Alta Mira helped me deal with a very difficult and painful time in my life. It is a place that helped me tap into that place in me that said, ‘I can’ instead of ‘I can’t.’
Alta Mira Alumna
Coming to Terms with an Opiate Addiction
Opiate addiction is an increasingly common illness. Given the prevalence of opiate-based prescription drugs (such as Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet) and the affordability and availability of heroin, the rise of opiate addiction in the United States is not a surprise. The brain’s response to opiates is so strong that people tend to become addicted quickly. To make matters worse, the withdrawal symptoms can be so intense that quitting on your own is difficult and can be very dangerous.
While heroin is still a pervasive problem, many of our clients become addicted to opiates through a prescription given after an injury or medical procedure. For those susceptible to the brain’s response to opioids, this is often all it takes to begin a painful addiction process. Even when the medication “was prescribed by a physician,” people can still become dependent. These individuals do not fit the stereotypical image of a heroin user, yet the opiate addiction is very real.
Many of our clients have a difficult time admitting that an opiate addiction has developed, especially those whose addiction began through following a doctor’s orders.
Many avoid treatment because they feel such shame and confusion over identifying themselves as addicts. Those dealing with chronic pain tend to avoid treatment because they cannot imagine life without the relief of pain killers. Others fear the intensity of opiate withdrawal symptoms during detox.
If you are avoiding treatment, please know that we are experts at treating opiate addictions, including managing the many difficult emotions surrounding the addiction and providing a safe and comfortable detox experience.