Doctors prescribe painkillers to, as the name implies, provide pain relief. When used incorrectly, opioid painkiller use can lead to addiction, which causes the need for help.
Painkiller rehabilitation programs, and specifically prescription drug addiction inpatient treatment, offer an individual needed aid in recovering from painkiller abuse. Which program is best for a successful recovery depends on many factors.
Phase One: Medically Assisted Opioid Detoxification
A body’s natural ability to eliminate toxins is called detoxification (detox). When speaking of detox in the context of substance abuse treatment, this process includes strategies that supplement the body’s natural processes, primarily by helping manage withdrawal symptoms or adverse reactions to sudden withdrawal.
These strategies require a team of medical professionals who assist the patient through the process. Many detox plans include a combination of daily practices, medicinal aid and participation in support interventions.
The use of medically assisted detox allows patients to stay stable amid the effects caused by withdrawal, and then it becomes clear where he or she should go for the next phase of treatment.
The following phase can take place in an inpatient or outpatient facility, depending on:
- Withdrawal intensity
- Quality and quantity of support
- Previous attempts at detox
- What kind of living and transportation arrangements the patient has available to them
A more recent development in phase one involves following a rapid approach to detox, prescribing one type of medication that induces withdrawal symptoms more quickly, and another medication to sedate the patient. The hope is this rapid detox gets the person through the worst parts of withdrawal quickly, accelerating their movement into phase two of treatment: rehabilitation centers or addiction treatment programs.
Phase Two: Traditional Rehab Center or Addiction Treatment Program
In this phase, a patient takes part in a rehabilitation process that includes several options. Studies divide the options into modalities, and new approaches surface every year.
Currently, these options for prescription painkiller addiction treatment include long-term or short-term inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, individually tailored drug counseling and group counseling.
1) Inpatient Prescription Painkiller Addiction Treatment
Long-term inpatient residential treatment provides care and help 24 hours a day, seven days a week and usually take place in an isolated setting outside of the hospital. The goal is to combine the individual’s care with social encouragement, using the unique community resources as active parts of the treatment plan.
An inpatient program is structured with therapy and activities carefully designed to help a patient break down negative thinking or beliefs and replace them with constructive, beneficial thoughts and perceptions.
Short-term inpatient treatment aims to give a patient intensive treatment, which modifies the 12-step model. Originally designed to help with alcohol or cocaine abuse recovery, this model was adapted to help stimulant abuse patients.
The plan involved either a three- or six-week inpatient phase, after which the patient enters a prolonged outpatient program. This includes involvement with a support group and ongoing individualized therapy. The key lies in the constant engagement of the patient to keep them on the road to recovery.
2) Outpatient Addiction Treatment
Outpatient treatment comes in many forms and intensities. These programs generally cost less and work better for people who have a job or have an extensive support system in place. This treatment can be as simple as drug education courses or one-day intensive treatment options, but doesn’t offer the resources of care services that come in an inpatient program.
Group counseling plays a large part in most outpatient plans, and some of these treatment plans include help for patients with other medical or mental health issues.
3) Individually Tailored Drug Counseling
This focuses on helping an individual cut down or eliminate the illicit use of drugs. It also offers help with impaired functionality in life, including limitations on employment, criminal activity or reduced family or social interactions.
The goal is to offer the patient short-term behavioral strategies, which give the patient tools to help them resist and avoid drugs. This program encourages 12-step participation by the patient and can refer the individual to any supplemental care they may need.
4) Group Counseling
This therapeutic approach makes use of social support to help foster recovery. It relies on the presence of peers and discussion to aid in promoting substance-free lifestyles. Many programs offer a combination of group and individual counseling to maximize recovery potential, as many studies have demonstrated the combined approach is more effective.
Other forms of group counseling include approaches found in cognitive behavioral therapy or contingency management to achieve similar success.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Care
Does a patient need to live in a residential program or center for painkiller rehab? The answer to that question is maybe.
Firstly, no decision on which approach is best can be made until after an individual has successfully completed phase one of treatment. The initial detox should be done in an inpatient setting, as many painkiller addictions, specifically opioid-related substance dependency, can introduce life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
Once phase one has been completed in an inpatient setting, the patient and rehab professionals can decide on the next step. Factors to consider include:
- What the each program in consideration offers
- The type and severity of the individual’s addiction
- The individual’s unique needs and circumstances
Many programs also offer help in completing phase one, enabling a person to have a smooth transition into phase two in a facility that is already familiar.
Some addictions do not require an intense program. The less strict, more flexible outpatient program will provide them with both care and support. The type of care required is largely defined by the nature of the specific addiction.
Some of the more severe addictions require intense, regimented treatment and isolation from the outside world in order for the individual to recover.
Still Unsure of the Proper Path to Recovery?
Many options exist for those in need of help, but which option a person needs varies from individual to individual. Choosing the right path can be confusing, but Addiction Treatment Services can help provide the information needed to make an informed decision. Take your first step on the road to recovery. Contact us for a consultation.