Opioid Addiction Treatment in Asheville
Prescription Opioid Abuse, Heroin Addiction & Other Opioid Treatment
Opioid addiction is a chronic, complex disease. Those struggling with addiction often experience significant changes in mood and behavior caused by altered pathways in the brain. This can make it incredibly difficult—if not impossible—to recover without professional, proven help.
At Carolina Recovery Solutions, our team of licensed therapists, registered nurses, case managers, and addiction specialists offers a compassionate, proven approach to opioid addiction treatment. Based near Asheville in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains, our facility provides a welcoming and relaxing setting for healing. We utilize a whole-person approach to addiction treatment, with effective treatments that focus on addressing underlying trauma, cooccurring mental health disorders, environmental triggers, and relapse prevention. We believe that caring for our patients’ physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health sets a foundation for continued, long-term success.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are a type of drug that produce a variety of effects in the brain. There are both legal opioids (prescription medications) and illegal opioids (heroin), both of which can be highly addictive. While many opioids are derived from a naturally occurring substance found in the opium poppy plant, they can also be synthetically manufactured, or manmade. The most commonly known synthetic opioid is fentanyl, a powerful drug that is about 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
Legal opioids are widely prescribed to treat severe pain. Examples of common prescription opioids include:
Name brand prescription opioids include Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, Norco, Demerol, and many others. These medications are frequently referred to as “painkillers” and are most often used to treat and manage significant pain in individuals who have undergone various medical procedures or who have been diagnosed with certain illnesses, such as cancer.
In addition to easing pain, both prescription and illegal opioids can produce a state of relaxation, euphoria, happiness, and general wellbeing. They can also lead to numerous side effects, ranging from slowed breathing to drowsiness to confusion, nausea, constipation, and more. Taking too high of a dose or using opioids with other substances, such as alcohol, can lead to fatal overdose.
Understanding Opioid Addiction
Opioids are powerful, addictive substances that alter the brain’s chemical makeup and processes. Because of this, opioids have a high potential for abuse.
People who take opioids can quickly build a tolerance for the drug, meaning they gradually need more and more of it to achieve the same effects. Increased tolerance can lead to dependency, which is characterized by intense cravings and/or withdrawal symptoms when not using opioids. In this way, it is relatively easy for an individual’s opioid use to spiral out of control, leading to opioid misuse, abuse, and addiction.
Signs of Opioid Addiction:
- Uncontrollable cravings
- Weight loss
- Flu-like symptoms
- Fanacial difficulties
The U.S. Opioid Epidemic
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 500,000 people died due to opioid-involved overdoses in the United States between the years of 1999 and 2019. In 2019 alone, more than 70% of all drug overdose deaths involved opioids.
The U.S. opioid epidemic is characterized by three distinct trends:
- 1993 – 2010: In the 1990s, drug manufacturers falsely promoted opioids as safe, relatively low-risk medications for pain management and treatment of various illnesses. As a result, doctors began prescribing opioids much more frequently, leading to the first wave of opioid-related overdose deaths. During this time period, most opioid overdose deaths involved prescription opioids, including both natural and semi-synthetic opioids.
- 2010 – 2013: In 2010, the U.S. saw a rapid and dramatic increase in heroin-related overdose deaths. Although there are many complex factors involved, one reason for this sudden increase in heroin-related overdoses is thought to be an increased number of people who were prescribed or began taking prescription opioids developing increased tolerance and a dependency on these substances.
- 2013 – Present Day: The third distinct trend in the U.S. opioid epidemic began in 2013 with an increased number of opioid overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, specifically fentanyl. Around this time, the production of illicitly manufactured fentanyl increased in the U.S., and it is currently a complex and often-changing market. Today, fentanyl is commonly found mixed in counterfeit pills, heroin, and cocaine, as well as other illicit substances.
In 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. In 2018, approximately 10.1 million people misused or abused prescription opioids, 1.6 million were living with an opioid use disorder, and 50,000 people used heroin for the first time. It is estimated that as many as 2 million Americans and 15 million people worldwide are affected by prescription opioid and heroin abuse and/or addiction every year.
Warning Signs of Opioid Misuse & Abuse
Despite the now-known consequences, opioids are still frequently prescribed in the U.S. Because of this, many people do not recognize the true risks associated with taking prescription opioids, including the risk of tolerance, dependency, and addiction. However, anyone can begin misusing or abusing opioids, regardless of age, race, gender, wealth, environment, or any other factor.
Here are some warning signs that you could be developing an opioid use disorder:
- Taking opioids more frequently or in higher doses than initially intended
- “Borrowing,” taking, or stealing someone else’s prescription opioids
- Feeling a desire to “stock up” or build a “backup” supply of an opioid medication
- Visiting multiple medical professionals to obtain multiple prescriptions
- Requesting early refills or misleading doctors to obtain opioids
- Hiding opioid use from family members, friends, and loved ones
- Feeling a compulsive desire to continue taking opioids, despite negative consequences
- Spending significant time thinking about, obtaining, using, or recovering from opioids
- Experiencing intense cravings and/or withdrawal symptoms when not taking opioids
- Losing interest in once-enjoyed hobbies and activities
- Experiencing problems at work, at home, in school, or in personal relationships
If you are concerned about a family member, friend, or loved one’s opioid use, look for the following warning signs:
- Increased secretiveness/lying
- Frequent drowsiness and fatigue
- Changes in sleep patterns and habits
- Poor personal hygiene
- Isolation from family or friends
- Engaging in risky behavior
- Unexplained weight loss
- Decreased libido
- Stealing from family, friends, workplaces, or businesses
- Flu-like symptoms, such as frequent runny nose
- Missing medication
- Inability to manage obligations
- Frequent relationship problems
If you believe that you or someone you love needs help with an opioid addiction, turn to Carolina Recovery Solutions. With proper treatment, recovery is possible. Our team is here to guide you through the process and provide the ongoing support you need to achieve long-term sobriety.
Signs of Opioid Overdose
- Pinpoint pupils
- Awake, but unable to talk
- Face is pale or clammy
- Blue lips, fingernails, and skin
- Pulse is slow, erratic or not there at all
Providing Personalized & Effective Opioid Addiction Treatment
At Carolina Recovery Solutions, we recognize that everyone is different. We do not believe in a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to treating opioid misuse, abuse, and addiction. Instead, we offer a range of opioid addiction treatments in Asheville that are fully customized to each individual patient’s needs.
Opioid addiction treatment often begins with supervised medical detox. Those struggling with opioid addiction are encouraged to not suddenly stop using opioids altogether, as this can have dangerous and potentially life-threatening effects. Instead, clinical detox offers a safe, medication-assisted method of weaning the body off of opioids and managing withdrawal symptoms.
Following detox, we recommend intensive outpatient treatment. Options involve a variety of behavioral treatments and therapies designed to address various aspects of addiction, as well as physical, mental, and emotional health. At our unique facility, we offer an intensive and effective program designed to help you heal, all while building lasting skills to manage triggers, prevent relapse, and successfully move forward with your life.