Blog

opioid use disorder

Opioid Use Disorder Intervention and Recovery

In 2016, 11.5 million people self-reported having misused prescription opioids during the previous year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There were about 2.1 million Americans who met the criteria for an opioid use disorder (OUD) during the same year.

The exact number of people addicted to opioids is likely to be significantly higher. OUD is defined as a problematic pattern of opioid use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress.

Over the last two decades, millions of lives have been impacted by what has become known as the “American Opioid Epidemic.” Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a condition that is now part of the average American’s lexicon. What’s more, the term overdose death is something practically everyone is familiar with today.

While the number of overdose deaths declined by 4.1 percent from the previous year in 2018, the scourge of opioid addiction is far from over. Practically every American knows or is related to someone who has or is currently struggling with painkillers or heroin. Sadly, many families in all 50 states have lost a loved one to an opioid overdose death.

The CDC estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription painkiller misuse alone is $78.5 billion a year. That figure includes the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.

Opioid Use Disorders

Most of our readers are probably familiar that our public health crisis began in the doctor’s office. A mandate to adequately treat patient pain in conjunction with misinformation about the dangers of prescription opioids led to rampant overprescribing. More than half of heroin users alive today used prescription opioids first.

Opiates of any kind are highly addictive and carry a significant risk of overdose; some 130 Americans die of an overdose in the United States each day. Opioid addiction is tremendously difficult to overcome due to many factors. Once an OUD develops, one’s ability to stop is extremely challenging because of painful withdrawal symptoms.

It’s rare for men and women to make it past the acute withdrawal symptoms that occur within 24 hours of discontinued use without professional assistance for detoxification. Such symptoms can include dysphoric mood, nausea or vomiting, muscle aches, sweating, diarrhea, fever, and insomnia. Relapse often takes place within the first three days of stopping. However, medical detox centers ease an individual’s discomfort with a combination of medications.

If you are struggling with prescription opioids, heroin, or synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, your best chance of finding recovery is with professional help. Medical detox followed by residential or intensive outpatient treatment will significantly increase your ability to adopt a program of recovery.

Withdrawal symptoms are just one set of factors that stand in the way of recovery. It’s vital to get out of one’s natural environment so that you can heal without outside interference, such as people, places, and things that can trigger a relapse. What’s more, treatment centers are a safe haven where you will find yourself in the company of others who share your goal of lasting recovery.

Helping a Loved One Embrace Recovery

If someone that you care about is battling an opioid use disorder, then it’s likely that you are worried about their well-being. You know the risk of a potentially fatal overdose is high, and you would like to see them get help before the unthinkable occurs. Maybe you have discussed treatment with your loved one? Hopefully, your encouragement helped him or her make the life-saving decision to enter treatment.

It’s common for people living with an OUD or any form of substance use disorder to be resistant to the idea of rehab. Unfortunately, it’s exceedingly challenging to convince someone that they need help, even when that person knows that assistance is necessary. While some individuals will opt to go into treatment without argument, many others will choose to resist breaking the cycle of addiction.

Treatment is effective, and recovery is possible for anyone willing to accept help. If your pleas for a loved one to seek treatment haven’t been successful, then you’ll benefit from reaching out to a professional interventionist.

Highly trained interventionists have a skill set that enables them to help families in crisis. A guided intervention is the surest way of showing a loved one that their accepting treatment is the best course to take.

Professional Interventions Make a Difference

At Whitman Recovery Service, we have been helping families stage interventions for decades. Our founder, Rich Whitman, has organized more than 500 interventions across the country. Whitman Recovery Service has a 98 percent success rate, which means that there is an excellent chance that we can help your loved one too.

Please contact us today to learn more about what sets us apart from other professional interventionists. We’ll respond to you personally, answer any of your questions, and do our best to guide you in the right direction.



Whitman Recovery Service is a Telehealth provider for addiction and mental health guidance. Please call (210) 291-0278
close