How Opioid Treatment Programs Work and What To Expect

Opioids are drugs that a doctor may prescribe for pain management. However, compulsive use of these drugs causes an opioid use disorder, where people cannot stop using even when they want to. According to statistics, over 800,000 people have died from drug overdoses.

In addition, the increasing rate of drug abuse has caused a decrease in US life expectancy. Although the cause of opioid use disorder is unknown, many people take the drugs unhealthily to prevent withdrawal symptoms or to achieve euphoria. Before you lose your loved one, you can get help from opioid treatment programs.

Opioid addiction affects a person’s brain and family significantly. It has specific symptoms and a progression pattern, and treatments are the best way to bring it under control. Opioid treatment programs work with patients by tailoring a treatment plan to their needs. Here’s how these programs work.

Checking In

Upon checking in, the program staff members conduct an intake interview to get more information about you. This information is vital because the team will use it to make your customized treatment plan. You will be required to answer questions about your lifestyle and substance abuse. You need to provide honest answers because the accuracy of the information helps the staff create the best treatment plan for your needs.


Treatment begins with detoxification to remove the drugs from your body. Although it is a vital process, its effects on the patient can be uncomfortable. However, the staff provides medications to ease the symptoms.

Individual Therapy

An effective treatment plan includes different therapies throughout recovery depending on the opioid treatment program you attend and your needs. For individual therapy, you work with a mental health expert in in-person sessions where you take an honest look at your life and the addiction’s effect on it. Speaking about it is a powerful way to begin healing. In your session, the expert will identify your triggers and teach you how to deal with them constructively. These sessions also include cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational therapy.

Family Counseling

Friends and family of the patient can greatly benefit from counseling sessions when their loved one is in an opioid treatment program. In addition, research shows it improves treatment outcomes, causing many facilities to offer it as part of the program. This provides a safe space to share their experiences and learn how they enabled the patient’s addiction. Working through these painful emotions promotes healing and enhances growth.

Group Therapy

In group sessions, patients share their challenges, progress, and experience at the opioid treatment program. Some centers offer focus groups that deal with a specific recovery phase like withdrawal and mental health. Others provide groups for different genders, cultural backgrounds, ages, and others. The sessions use techniques like psychoeducation, skill development, and motivational interviewing.


Opioid treatment programs work by encouraging you through each step. Some provide aftercare where you continue meeting with your counselor after completing the program. Although the program can make you feel scared or intimidated, it is a solution that can help you achieve lasting recovery. Meanwhile, there are also consultations available from online suboxone doctors near me for those people who feel embarrassed consulting physically with a doctor.

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