Treating Opioid Addiction with Medication

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Treating Opioid Addiction With Medication During Sober Living

Opioids, like fentanyl, percocet, OxyContin, and heroin are effective painkillers. They are often prescribed to people experiencing moderate to severe pain. Opioid addiction can occur when someone takes opioid medications for two weeks or more. That doesn’t mean that everyone who takes opioids for that long gets addicted to them. Some people don’t like the way it makes them feel. Others appreciate that their pain has lessened on the medication. Then there are people who feel really good when they take these medications. Those are the people who are likely to form an addiction to opioids. This is known as having an opioid use disorder (OUD)

Studies have tried to determine who is at risk for opioid addiction and have failed to find any correlations so far. If you take opioids and realize that you’re not looking forward to having to stop taking them, that’s the first sign that you might be at risk for opioid addiction.

Types of Opioid Treatment

Many people with substance abuse issues don’t seek help until they find themselves in a crisis. Those people often go to hospital emergency rooms for help because they're not sure where else they can go.

Those hospitals will provide an evaluation and assess your primary need. After that, they will try to connect you to the right treatment that best addresses your needs. Many hospitals don’t admit patients solely for withdrawal symptoms or substance abuse treatments unless there is another medical problem present.

Most addiction disorders can be best treated with outpatient therapy or in an inpatient program, whether it is a rehab facility or a sober living center. Many of these programs use medications to help patients manage their physical dependence on opioids.

Medicines Used to Treat Opioid Addiction

Methadone is the most well-known treatment for opioid addictions. When administered properly, methadone helps to relieve withdrawal symptoms and address cravings. It is usually only part of treatment, which should also include counseling. Methadone is always provided in a clinic setting when it’s used to treat OUD.

Buprenorphine, more commonly known as Suboxone or Subutex, also relieves opioid cravings. It also prevents the euphoric feeling that opioids can give those who have formed a dependence on opiates. Buprenorphine is often prescribed by physicians from office settings. There are a few treatment options including a daily dose placed under the tongue, a once-a-month injection, and thin tubes that are inserted under the skin for six months.

Both of these medicines activate the opioid receptors in the body that repress cravings. They are both effective and similar in safety and side effects. These medications are typically used for maintenance treatment. Less commonly, they can both be used to taper a person off of opioids.
Patients suffering from opioid addiction are prone to relapsing, so physicians must try something different with patients who relapse multiple times. Patients who have good social support and are highly motivated tend to do better with these therapies.

Naltrexone for Opioid Use Disorder

Another medication that can be used to treat opioid addiction is Naltrexone. It’s a very different medicine and doesn’t turn the opioid receptor on. Naltrexone blocks the euphoric/sedative effects of opioids. This medication must be administered only after a patient’s system is completely free of all opioids. It can be taken as a monthly injection or orally.

Naloxone (Narcan) for an Opioid Overdose

Naloxone, (not to be confused with Naltrexone) can also be used in emergency situations when a respiratory arrest has occurred or is likely due to an opioid overdose. Naloxone flushes out receptors and can reverse the overdose but is not a form of addiction treatment.

Opioid Medication Safety

Make sure you take your medications as they are prescribed. Do not mix drugs. You're more likely to overdose if you combine an opioid with alcohol, benzodiazepines, or illicit drugs. Keep all of your medications in their original containers and store them safely out of the sight and reach of children. Properly dispose of unused prescription drugs. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have a medication disposal box, you can mix unused medications in cat litter or coffee grounds and throw them in the trash.

Loss of Tolerance After Opioid Medication Treatment

There is an increased risk of overdose when people who have stopped taking opioids relapse and start taking them again. Your body’s tolerance to opioids will be lower, so even a small amount can cause an overdose, especially now that fentanyl is increasingly mixed into illicit drugs. The risk of overdosing is even greater for people who relapse after participating in a detox program or an abstinence treatment program.

How to Encourage Someone to Seek Help

With all types of addiction, when people who are struggling decide they are ready to deal with their issues, they need to get help immediately. The best treatment happens when the person struggling with addiction actually wants to help themselves. Even though friends and family members may want to help someone with addiction issues, actually navigating that change can be a struggle.

How Successful Is Opioid Treatment?

The success of therapy for opioid addiction varies by patient and by the severity of the addiction. Patients who engage in medication-assisted treatment (MAT), using the types of drugs listed on this page are showing excellent success rates. Treatment outcomes can be influenced by co-morbidities or complications, such as mental health issues, or alcohol use. Studies have shown that there is a higher rate of addictive behaviors in patients diagnosed with depression or who use other substances such as alcohol.

Where substance abuse and mental health issues occur together, integrated treatment is needed. Relationships, including friends and family, as well as the environment can play an important role in recovery. It is possible that some patients will need to relapse and repeat therapy several times before experiencing success.

Where Can People Get Help for Opioid Use Disorder?

If someone is experiencing an overdose or a life-threatening emergency, you should call 911 and, if possible, administer Narcan. If you or a loved one with opioid addiction is not in immediate danger, there are several options for treatment. A rehab center is a good start to help with physical addiction and some skills for managing that addiction. Some people choose to undergo treatment on an outpatient basis.

If neither of those sound like a good option for you, perhaps a sober living home would be right for you. At By the Sea Recovery, we strive to give you a structured, supportive environment to help you maintain your sobriety while you continue your work or schooling.

