Prescription Opioid Abuse, Addiction, and Treatment in New Jersey

prescription opioid addictionThe opioid epidemic continues to affect millions of Americans each year. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 10.1 million people abused opioids in 2019, with 9.7 million of these individuals abusing prescription opioids.[1]

While many people believe that prescription opioids are safe because they come from a doctor, these substances are highly habit-forming and addictive. Prescription opioid addiction is a serious problem in the United States, often causing people to suffer from mental and physical health issues, financial hardships, social isolation, and life-threatening opioid overdoses.

If you or a loved one suffer from an addiction to prescription opioids, professional treatment is vital to your well-being and overall quality of life. Knowing how to spot the signs of prescription opioid addiction and abuse can help you decide to attend treatment before it’s too late.

Commonly Abused Prescription Opioids

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, an estimated 0.8% (or about 2.3 million people) had a prescription opioid use disorder. That same year, approximately 16,416 people died from an overdose involving prescription opioids.[2]

Some of the most commonly abused prescription opioids include:[3]

  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin®)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana®)
  • Morphine (Kadian®, Avinza®)
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydromorphone
  • Tapentadol
  • Methadone

Signs of Prescription Opioid Abuse and Addiction

People may begin abusing prescription opioids for many different reasons. Some individuals may develop an addiction to opioids that their doctor prescribed, while others may obtain prescription opioids illegally – either from a drug dealer or a friend with a prescription. Either way, prescription opioid abuse can lead to addiction rapidly, putting you at risk of a variety of adverse effects.

The signs of prescription opioid abuse include:

  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Running out of opioid prescriptions early
  • Having issues completing responsibilities at work, school, or home
  • Social isolation or changing friend groups suddenly
  • Experiencing mood swings
  • Losing interest in hobbies
  • Showing signs of intoxication, like pinpointed pupils, slurring words, or nodding off
  • Stealing money, medications, or valuables from friends and family
  • “Doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors to receive more than one opioid prescription
  • Taking more opioids than prescribed
  • Mixing prescription opioids with other substances like alcohol
  • Needing to increase your dosage to experience the desired effect (developing tolerance)
  • Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when you cannot take prescription opioids (physical dependency)
  • Taking extremely large doses of opioids or experiencing frequent overdoses

If you or someone you love is displaying the signs of prescription opioid abuse or addiction, substance abuse treatment is necessary. Oftentimes, people suffering from opioid addiction have to continually take larger doses to experience a high. This can result in life-threatening overdoses, which require emergency medical attention.

What to Expect During Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment in New Jersey

One of the main reasons people avoid attending addiction treatment is a fear of the unknown. When you do not know what to expect from a prescription opioid addiction treatment program, choosing to attend one can be extremely scary and anxiety-inducing.

During a prescription opioid addiction treatment program in New Jersey, you can expect to participate in the following:

Medical Detox

When you suffer from an opioid use disorder, your body begins to rely on the substance to function properly. This causes you to experience symptoms of withdrawal upon quitting the use of prescription opioids.

Oftentimes, the symptoms of withdrawal are uncomfortable and painful, causing people to relapse when they do not receive medical care. To prevent people from relapsing and ensure that they are safe, opioid detox centers in New Jersey use opioid replacement medications like Suboxone and Methadone to soothe the symptoms of withdrawal and prevent cravings from occurring.

Evidence-Based Behavioral Therapy

Once you complete medical detox, you can begin working on addiction recovery’s emotional, psychological, and behavioral aspects. One of the most beneficial aspects of prescription opioid addiction treatment is evidence-based behavioral therapy. These therapeutic techniques provide you with healthy ways to cope with emotions, teach you how to avoid triggers and relapse, and prevent you from acting on negative patterns of thought.

Examples of evidence-based behavioral therapies used during prescription opioid rehab in New Jersey include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Contingency management
  • 12-step facilitation therapy
  • Family behavior therapy
  • The matrix model

Options for Medication-Assisted Treatment

While detox for prescription opioids includes tapering medications to soothe your symptoms of withdrawal, there are other forms of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) that you have the option to participate in.

Certain MAT medications like Suboxone can prevent relapse by providing your brain with just enough opioids to stop cravings from occurring without causing you to experience a high. There are also medications such as Vivitrol that can prevent opioids from producing pleasurable effects by blocking the opioid receptors in your brain.

While medication-assisted treatment has some controversy surrounding it, experts in the opioid addiction treatment field highly regard this form of treatment due to the benefits it provides.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), medication-assisted treatment provides the following benefits:[4]

  • Improved patient survival
  • Increased retention in treatment
  • Decreased illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
  • Increased patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
  • Improved birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant

Relapse Prevention Planning

Lastly, prescription opioid rehab centers use relapse prevention planning to ensure that every client is ready to maintain their sobriety outside of the safety of a facility. Because transitioning to everyday life brings about new triggers and stressors, being prepared to prevent relapse is extremely important.

Relapse prevention planning may include the following depending on your individual needs:

  • Continued attendance at individual and group therapy
  • Vocational training to help you learn how to obtain and maintain a steady job
  • Referrals for sober living housing programs
  • Recommendations for addiction support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery
  • Continued medication management if needed
  • A list of personal triggers and coping mechanisms to use
  • Access to alumni programs that will provide you with support and a community

Get Connected With an Opioid Addiction Treatment Center in New Jersey

If you or a loved one suffer from prescription opioid addiction in New Jersey, help is available. Living with untreated opioid addiction could lead to an array of consequences, including legal issues, a decline in mental health, opioid-related health conditions, and even fatal overdoses.

Moving Mountains takes a whole-person approach to recovery by offering a continuum of care, clinically proven treatments, and holistic healing. We work closely with you to identify your unique needs, facilitate individualized treatments, and help you establish a foundation upon which your recovery–and the rest of your life–can grow. Our compassionate, friendly staff is available 24 hours a day to take your call and help you begin your recovery journey.

Contact Moving Mountains Recovery Center today to learn more about our prescription opioid rehab in New Jersey.

References:

  1. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/what-scope-prescription-drug-misuse
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/rxawareness/information/index.html
  3. https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment
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