own, they increase their chances of relapsing. This is because the symptoms of withdrawal can feel unbearable.

The symptoms of opioid withdrawal include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Abdominal cramps and aches
  • Constricted pupils
  • Diarrhea
  • Extreme cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular or fluctuating blood pressure
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating (hot and cold)
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

The timeline for recovery is long. It can take up to a month for your body to detox from opioids. This is why it’s heavily advised you seek treatment.

What Is Inpatient Treatment?

Inpatient treatment for synthetic opiates is best handled by a medical detox. This is the process of using both a pharmacological and psychological approach for detox.

The severity of withdrawal symptoms varies by individual. It’s based on your general health and level of addiction, among other deciding factors. 

While the withdrawal symptoms of opioids are rarely fatal, death can occur.

Inpatient treatment gives you access to medical personnel around the clock. They’ll monitor your vital signs like body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and other functions.

A mental health care specialist will watch for signs of depression, anxiety, and irrational thoughts and behavior.

In some instances, you may take medication to ease your withdrawal symptoms. These include: 

  • Buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex) – shortens the withdrawal period and lessens the severity of the symptoms
  • Methadone – helps to relieve withdrawal symptoms, making detox easier
  • Naltrexone – reduces cravings while preventing the opioid high

You will also participate in counseling sessions. Depending on your progress, this could be individual, group, or a combination of both therapies.

If you have an underlying medical condition, which is why you started taking opioids in the first place, you’ll receive treatment for that as well. 

Standard Length of Synthetic Opiates Inpatient Treatment

The entire detox process for a synthetic opiate addiction can take up to two years. This is because there are two main stages: acute and Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS).

The acute stage is when you experience physical withdrawal. In the PAWS stage, you’ll experience things like depression, trouble sleeping, and mood swings.

In general, an addict enters a specific inpatient program:

  • 30-day 
  • 60-day 
  • 90-day 
  • 120-day 
  • 180-day

The most successful recovery programs take at least three months. Afterward, extended programs and outpatient care is encouraged. 

Synthetic Opiates Outpatient

Sometimes, someone addicted to opioids doesn’t need around the clock care. This happens in some cases when the person hasn’t had their addiction for long.

They may be hospitalized during their withdrawal but don’t go to inpatient care when the initial detox ends. Instead, they receive outpatient treatment.

What Is Outpatient Treatment?

Outpatient treatment is when an addict does not live at a rehab facility. Instead, they continue living in their homes or with a loved one during the treatment period.

Some outpatient programs are more intensive than others. Some may be day programs while other outpatient services are weekly. 

The severity of the addiction is the main deciding factor in whether an addict gets outpatient treatment. They do attend meetings and their family members can also receive support. 

Standard Lenth of Synthetic Opiates Outpatient Treatment

Because there is less work involved in the outpatient process, it takes longer in most cases. That’s due to most programs requiring only 10-15 hours of treatment every week. 

It could take up to a year to complete an outpatient program. While it does cost less, the success rate is also lower. 

Synthetic Opiates Sober Living

Sober living is another treatment option. It’s often called “recovery house,” “sobriety house,” or “halfway house.”

A sober living facility is a bridge between inpatient treatment and a return to your everyday life.

What Is Synthetic Opiates Sober Living

Unlike in a residential treatment center, you’re not bound to the sober living facility campus. For the most part, you’re able to come and go as you please. 

However, you will have to follow certain guidelines to retain residency.

Some sober houses don’t allow residents to take Suboxone or Methadone. As mentioned earlier, these medications ease the detoxification process.

The issue, some feel, is that not allowing these recovery-assisting drugs violates the Fair Housing Act. That’s why it’s crucial that you or a loved one look into all available options for sober living.

If you take Suboxone or Methadone, you must find a treatment program that allows you to continue taking your medication.

What to Expect

Every sober living facility is different and offers different experiences. In general, you can expect to live with up to 11 other individuals on the road to recovery. This gives you a support system with people experiencing the same struggles.

You will have rules you have to follow. Typically, these include:

  • Agreeing to room checks (in some cases)
  • Agreeing to abstain from drugs
  • Attending group counseling or meetings
  • Chores/upkeep 
  • Drug tests
  • Finding a job or continuing with education
  • Respecting the curfew

Depending on the facility, they may ask you to leave if you violate any of the rules. The length of time you’ll be in a sober living house ranges from 30 days to six months.

Ongoing Recovery

Recovery doesn’t happen overnight. That’s why ongoing treatment is vital to your sobriety. 

Some treatment options to keep you on your path to recovery are:

  • Alternative therapies (yoga, meditation, etc.)
  • Family and/or couples therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Physical fitness
  • Weekly meetings or 12-step programs like Narcotics Anonymous

Whether you received inpatient, outpatient, or sober living support, the facility will give you suggestions for your ongoing recovery based on your progress. 

Find Help Today

If you or a loved one has an addiction to synthetic opiates, don’t wait any longer.

If you believe you’ve crossed the line from prescription opioid user to an addict, read this post on the warning signs.

Reach out to us today. We work with your insurance to ensure you get the best help possible without the added burden of paying out of pocket.