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Helping Someone Get into Opioid Painkiller Addiction Treatment

Opioid painkiller addiction is a substance use disorder that has heavily impacted millions of Americans.1 From April 2020 to 2021, more than 100,000 people died from drug overdoses, which was an increase of 28.5% from the year prior.1 Despite the statistics, evidence-based addiction treatment can still produce positive outcomes. Treatment for opioid painkiller addiction has been developed to not only address substance use but also other problems that often accompany substance use disorders.2 Understanding the ways by which one can get themselves or a loved one into opioid painkiller addiction treatment can be valuable knowledge when battling addiction.

How to Know if Someone Has a Problem with Painkillers

Everybody is different, so the signs that a loved one is struggling with opioid painkiller addiction may vary. Changes in one’s behavior is a strong indicator, though there is no guarantee. The DSM-5 provides various signs and symptoms of opioid use disorder. Some of these symptoms and signs are:3

  • Taking opioids in higher amounts than prescribed or over a period that was longer than intended.
  • A persistent or unsuccessful effort to stop taking or control opioid use.
  • Continued opioid use despite having recurrent or persistent psychological or physical problems.
  • Continued opioid use despite having recurrent or persistent interpersonal or social problems caused or increased by opioid use.

How to Talk to a Loved One About Painkiller Addiction

Opioid painkiller addiction is a sensitive topic, and your loved one may not want to speak about it. During this time, you may want to use a gentle word to draw them into the conversation. Here are several ways you can engage with your loved one about opioid painkiller addiction:4

  • Realize your participation can make a tremendous impact and difference in your loved one’s life.
  • Exercise patience with your loved one and remember that changing deep habits can take time and requires repeated efforts.
  • Make sure you pay attention to your loved one when they are making efforts and are doing better.

It is also important to set healthy boundaries when dealing with a loved one who is struggling with opioid painkiller misuse and addiction. One reason for this is to draw the line between supporting a loved one and enabling harmful behaviors. Another reason is related to self-care, as it is important to look after one’s emotional and mental health before seeking to help others.

Additionally, you can suggest addiction treatment rehabilitation. The following treatments are available:5

  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT): During MAT, the person goes through detox. Some of the common medications that are utilized during detox are buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone.
  • Psychotherapy: The types of therapies available are contingency management, 12-Step facilitation, evidence-based psychotherapy, and motivational enhancement therapy.
  • Community support: Peer group meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous are available.

Getting Treatment for Painkiller Addiction

Opioid addiction treatment differs depending on a person’s specific needs. It can occur in different settings, has many different forms, and can last for differing lengths of time.6

Some types of treatment include:

  • Opioid detoxification: medical detoxification, or detox for short, is the process by which the body rids itself of harmful substances like opioids.7 Those struggling with opioid painkiller addiction may experience severely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms upon the cessation of opioid painkiller use. In this scenario, they may benefit from medically monitored opioid detox treatment.
  • Inpatient treatment: In this form of treatment, someone lives at a residential facility and receives care 24/7.
  • Outpatient treatment: This treatment involves patients attending treatment several times throughout the week. Treatment may include therapy, counseling, MAT, 12-Step programs and community support groups.5

If you have an opioid addiction and are ready to begin treatment, you can reach out to American Addiction Centers (AAC) 24/7 addiction hotline at . Our professional admissions navigators can direct you toward resources to help you locate painkiller addiction centers and verify your insurance. We’re ready to help you get the treatment you need.

Remember that you’re not facing this alone. AAC is here to help support you in finding treatment for painkiller addiction. To seek assistance with painkiller addiction, fill out the form below to check whether your health insurance provider might cover all or part of the expenses for rehab and related therapies.

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