After detox is completed the individual progresses to the addiction treatment phase of recovery. It is recommended that individuals select an extended inpatient program for an opiate addiction, as these will provide a higher level of care and 24-hour support.
The inpatient environment is highly structured and scheduled with several therapeutic activities throughout the day. This keeps the individual in early recovery distracted from craving and engaged in ongoing treatment that is designed to help them make fundamental changes in thoughts and behaviors.
In the addiction treatment phase individuals will participate in the following interventions:
One-on-one talk therapy: Psychotherapy is the primary treatment element for opiate addiction recovery. Therapy involves a clinician who will guide the individual in examining underlying emotional issues that may be a factor in the drug addiction. This allows the individual to process any unresolved pain or trauma and begin the healing process. Therapists utilize evidence-based methods, such as psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and contingency management (CM). The behavioral therapies guide the individual to identify unhealthy thought patterns that have led to drug-seeking behaviors, and to develop new coping strategies when encountering triggers.
Group counseling sessions: Group therapy provides the important social support needed in recovery. A therapist guides topics of discussion and facilitates the back-and-forth conversation among participants. This format allows members of the group to share their own personal stories, their challenges, goals, and fears while in a safe, supportive space. The group members form a trust bond and will continue to engage in the discussions while offering each other encouragement.
12-step program: Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12-step programming is often integrated into the recovery program itself. This involves introducing the themes of the 12 steps and holding recovery meetings where participants can provide peer support for each other. Some rehabs offer alternatives to the 12-step program, although they, too, involve participation in group meetings.
Family counseling: Opiate addiction can significantly impact the family, resulting in broken relationships and trust bonds. Many rehabs include a family-focus element, inviting family members to join their loved in group sessions. Family counseling sessions provide new communication skills, conflict resolution tips, and anger management techniques, while also exploring any dysfunctional aspects of the family dynamic.
Addiction education: Classes provide the important addiction education component of rehab, including making relapse prevention plans. Relapse prevention involves identifying potential triggers to use, and then define actionable steps to avoid the recurrent drug use.
Medication management: MAT has become a common recovery support element, incrementally moving the individual away from the body’s need for opiates. Buprenorphine and naltrexone are two effective medications that can help sustain recovery.
Holistic activities: These include activities that help reduce stress, such as yoga, mindfulness training, art and music therapy, and massage therapy.
Recreation therapy: Rehabs schedule recreational activities, both indoor and outdoor, to provide some relief from the programming, which helps elevate mood and keep individuals engaged.
Nutritional counseling: Individuals in recovery from opiate addiction are often in poor health. Nutritional counseling helps educate individuals about the importance of a healthy diet in restoring health and vitality in recovery.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
FDA approved medications are available for supporting opiate recovery. The drugs, such as methadone, Suboxone, and naltrexone, act as a replacement for the heroin or prescription opioids and help to incrementally stop the cravings for those drugs. These drugs have the potential to be abused, therefore careful monitoring of the MAT is required.
After completing the inpatient rehab program, the individual continues to maintain sobriety through several continuing care activities. These include participating regularly in a recovery community such as N.A. or A.A., receiving ongoing outpatient individual and group therapy, and possibly residing in sober living housing for a few months following rehab.