Inpatient Rehabs and Narcotic Addiction
Narcotic use in America has been under scrutiny lately as the link is made between taking prescribed narcotic medications for pain and full a narcotic addiction from abusing these medications. It has also been linked to this country’s growing heroin habit. In fact:
- It is estimated between 26 and 36 million people worldwide use prescription opioid medications.
- Of those, around 2 million Americans suffer from substance abuse disorders related to prescription narcotics.
- 80 percent of Americans who use heroin report having used prescription opioid medications first.
Fortunately, there is help available for people fighting a narcotic addiction.
When it comes to prescription painkillers, three terms are often thrown around almost interchangeably — tolerance, dependence, and addiction. In reality, these three terms can help define the point at which you are most at risk of developing a narcotic addiction and help you pinpoint when to seek help.
Tolerance is when your body no longer responds to the medication the way it should because you have used it too often or for too long of a time. Too often, people with chronic pain develop a tolerance to certain pain medications after prolonged use but do not develop an addiction. This is why prescription narcotics are not given for more than a few days at a time.
Once your body no longer responds to these medications, you have to explore different treatment options. Even when people abuse prescription medication, they can develop a tolerance to the euphoric “high” over time.
Dependence is a physical addiction where the body has become accustomed to the drug’s presence. If you stop taking it suddenly, your body will go through unpredictable withdrawal symptoms. While dependence is a part of having an addiction, you can be dependent on medications that do not produce a high the way opioid medications do.
For instance, your body is likely dependent on the jolt of caffeine you get from your morning cup of coffee. You could even become dependent on anti-inflammatory medications, anti-depressants or steroid medications.
Addiction is a brain disease characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behaviors in spite of any harmful effects they may have on the body. Addiction is both a physiological problem stemming from taking harmful drugs and one that affects the brain’s ability to regulate emotion, compulsion, pleasure, and reward. This change in the brain explains why you can be addicted to things that are not drugs, such as gambling. Once the brain is involved, an addiction has formed and becomes a lifelong struggle to break.
What Are the Signs of a Narcotic Addiction?
The signs of a narcotic addiction vary from person to person. One person may develop an addiction after a short period of time while another can take a narcotic for weeks without even developing a dependency. However, there are a few key indicators you are developing or have developed an addiction.
- Poor decision making in other aspects of your life in order to get more drugs.
- Abandoning work and family responsibilities.
- Depression and/or euphoria.
- Changes in sleep patterns.
- Drug-seeking behaviors such as lying to get more narcotics or stealing drugs from another person.
- Anxiety attacks or paranoia.
How Long Does a Narcotic Stay in Your System?
How long a drug stays in your body depends on several factors. Your height, weight, and metabolism will determine how quickly a narcotic can leave your system. Likewise, how long you have been using the drug, how frequently you use it, the amount you use, and the drug’s potency will all play a part in how long opioids or heroin stay in your bloodstream. Of course, all drugs tend to show up in your hair long after they can be detected in urine or blood.
Narcotic Inpatient Treatment
Once you have decided to get help for your narcotic addiction, it is important to choose the right narcotic rehab for you. One of the first questions is whether you should check in to a narcotic inpatient program or get help through an outpatient facility.
Narcotic inpatient programs are part hospital and part residential treatment facility. Staffed with doctors, nurses and support staff, a narcotic inpatient program is designed to give you a dedicated treatment space to begin addressing your addiction. Inpatient programs begin with a supervised detox program where medical staff monitor and help with the unpleasant side effects of withdrawal symptoms.
Once your detox process is complete, you begin addressing the psychological and physiological aspects of addiction. These may include counseling, group support therapies, and other medical processes that help you build coping mechanisms you need in the real world. Inpatient programs are ideal for people who have been dealing with a long-term addiction, for those who do not feel they can meet daily demands and address their addiction at the same time, or for those who are addicted to multiple substances.
Narcotic Outpatient Treatment
Outpatient facilities address the same psychological and physiological aspects of addiction as an inpatient program, but you participate in narcotic rehab on your own time frame. Ideal for working adults, outpatient rehab offers counseling, group therapy, and addiction recovery programs. However, rather than living in the facility, you return home each night. Outpatient therapy is more flexible but does not offer close monitoring by medical professionals during the detox process. It also may not be an ideal choice for someone who has struggled with addiction for a long time or someone whose use has expanded beyond one substance.
How Do I Pay for Treatment?
How to pay for treatment should never be a barrier for seeking help from a narcotic rehab program. Most traditional insurances offer at least partial coverage for both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs that are recommended by a physician. Payment schedules are often available through the facility for any copayment due once insurance has been billed. If you are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, rehab may be covered in full at a facility that accepts these insurances.
Payment plans, medical credit cards or in some cases grants may be available at your chosen facility. Contact their billing department for more details.
Are Narcotic Rehabs Private and Confidential?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 enacted several privacy laws regarding your protected health information. Facilities must keep your health records confidential unless you give your consent, including those created as the result of a narcotic rehab program. However, some information is exempt from this law. For instance, if you enter therapy in anticipation of a criminal trial, some of your medical or psychotherapy information may be subject to admission as evidence. If you are concerned, contact your chosen facility and ask about their privacy policies. Ask how and when your information is disclosed.
Finding a Narcotic Rehab
Admitting you have a problem is the first step to achieving successful recovery. Whether you are looking for an inpatient or outpatient program, whether you choose to pay cash or with insurance, whether you are struggling with dependency or a full-blown addiction, you are not alone in the fight. Help is within reach.
You can begin your search by using our directory search tool and simply enter your zip code to find an addiction treatment facility near you. If you do need any assistance finding a facility please feel free to contact us directly at 1-800-581-0754.
If you are experiencing an emergency please dial 9-1-1 immediately