Opioid Treatment in Delray Beach, Florida: Get Help Today
Opioid addiction treatment needs to be accessible and individualized to be most effective. There are currently many evidence-based approaches to recovery, starting with Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). Rehabilitation and aftercare planning are also vital.
What Is Opioid Addiction? How Can You Access Treatment?
The opioid abuse and overdose epidemic in the United States began in the 1990s with a loosening of restrictions around prescription opioids. Between 1999 and 2019, there have been about 500,000 deaths associated with an overdose involving an opioid drug, both prescription painkillers and illicit narcotics.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes three waves of this epidemic. In the first wave, many people became addicted to prescription opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone. During the second wave, many of those people who were no longer able to acquire prescription drugs turned to illegal drugs like heroin. Currently, in the third wave, potent, inexpensive, and illicit drugs like fentanyl are sold as counterfeit prescription drugs or heroin, often leading to a rapid overdose death.
As of 2021, as many as 136 people in the US die every day from an overdose of narcotics.
Providing accessible, evidence-based treatment for those overcoming opioid addiction is the most important way of ending this epidemic. Medical professionals now understand that a combination of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), rehabilitation focused on therapy, and a strong aftercare plan is the most scientific approach to ending an addiction to opioid drugs.
Evidence-Based Approaches to Opioid Addiction Treatment
Access to prescription opioids is important for millions of Americans. The CDC reported that 11 percent of adults in the US experience chronic pain daily, and opioid medications are the best way to manage this condition for many.
Doctors are honing their approach to prescribing opioid medications for those with serious injuries like back problems and those with chronic pain, to better monitor their patients for signs of potential addiction. In 2016, 11.5 million people reported some misuse of prescription opioids, which includes taking more than prescribed, taking drugs not prescribed to them, or being unable to stop taking them even though the person does not need or want to take the opioid anymore.
Since opioid drugs like heroin, methadone, morphine, and others have caused waves of addiction for more than a century, medical professionals have provided a range of approaches to treatment. Thanks to scientific study, they now understand the best ways to support each individual in overcoming their struggle with opioid drugs.
Here is an overview of the process and options available during each step:
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
While some people with milder opioid dependence may be able to go through traditional detox, managing withdrawal symptoms without specific medications but with medical supervision, researchers have found that replacement drugs and a doctor-managed tapering regimen works best for most people seeking to end their physical dependence on narcotics. MAT decreases opioid use, reduces the risk of relapse, and also lessens co-occurring social problems like disease transmission and criminal activity. Those receiving MAT are more likely to stay in rehabilitation programs and associated therapy for the full length of treatment. MAT even improves outcomes for pregnant women overcoming opioid addiction and their babies.These medications are used in opioid MAT:
- Buprenorphine: This is one of the most important and successful medications used to taper the body off opioid dependence. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, meaning it binds to the opioid receptors in the brain and stays there for a long time, but does not lead to a feeling of euphoria. Using this medication can reduce cravings, so the person feels normal and better able to focus on reducing compulsive behaviors, attending therapy and other recovery activities, and even maintaining a job or family obligations.Many physicians and general practitioners are certified to prescribe and monitor buprenorphine, so MAT can be safely used as part of an outpatient opioid treatment program. This increases access to treatment for millions of people in both cities and rural areas around the US.Medications containing buprenorphine include Suboxone and Subutex, which are combinations of this partial agonist and naloxone, a drug that temporarily stops opioid overdose.
- Methadone: This full opioid agonist has a long half-life, so it remains active in the body for nearly a full day. Methadone has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but it is given in specific clinical settings where each dose is monitored by medical professionals. When methadone consumption is monitored by a doctor who helps slowly taper the dose, it is a safe and effective medication. It is especially important for people who have abused potent, high-dose opioids for a long time, and may have developed a high tolerance and dependence on the substances.Methadone tapering can take months or years. This approach to MAT helps those who have struggled with opioids for a long time reduce their cravings and compulsive behaviors, so they can focus on therapy and other treatments.
- Naltrexone: This prescription medication has been approved by the FDA for both alcohol and opioid use disorders. This medication is typically used as a maintenance medication after detox from opioids. Guidance recommends waiting at least seven days into opioid abstinence before beginning this prescription, so it is not compatible with buprenorphine or methadone treatment. Naltrexone reduces cravings for substances like opioids while also reducing the physical effects like euphoria in the event of a relapse. When someone completes tapering using buprenorphine or methadone, taking naltrexone can help to maintain the benefits of this process as the person continues recovery with therapy and support groups.
- Rehabilitation: Tapering with medications is a very important component of opioid treatment because these medications allow the person to focus on therapy provided through a rehabilitation program. There are several types of inpatient and outpatient programs, ranging from standard support groups and intensive outpatient care to residential programs and intensive inpatient treatment. NIDA recognizes that treatment must be individualized to be most effective, so a range of options for behavioral treatment is just as important as access to medication. Support groups that use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are the basis of all rehabilitation programs, but many now offer individual and family therapies, occupational and physical therapy, job retraining, nutritional therapy, and complementary therapies like yoga, meditation and mindfulness, and art therapy.Regardless of the combination of treatments used, it is important to remain in a recovery program for at least 90 days, or three months. Once the main program is completed, maintaining an aftercare plan or transitioning to a lower level of treatment offers ongoing social support to sustain new behaviors.
