When you’re dealing with a medical disorder like opioid dependence – a challenging condition that can happen to anyone – you don’t have to struggle alone. Help is available. That’s why we’re here; to help you turn things around when you may not be sure where to turn next for help. At TurnToHelp.co.za you’ll find information and support about how treatment can help you overcome opioid dependence and why it’s so important.
There is help.
Many people have faced opioid dependence. They have been treated and are continuing to manage this chronic medical condition. It’s important to know that they started where you are now – learning how treatment could help and by answering a few simple questions using the Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST). The DAST is a screening tool used by many physicians to help recognize if you have any of the signs and symptoms of opioid dependence. With the results of your DAST you can begin a conversation with your doctor and together, decide on your next steps.
To help you find a doctor in your area who understands how to treat opioid dependence in a private setting, you can use this locator.
The South African Addiction Medicine Society also provides information at saams.co.za.
If you are a South African healthcare professional, follow this link to learn more about the South African Addiction Medicine Society.
If you do not find a doctor in this list close to where you live, please visit your regular healthcare professional to discuss your options or concerns.
FIND A DOCTOR
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 – or addiction to prescription or over-the-counter opioid painkillers 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 people to engage in behaviors that they would not previously do.
Effective treatments for opioid dependence address not only brain chemistry but also these behavioral changes. Very similar to the treatment of other chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure, treating opioid dependence can involve medication-assisted treatment, counseling, and in-patient treatment programs in specialized clinics or hospitals 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 behaviors and learn to apply 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 a 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 behavioral) that few people could conquer through willpower alone without a doctor’s or other healthcare professional's guidance. 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’s 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 counseling 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 rehab centers or medically supervised clinics provide the support they need, while others prefer the flexibility, privacy, 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 to attend daily visits can help one maintain a more normal daily routine with less interruption – an option many people favor throughout treatment.
FAQS: How Treatment Can Help
- What can make a personal treatment program or plan more successful?
- Can medications help treat my prescription or over-the-counter opioid painkiller addiction?
- Are medication-assisted treatment options available for opioid dependence?