How treatment can help

There’s good news - more and more people are getting help each day. People are discovering they don’t have to struggle with this medical condition alone because now there are more effective treatments available that have worked for others.

Why opioid dependence needs treatment

Although opioid dependence is a very personal experience, there are aspects of the condition people may need help managing. Why? The fact is, opioid dependence can reset the brain’s chemistry, so you think the drug is necessary for survival. When your brain tells you that you can’t live without a drug, it can lead you to behaviours that would not previously have been engaged in.

Effective treatments for opioid dependence address not only brain chemistry but also these behavioural changes. Treating opioid dependence is very similar to the treatment of other chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure in that it can involve medication-assisted treatment, counselling, in-patient treatment programs, and/or 12 step programs to help promote lifelong goals in managing this disease.

The primary goals of all treatments for opioid dependence are to help you:
  • Stop opioid misuse
  • Identify harmful behaviours and learn to follow new healthy ones
  • Get back to the people, places and things that are important to you

How treatment can make a difference:

  • A lifelong difference. Opioid dependence can have serious impact on every part of your life – from your daily routine to your closest relationships. Treatment can make a life-long difference to help manage your dependence by enabling you to suppress withdrawal symptoms, stop opioid use, and get back to the people and activities that are important to you in your life
  • Support. You don’t have to go it alone – with most medical conditions, seeking help is the natural next step to getting better after being diagnosed. For chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or asthma, there are aspects of the disease (physical and behavioural) that few people could conquer through willpower alone without a the guidance of a doctor’s or other healthcare professional. With a medical condition like opioid dependence, the need to satisfy cravings or avoid withdrawal symptoms can be so intense that even when people want to stop taking opioids, they find it difficult without help. That is why treatment is so important. And with it, opioid dependence can be managed.
  • Treatment designed just for you. As a real medical condition, opioid dependence has a high risk of relapse similar to other chronic diseases. Treatment and counselling can help manage this risk. Plus, because everyone is different, a treatment plan can be tailored to your individual needs to help with your individual goals.
  • You have options. The wide variety of treatment options available today means you can choose the one that best fits your life and needs. Some people overcoming opioid dependence find that private rehabilitation centres or medically supervised clinics can provide support they need, while others prefer the flexibility, discretion and confidentiality of treatment in the privacy of a doctor’s office similar to how other chronic medical conditions are treated. Depending on the individual’s needs, not having daily medical visits can help one maintain a more normal daily routine with less interruption – an option many people favour throughout treatment.