- Aftercare and Ongoing Recovery: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) notes that aftercare planning must begin on admission to a treatment program. An aftercare plan is tailored to each individual and can be adjusted as they move through the rehabilitation and MAT process. Aftercare plans may include a list of needed medications, like naltrexone; management of co-occurring disorders like mental illnesses and their associated therapies; support groups and a schedule for attendance; help finding employment or education; and even exercise routines, meal planning, and new hobbies or social events to support ongoing sobriety.
Opioid Treatment in Delray Beach, Florida
Boca Recovery Center in Delray Beach provides a wide range of services to support the full recovery process. This includes the following:
- Medical detox, including MAT
- Outpatient programs, including support groups
- Intensive outpatient programs with qualified therapists
- Partial hospitalization to regain physical equilibrium and begin intensive therapy
- Evidence-based approaches to therapy, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Trauma-informed therapies that take co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders into consideration
- Family therapy to heal relationships
- Residential treatment, including housing and social activities
- Transition into sober living homes associated with Boca Recovery Center
With so many options provided by one center, your care can be personalized to you and continuous, with no interruptions between different stages. Interruptions in treatment can reduce motivation to stay in a recovery program and increase the risk of relapse.
When entering a program like Boca Recovery Center, you can trust that your needs will be consistently evaluated and your recovery journey will be supported.
Getting Opioid Addiction Treatment in Delray Beach
Opioid abuse and addiction is a serious problem all over the United States, including in Florida. Data from the Sunshine State found that between 2014 and 2016, the number of undetermined drug overdose deaths more than doubled, and the number of opioid overdoses tripled.
This is largely associated with an increase in heroin addiction and the addition of fentanyl, a cheap and potent opioid, to other illicit opioids. This problem began after Florida solved one of its previous opioid addiction problems: pill mills, or medical practices that specialized in prescribing opioids and other addictive prescription medications, specifically to make money.
Opioid Use in Delray Beach
In Palm Beach County, home to Delray Beach, there were 330 deaths per 100,000 people in 2018, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That is among the highest rates of overdose deaths in the state of Florida and across the US.
Many of these deaths are due to fentanyl and its analogues entering the illicit opioid supply, according to Palm Beach County authorities. Prior to 2016, there were no reports of fentanyl or similar highly potent opioids in heroin or fake prescription painkillers.
The Palm Beach County Medical Society (PBCMS) reported that between 2012 and 2016, there were 932 fatal drug overdoses in which opioids were present, representing an increase of 509 percent over a 5-year period. In that same time, the rate of overdose deaths caused by opioids increased from 143 to 569, an increase of 298 percent. Palm Beach County accounted for 21 percent of Florida’s heroin deaths in 2015.
Unfortunately, many people in the Delray Beach area who need opioid treatment do not receive it. Palm Beach County has recognized that this is partially due to lack of access to services, as well as lack of knowledge about services. They are striving to improve in both these areas.
In the 2015–2016 calendar year, Palm Beach County expected 24,000 uninsured individuals to receive more intensive opioid addiction treatment, including residential detox and rehabilitation services, but only seven percent of those individuals actually received these services.
To provide better and more accessible services to those who need opioid addiction treatment in Delray Beach and Palm Beach County cities, the healthcare district has worked since 2017 to expand services. For example, a pilot program that began with only 30 participants now services more than 600 people with outpatient Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). The program also offers psychiatric assessment to help those with co-occurring disorders, addiction-focused counseling services for both individuals and groups, infectious disease treatment, and medical services like primary and dental care.
There is also a new approach to supporting people who have overdosed on opioids. Although fatal overdoses are tragic, non-fatal opioid overdoses can also cause serious, lasting harm.
A pilot program has created an Addiction Stabilization Unit (ASU), which allows people who have overdosed on opioids to avoid intensive care units but still receive vital medical treatment for their physical health. The ASU will then help the person find MAT once they have recovered. Rather than giving the individual information during their discharge, ASUs focus on making sure the person has a treatment plan and will follow through with it, so they can overcome their addiction to opioids.
- Understanding the Epidemic. (March 2021). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Treat Opioid Use Disorder. (November 2020). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- About CDC’s Opioid Prescribing Guideline. (February 2021). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). (January 2021). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
- Effective Treatments for Opioid Addiction. (November 2016). National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
- Buprenorphine. (May 2021). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
- Methadone. (June 2021). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
- Naltrexone. (September 2020). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
- Principles of Effective Treatment. (January 2018). National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
- Federal Guidelines for Opioid Treatment Programs. (January 2015). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
- Florida Drug Overdose Surveillance and Epidemiology (FL-DOSE). Florida Health.
- Statewide Drug Policy Advisory Council 2016 Annual Report. (December 2016). Florida Health.
- Palm Beach County Opioid Death Statistics. LiveStories.com.
- Opioid Crisis: Palm Beach County’s Response. (February 2017). Palm Beach County Medical Society.
- Health Care District of Palm Beach County’s Response to the Opioid Crisis in Palm Beach County. (February 2020). Health Care District Palm Beach County (HCDPBC).