Some Reasons to Choose By The Sea Recovery

  • Experienced Professionals
    By the Sea Recovery has live-in management to ensure our environment remains safe and secure for our residents. We all work a program of long-term recovery to promote an environment of positive reinforcement through action.
  • Premium Amenities
    From computer station to comfortable bedding and furniture, let an ambience of peace support the transition towards sobriety
  • Location
    With over 100’s of support groups a week, North County San Diego provides on of the country’s top recovery communities with opportunities ranging from entry level jobs and multiple Educational Institutions to Recreational and Leisure Activities
  • Credentialed
    Members of the Society for Addiction Recovery Residences,  the California Consortium of Addiction Professionals, and San Diego Society of Addiction Professionals, By The Sea Recovery goes beyond the standards of San Diego recovery home requirements to set a benchmark in sober living environments and quality of care.
  • Safety
    Supervised. Drug testing. Peer oriented and client centered. We made sure safety and cleanliness were a foundation for recovery to attend every client’s healing, journey and blossoming.
  • Shaped by our Clients
    Don’t take our word for it. Let our clients, family and loved ones communicate the impact of our recovery homes in their lives.

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Our Reviews
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June 23, 2021

I am the mother of a 32 year old man who has realized great success with his sobriety , living in a By The Sea Recovery house. The support system there has been remarkable. We are so grateful that our son knows he's not unique to this disease. And we know that upon his re-entry in to his community at large he'll have tools learned at By The Sea that are lasting. We are grateful beyond words for the support he has received while @ By The Sea. The management is outstanding. I cannot speak highly enough of this wonderful agency. Thank you By The Sea.

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September 24, 2020

My name is Eduardo and I had the opportunity to received the support and reside in By The Sea Recovery for 5 months. I have only words of gratitude and can’t speak highly enough of my experience in the house. I would be always grateful to Mark and Amy for the respect and endless support not only while in the house but through out my recovery. House is clean and very well kept by Delroy while treating you with respect and like an adult. Highly recommended

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October 24, 2019

I researched a number of sober living facilities in the area and found that "By The Sea Recovery" was absolutely the best. Mark Gladden is the owner and CEO of the facility and he runs a great program. He communicates very well and tells it like it is with no B.S. He is honest, fair and compassionate. He genuinely cares about the residents and does whatever he can to help ensure success. Debbie is the house manager and she is amazing. She runs a tight ship but also builds comarady among the residents. She knows when residents need privacy but also recognizes when someone is struggling and needs to talk. She is a great cook and her Chili Colorado is out of this world. I highly recommend "By The Sea Recovery" to anyone looking for a sober living facility.

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July 5, 2019

I own a Women's Sober Living Home next to Present Moments. One of my residents went there for out-patient and spoke very highly of their program. She would come home at night, excited about everything she learned. She said this was the first time she was able process her feelings in a group. She spoke very highly of the counselors their and was a changed women when she was finished. I appreciate the quality of treatment that Present Moment Recovery has to offer and will continue to refer my residents to them. From a friendly neighbor, Sober Living Today, LLC

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November 4, 2018

We highly recommend Mark and his facility. We have dealt with a number of different sober living facilities over the years. This one is by far the most professional and helpful.Mark answered a cold call from us when we were confused and desperate trying to help our son. Six months later he is transitioning to living on his own and we are thankful for Mark and the By the Sea community. Thank you!

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October 30, 2017

My brother, we’ll call him James to protect his anonymity, came here after attending their detox and inpatient program. He’s had tremendous success and currently has over six months of sobriety!! James has attended other treatment facilities and sober living homes and liked this one the best. I was able to visit him here and was very impressed by their organization and structure. Very friendly staff and a great living facility. We highly recommend! Thank You Recovery By The Sea

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December 31, 2016

Mark is a professional. His knowledge of addiction and rehabilitation as well as timely information on health insurance issues, sober living and recovery for both the addict and their family is invaluable. He is the expert one needs! Leslie Wilson Orinda, CA

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June 26, 2015

I came in to By the Sea Recovery on January 17th of 2015. I came in as a resident to a loving and inspiring environment. The love that I experienced when I walked through the doors are above and beyond just any sober living. This is not your average sober living. This is a family and band of brothers who help each other every day in every aspect of life that goes beyond just recovery. The culture of the home can't really be put into words other than love and respect. My family has been reunited and we share a beautiful relationship today. By the Sea is the cornerstone of my recovery and I am forever grateful for the experience I have had with the people I consider my family. If you are looking for an inspiring and aesthetic environment where lives are transformed and families reunited through love and integrity then By the Sea is the place for you or your loved one. God bless.

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May 1, 2013
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    • Less than 10 miles from the beach and a walking distance to community support groups
    • Tranquility through zero tolerance drug policy of 14 panel UA, CM confirmation and DOT-approved fuel cell breathalyzer drug-testing including synthetics
    • 90-day minimum stay leading to increased stability, overall house morale and harmony through honesty, gratitude, responsibility and respect
  • Structure & Organization
    • Work Placement Support
    • Live-in Certified Management
    • Recovery Coaching for Family
    • Meditation and other Mindfulness Practices
    • Daily 12-Step Meeting assistance
    • Weekly Step-Study and Community gathering
    • Weekly Organizational Development
  • Additional Services
    • Personal Trainer, Musical Expression, Yoga, QiGong, Art Expression
    • Recovery Coaching for Family
    • MAT Monitoring
    • Additional Monthly Fees Apply

    By The Sea Recovery is a sober living for persons with disabilities, specifically those recovering from alcohol and substance abuse, that functions as a family and does not provide care, treatment, individual or group counseling, case management, medication management, or treatment planning. It is an environment conducive to recovery ideal after detox, treatment or a phase in substance use disorder that does not require supervision.

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