What We Are Doing in 2021 to Fight The Opioid Pandemic

Amid the global pandemic that we’re all facing, we cannot forget about the opioid pandemic that affects the most vulnerable among us. 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, but especially those who suffer from addiction. At Washburn House, we believe in our mission to make the next year better, to take up arms to tackle the effects of the opioid crisis in our home state of Massachusetts.

The Opioid Pandemic

Long before COVID-19, opioids have been a rising killer in the United States. The first wave of opioid deaths came in the 1990s when people began overdosing in larger numbers, thanks to an increase in prescribed opioids. Today, an estimated 130 people die every day from opioid use or abuse, and 40% of those deaths involve prescribed drugs.

To combat the epidemic, it’s helpful first to understand why opioids are so dangerous. Although classified as a Schedule II substance, opioids like morphine and oxycodone are completely legal and often prescribed to treat severe pain.

To aid in our understanding, we also need to increase our empathy for those who become addicted. Without warning, you or someone you love could find themselves in a situation where you need some relief from pain, with your doctor handing you a prescription for an opioid. This simple moment could change your life forever.

Opioids are incredibly addictive, even when you take them as prescribed. One out of every four people who are prescribed opioids ends up struggling with some form of addiction. Those odds are staggering, which is why we should treat all opioids with the utmost caution.

The Opioid Pandemic in Massachusetts

Although Massachusetts has one of the lowest opioid prescription rates in the country, it is still higher than you might think. Around 35% of people in Massachusetts received an opioid prescription in 2018. That’s more than one-third of the state! When you consider that 88% of all drug overdose deaths involved opioids, that number is incredibly concerning.

During the last ten years, fatalities from opioids in Massachusetts alone have more than tripled, with the highest number of deaths happening in Middlesex, Essex, and Worcester counties.

As you can see, opioids are a crisis in the nation as a whole, and the pandemic has not spared our home state. This year, during the COVID-19 pandemic, opioid deaths have continued to increase. It’s no surprise that the pandemic’s stress and the lack of available resources for coping have caused more people to turn to opioids and other substances to self-medicate.

Am I Addicted to Opioids?

It’s not always easy to tell if the opioids you are taking have become an addiction. Many people with opioid addictions live normal lives. However, there are ways to know if you have an opioid addiction based on your behavior and physical symptoms.

The first question to ask yourself is what the purpose or function of the drug is for you. Is it relief from pain? To help you fall asleep? Do you still need it? How does it affect your ability to participate in life? Another key tell about whether your opioid use is a problem is if you are not taking the opioid as prescribed.

If not, you are probably misusing the drug and are at risk of being pulled into an addictive pattern. Of course, if the drug was not prescribed for   you to begin with, then you’re much more likely to be involved in addictive behavior.

“A common symptom of addiction to opioids is depression.”

Still, as discussed above, even if you are using the drug as prescribed, you may become addicted. A common symptom of addiction to opioids is depression. When you develop a tolerance for opioids, your brain is less capable of producing endorphins to keep you at your normal level of happiness. To return to your normal happiness level, you have to rely on opioids. When not under the effects of the drug, the onset of depression is almost inevitable.

Changes in your sleeping pattern are also signs of potential addictive patterns, whether you are sleeping too little or too much. Feelings of irritability, poor decision-making, and intensified mood disorders like anxiety also correlate with addiction.

If you feel off and you suspect your opioid use might be to blame, it’s important to check with a professional to make sure you’re using the drug safely.

Opioid Pandemic Treatment at Washburn House

To root out your addictive patterns and reach a full recovery, you need a personalized and individualized treatment. Washburn House in Worcester, MA, provides you with flexible options for opioid addiction treatment that matches your needs. Our addiction specialists will work with you to devise a plan to help you reach lasting recovery.

Before you learn more about our programs, know that you will have an opportunity to speak with one of our admissions counselors about which program off our menu of treatments is right for you.

Medically Monitored Detox for Opioid Addiction
Addiction treatment, most of the time, begins with a form of detox. Especially in the case of opioid addiction, you need an opportunity to rid your body of the remnants of the drug safely. Our medically monitored detox program works just like that: our professional addiction recovery specialists monitor you throughout your detox process while ensuring you are physically and mentally healing from drug use.

This process, if done without supervision, can be dangerous and, in some cases, lethal. You are likely to experience fever, nausea, and diarrhea. It’s critical that when your addiction has reached a certain level of intensity that you are monitored throughout the detoxification process to make sure you remain safe and as comfortable as possible.

There are drugs made specifically to help with the withdrawal symptoms you will feel during detox. Our addiction specialists can help administer these drugs, like methadone, to alleviate some of the discomforts and accelerate your recovery.

Inpatient Rehab Center
At Washburn House, our Inpatient Rehab Center is the most effective method to treat your opioid addiction. With 24-hour supervision and care, you’ll enjoy specialized attention for any need you may have during your recovery process. Right after detox or at the beginning of their recovery journey, people tend to be in very delicate places, mentally and physically. For this reason, making sure you are being taken care of day and night is one of the best ways to ensure you build a solid foundation for a successful recovery.

Our Inpatient Rehab Center is highly structured, meaning our addiction specialists will organize your daily schedule. Here, you will participate in individual and group therapy, along with other therapeutic activities like yoga, painting or journaling. Along with all the activities we offer, our rehab center also comes with high-quality amenities like our 3D theater and a common area game room.

Day Treatment
Our Day Treatment is our version of a partial hospitalization program (PHP). In this program, you will still live at home but will commute to our rehab center during the day to receive treatment. This program will give you the resources and tools you’ll need for a successful recovery and allow you to spend much needed time in a sober living environment.

Day Treatment is perfect for those who do not feel they need 24-hour supervision, but they still want to benefit from consistent therapeutic care from our addiction specialists. If you select this program, you will also participate in individual and group therapy, and you’ll have access to medical resources that can help provide you with medication to assist your recovery.

Intensive Outpatient Rehab Center
Our Intensive Outpatient (IOP) Rehab Center is the perfect middle ground between our Day Treatment or Inpatient program and traditional outpatient care. IOP is only three hours a day for about three days a week, so you’ll still spend about nine hours in a sober living rehab center, but you’ll spend most of your waking life at home, work or school. This program is perfect for those who do not need our other programs’ but would still like some assistance as they are recovering.

In our Intensive Outpatient Program, you will participate in individual and group counseling. You’ll have an addiction specialist who creates a personalized treatment for you, and the most crucial element is to focus on the skills you’ll need during the rest of your life. We help teach coping and interpersonal skills and budgeting, finance and finding healthy hobbies. Our goal is to set you on the right path for a long-lasting life without opioids.

Because every addiction is different, we focus on making every treatment as personalized as possible. If you think you need help with your addiction, our addiction specialists can help you decide which one of our programs is best for you. And if you’d like to learn more about how our clients feel, please take a look at our testimonials.

Contact us today at 855.298.3104 to set yourself up for success and get started on the path to recovery.

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