The term relapse refers to when an addicted person returns to a harmful cycle of using drugs or participating in a harmful activity. Opiate drugs have some of the highest relapse rates out of all harmful substances. In fact, more than 90 percent of opiate abusers relapse within the first year of ceasing drug abuse. The high numbers suggest that specialists must use additional prevention methods for persons who seek treatment for opiate abuse. The high potential for opiate relapse comes from the powerful characteristics of the drugs and the way they work on the brain.
What Is an Opiate?
An opiate is a drug that resembles the drug opium. Opiates can be natural or manmade. Heroin is the most common opiate drug. However, opiates in the form of pills seem to be more addictive than the powdered form of heroin is. Examples of opiate pills are Percocet, Vicodin, OxyContin, Methadone, Codeine and the like. Millions of people are addicted to opiate pain pills because they are easy to obtain, and they are legal when a doctor prescribes them. Additionally, the pills may be cheaper to obtain than heroin is on the street.
How Opiate Pills Work on the Brain
The way that opiate pills work on the brain is the most prevalent reason for the high relapse numbers. Opiate pills affect the opiate receptors in the brain. They affect neurotransmitters that eliminate pain and cause happy feelings. Opiate pills can affect two core brain chemicals, which are serotonin and dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that a person releases during exercise, and it tricks the person into believing that he or she is feeling no pain. Serotonin is a chemical that the body produces during exercise, as well. Serotonin can give a person a sense of euphoria and extreme bliss. Opiate pills cause relaxation, happiness and a lack of pain. The combination of positive feelings can make cessation of opiate addiction extremely difficult.
Why Relapse Happens Frequently
A person who experiences the highs of an opiate pill will quickly develop an opiate addiction with time. Persons with mental illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorder may find that the drugs make them feel normal or eliminate depression and anxiety. These individuals may prefer abusing opiate pills to using the traditional mental illness drugs. Relapse can occur in a person who has chronic physical pain, as well. That person will want to alleviate pain immediately and enjoy the positive feelings.
What Happens in Rehab When a Person Relapses?
If a person relapses after receiving treatment for opiate addiction, then the facility will make vigorous efforts to prevent it from happening again. The facility may increase the number of therapeutic sessions the patient has. It may connect the patient with a stronger support group. Individual therapy may be intensified as to uncover the root of the opiate addiction. The facility may introduce the person to alternative therapeutic methods, as well. Some examples of alternative therapies are music therapy, craft therapy, exercise therapy, massage therapy, Yoga and more. The goal is to fill the patient’s mind with a database of positive activities that can replace the urge to use opiate drugs.
How to Get Help for Opiate Addiction
Help for an opiate addiction can begin with a phone call. Rehabilitation facilities do not judge people who have relapsed. Their main goal is to fortify the people with education and wisdom so that they may not relapse again. An inpatient facility is the best facility for opiate addiction. Patients need the full attention and guidance of staff members. An interested party can contact a reliable facility today for assistance.