Treatment For Opiate Addiction: One On One vs Group Therapy

Treatment For Opiate Addiction: One On One vs Group Therapy

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Treatment For Opiate Addiction: One On One vs Group Therapy.

Treatment For Opiate Addiction: What are Opiates?

Opiates are drugs with morphine like effects that are derived from opium. Opiates are drugs such as heroin, codeine, morphine, Oxycodone or Oxycontin, Hydrocodone or Vicodin, and Dilaudid or Hydromorphone. Some of these drugs are prescriptions, however heroin is produced using the poppy plant. All are highly addictive, even the prescriptions when abused or used incorrectly. Though all opiates tend to have generic names, heroin has the most. Such as black tar, poppy, Al Capone, and brown crystal, among others. While the prescriptions are commonly used to manage pain, they can be injected, snorted, and ingested to create a high.

The Dangers of Heroin

Heroin is also highly addictive and derived from morphine. It’s used as a downer that has a depressant effect on the brain’s pleasure system. This masks the brain’s ability to perceive pain. Heroin can be used in various ways. Such as injected into a vein or muscle, mixed with other drugs and smoked, used in a water or standard pipe, and even snorted. The short term effects typically show up immediately and last for a few hours. The effects include a sudden burst of euphoria that then leads to a warm flushing of the skin, heaviness in the extremities, and dry mouth.

The user then enters a ‘nodding’ phase in which they alternate between a wakeful and drowsy state that leads to mental fog and depression of the central nervous system. The user may also have slowed or slurred speech, vomiting, constipation, drooping eyelids, and a slow gait. Night vision could also be effected negatively.

Chronic users can also develop heart infections, collapsed veins, liver diseases, abscesses, and even cellulitis. As the health of the chronic user gets worse, other problems such as pneumonia and other respiratory disorders can easily develop. When users try to stop using, withdrawal can start within hours and create a severe reaction.

Seeking Help: One On One vs Group Therapy

Treatment For Opiate Addiction: One On One vs Group TherapyIf you or someone you know has an opiate addiction, then you should know that help is available. If you are choosing to attend counseling, which is best used after initial detox in an in-patient facility, then there are two main options. Both one on one counseling and group therapy can be effective, as can a combination of the two. Each option with be described below.

The Benefits of One on One

One on one counseling is just what it sounds. It is you or your loved one seeing a counselor to help work through the issues related to drug abuse and use. It is likely that some aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, will be utilized to help you learn the tools necessary to get and stay clean over time. This may include the use of medication if other issues, such as depression and anxiety exist. The advantage of one on one therapy is that full attention is focused on you and your personal concerns. The therapist is wholly focused on what can be done to help with treatment for opiate addiction. 

The Benefits of Group Therapy

Group counseling is also an option that can be used alone or in conjunction with one on one therapy. The advantages of group therapy are the shared time with other clients and the sharing of similar circumstances. This is so you do not feel like you are alone in what is happening. Group therapy will apply many of the same techniques as one on one counseling, but in a more generalized manner. This way it applies to the addiction more than anyone specific in the group. If you are hesitant to share your current issues, then group therapy may be the best choice as you can learn from the experience of others. 

A combination of the two types of therapy may be the ultimate option. This way you can focus on personal issues in a private session, yet learn from others and feel more outside support during a group session. The key is to know that addiction is treatable.  Although, what works for one may not work for someone else. Give different styles of treatment for opiate addiction a chance before making a decision. That works best in your personal circumstances.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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