Opiate Treatment Programs

As addictions to prescription painkillers and now heroin grow, the importance of a scientifically based treatment program has never been greater. Opiate addictions require a broad based approach – such as the treatments offered at The Canyon – treating a person’s mental symptoms along with physical symptoms. Getting the best care early on means gaining skills that lessen the severity of symptoms and increase the chances of long-term sobriety.[1]

A national focus on curbing the opiate addiction epidemic over the past few years shines a bright light on treatment options that produce results. Unfortunately, America’s addiction treatments are fractured with less than 20% of facilities offering the gold standard in addiction treatment available at The Canyon. The Canyon’s integrated treatment plans ensure all of a patient’s symptoms are addressed, everything from detox to anxiety symptoms to aftercare needs.[2]

Giving people the tools they need to get better is crucial because millions of Americans suffer with opiate addictions. This drug class includes both street drugs and prescription medications.Everything from heroin to back pain medications, such as Dilaudid, Percocet, Oxycontin and Vicodin is an opiate. These substances are highly addictive, because of the way they interact with the brain’s pleasure and reward receptors. Once a person’s brain is flooded with a certain amount of opiates, she will exhibit compulsive drug-seeking behavior and have uncontrollable urges to seek out and take more opiates.[3]

How to Know if You Need a Treatment Program

Some people live in denial about the severity of an addiction while others are unsure if their symptoms require treatment.

When a person takes a painkiller with a prescription or feels his drug use is purely recreational, he may wonder how to decipher the difference between use and addiction. Addiction signs that begin slowly create subtle changes, and it’s often difficult to admit there’s a problem. One important way to determine if opiate use is a problem is to look for withdrawal symptoms. Someone who feels physically ill after missing a dose of medication, taking a smaller dose or taking a late dose experiences signs of withdrawal.

Other clues that it’s time for addiction treatment, include the following:

  • Chronic lateness at work or school
  • An inability to focus on anything except the next dose of opiates
  • Relationships problems
  • Episodes of blacking out
  • Concerns about possible addiction from family and friends

Any combination of the above symptoms signals it’s time to seek help. At The Canyon, admissions coordinators help patients with the transition to rehab from the time of the first phone call.

What Happens During Opiate Treatment?

Opiate addiction treatment begins with detoxification. The detox process gives a patient the chance to taper off the drug and gradually manage withdrawal symptoms. Once detox is complete, it’s time to address the underlying reasons behind addiction through psychological counseling. Since addiction is a brain disease with behavioral components, it’s necessary to use talk therapy as a way to rewire the brain and balance neurochemicals by teaching patients new behaviors. Living in recovery is the ongoing process of making anti-drug behaviors a habit and avoiding relapse.[4]

Therapeutic treatments are individualized to treat a patient’s specific needs.

To get the most out of psychological treatments, a patient sets treatment goals with the help of a therapist. Attending therapy sessions helps a person achieve those goals.3 During individual therapy, patients discuss personal issues that affect their lives. Often, these issues are underlying causes of addiction. Therapists then work with patients to show them methods to deal with stress, teach them general problem solving skills and show them ways to avoid drug abuse.In group therapy, a therapist leads patients through open discussions and allows patients to learn from shared experiences and understand how to apply what they learn to their lives.[5]

The Canyon

At The Canyon, staff members provide a diversified treatment program that is holistic in nature, addressing the various areas of mental health and consciousness harmed by opiate addiction. Each of our treatment services addresses either the physical, emotional or spiritual side of addiction. The process of treating all of a person’s symptoms at the same time, through integrated treatment plans, allows The Canyon staff to offer the best addiction treatment available. If you or a loved one is struggling with opiate abuse or addiction, call our toll-free help line today for more information.


[1] Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Substance Use Disorders. Retrieved Nov. 6, 2016 fro http://www.samhsa.gov/disorders/substance-use.

[2] McGovern, M.P., Lambert-Harris, C., Gotham, H.J. et al. (2014). Dual Diagnosis Capability in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Services: An Assessment of Programs Across Multiple State Systems. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. Retrieved Nov. 3, 2016 from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10488-012-0449-1.

[3] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse. Presentation to Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control. Retrieved Nov. 6, 2016 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2018/americas-addiction-to-opioids-heroin-prescription-drug-abuse.

[4] McNicholas, Laura, et. al. (2004). Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Buprenorphine in the Treatment of Opioid Addiction. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 40. Retrieved Nov. 6, 2016 from http://buprenorphine.samhsa.gov/Bup_Guidelines.pdf.

[5] Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Treatments for Substance Use Disorders. Retrieved Nov. 6, 2016 from http://www.samhsa.gov/treatment/substance-use-disorders.

Top