According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, nearly 50,000 people die from opioid overdose each year, and more than 10 million people are currently misusing opioids. As the opioid crisis continues to grow, so does the need for treating opioid dependence.
What Is Opioid Addiction vs. Opioid Dependence?
For the person struggling with an opioid use disorder, the differences between being addicted and being dependent may not seem that important. However, people can become dependent on a substance without becoming addicted.
Addiction is classified as a brain disease and is a diagnosable medical condition. It’s believed to be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, brain circuitry, and life experiences. It may describe the compulsive use of substances. This is especially true when that substance use is causing negative consequences in a person’s life.
Drug dependence refers to being physically reliant on a substance. This can happen when a person uses a prescribed or illicit substance for an extended time or when they abuse that substance. A drug-dependent person experiences withdrawal symptoms when they go too long between doses.
Opioid addiction and dependence are two conditions that frequently happen at the same time and are best treated together. However, different approaches are needed to successfully treat each condition.
Addiction treatments typically focus on changing behavioral patterns. Treatment for opioid dependence, however, focuses on the medical management of withdrawal symptoms.
Why Is Treating Opioid Dependence Important?
Opioid use disorder (OUD) is affecting millions of adults and teens in the United States. OUD treatment saves lives and gives families an opportunity to reunite and heal. Treatment allows millions of parents to escape the tragedy of burying their children and millions of children the security of growing up with healthy parents.
The goal of opioid treatment is to help people become or return to being productive, contributing members of society. That goal benefits everyone.
Research conducted by the White House Council of Economic Advisors concluded that in 2018 alone, the opioid epidemic cost the U.S. $696 billion. These costs represent:
- Taxpayer-funded services
- Lost earning potential
- Healthcare costs
- Criminal justice costs
- Child and family assistance
Loss of life is the most important cost that we relate to the opioid epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an estimated 110,236 people died from opioid overdose in 2022. Treating opioid dependence and opioid addiction will save lives and reduce the economic impact of this crisis.
Treating Opioid Dependence: What Are the Options?
Outpatient treatment programs that provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) address both physical dependence and addictive behavior. MAT uses medications that reduce the physical cravings for opioids and help ease withdrawal symptoms while clients are detoxing.
MAT makes it easier for clients to focus on other therapies that will help them explore their histories and learn valuable coping skills. Individual and group therapy can help clients change the negative patterns of thinking and behaving that helped lead to opioid abuse and dependence.
Outpatient programs allow clients the flexibility to receive the therapies they need. It also allows them to return home at the end of the day. An outpatient program may be a step-down or transitional option for someone who has recently completed a residential treatment program or can be used as a stand-alone program.
Insight Recovery Centers Offers Outpatient Services for Opioid Dependence
The outpatient opioid addiction treatment program at Insight Recovery Centers provides clients with the medications and psychological services they need to heal from opioid dependence. Call Insight Recovery Centers today at 828.826.1376 if you or a loved one could benefit from the support of our treatment program.