Opiates are common pain killers and are very effective when used for their intended purpose. However, if you have been prescribed an opiate to relieve pain, you may have trouble achieving the same amount of pain relief as when you first started taking the drug.

This often leads to patients taking the drug in higher or more frequent dosages, which typically leads to dependence and addiction soon after. The pleasurable effects that you experience when taking opiates tends to wear off faster than any negative side effects, making it likely that you will seek out the drug more readily and remain unaware of the negative impact it has on your body — a behavior that commonly leads to overdose in many opiate users.

If you are struggling with an addiction to opiates, it’s important you know that you are not alone. You have treatment options, which include inpatient care at a primary treatment facility as well as teen extended care at Sustain Recovery. Our counselors and staff can give you the building blocks you need to maintain sobriety for life.

Common opiates include:

  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydromorphone

Opiates create feelings of euphoria, which also tend to relieve pain. With continued use of the drug, you will develop a tolerance to it that requires you to take more in order to experience the same effects. This is the beginning of addictive behavior, which can soon turn into a serious drive to get a hold of the drug, such as double-doctoring, acquiring false prescriptions and other illegal activities.

Do You Have an Opiate Addiction?

A serious component of addiction is withdrawal — one of the many symptoms of drug dependence that keeps you using the drug. If you have experienced withdrawal from opiates, you may feel the worst you have ever felt or possibly like you are dying. Fortunately, opiate withdrawal is not life-threatening, unlike other drugs, so although you may feel serious pain, you can recover without any detriment to your health.

Withdrawal symptoms from opiates may include:

  • Muscle aches, pains and spasms
  • Hot and cold sweats
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, irritability
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

You may be completely unaware that you are addicted to opiates and simply think that you just need one more pill to feel the same amount of pain relief. You could be confusing your symptoms of pain — the discomfort that led you to an initial opiate prescription — with what are actually symptoms of withdrawal and suppressing those feeling with the drug rather than the original pain.

Here are some ways to know that you could be addicted to opiates:

  • You have increased your intake of opiate drugs without your doctor’s approval
  • You stop using the drug for several hours and feel severe discomfort and pain when you do
  • You are not as active as you would be without the drug
  • You think about the drug constantly and try to figure out where or how you are going to get it next
  • You try to cut down on your opiate use, but the pain becomes so unbearable that you can’t

Any of these identifiers could mean that you have or are forming an addiction to opiates, and it’s important that you seek help if you want to return to a normal way of life. Telling a close friend or family member that you have an addiction and want to seek treatment is one of the first steps you can take to becoming sober.

Your Teen Extended Care at Sustain Recovery

Sustain Recovery offers a unique approach to adolescent sober living and welcomes teens who are coming out of a primary inpatient facility or who need longer-term treatment. Not only will you experience a teen intensive outpatient program, but you will be part of a nurturing community that provides the support you need to live a life free from addiction.

Our counselors and staff implement a 12-step approach that you participate in through our unique phase system, which builds on your recovery as well as certain life skills that you will carry with you after recovery.

Too often, teens are given the tools they need to live a sober life outside of a treatment facility, but are not taught the best ways to implement those tools on an everyday basis. The structure from an adolescent inpatient or outpatient facility is not present in the real world, and it can be difficult for teens to maintain their positive frame of mind because of that.

Sustain Recovery puts the structure of inpatient care into the real world and teaches you how to apply the skills you have learned — whether that involves grocery shopping, doing household chores or practicing positive coping strategies — to a consistent schedule at home. You will be assigned an individual counselor who will support you as you learn a more consistent way of life.

Through therapeutic services like individual and family therapy, support groups, vocational and life skills training as well as nutritional guidance, musical therapy and MMA boxing, you will continue to overcome your addiction and do so in a way that is fun and applicable to everyday life. Family therapy is also available to help you and your loved ones create the most supportive environment at home — one that deters relapse and avoids negative influences.

Your individualized teen outpatient plan at Sustain Recovery comes along with the care plan created for you by your primary inpatient facility and supports any co-occurring disorder that may also be present. Combined, your treatment plans will allows you to leave our residence and continue to lead life of sobriety.

For more information about the adolescent extended care services we provide, contact Sustain Recovery at (949) 407-9052 to speak with one of our counselors.

I first met Sayeh in November of 2013 just after my 15 year old daughter had been admitted to a residential treatment program. As part of the program I was required to attend 2-3 AlAnon meetings a week. Sayeh attended the same AlAnon meetings as well as Alumni events as I. It soon became apparent to me that Sayeh had a heart for recovery, program, and God. When I was encouraged to get a sponsor I didn’t hesitate. Dependable, respectful, kind and generous of spirit, she exudes an inner peace that I hope to achieve with her loving guidance, as I work my own program. She is patient, & full of wisdom that she is always happy to share with her sponsees and fellow parents. I am so grateful our journeys brought us together.

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