Opioid addiction can negatively affect nearly every aspect of a person’s life. It can affect their relationships, their physical health, and especially their mental health. Overcoming an addiction, especially an opioid addiction, requires a person to treat each of these areas. One of the best ways to treat one’s mental health is through individual therapy. Individual therapy offers those living with an opioid addiction several significant benefits.
Opioids: A Drug in Many Forms
Opioids are a classification of drugs derived from opium. Within this group are drugs like heroin, synthetic opioids like fentanyl, and prescription pain relievers like codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and others. Although every form of opioid is addictive, they are often prescribed by doctors and used in a variety of medical settings for pain relief. However, opioids can also cause a sense of euphoria in the user, which contributes highly to their addictive potential.
How Opioids and an Opioid Addiction Affect a Person
The primary effect of ingesting opioids is the blocking of pain and the increase of pleasure. When ingested, opioids travel throughout the brain and body. In doing so, they block the reception of pain signals and increase the release of dopamine, which creates the euphoric effect. Aside from this, opioids can also cause drowsiness, confusion, nausea, constipation, and slowed breathing when consumed.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, repeatedly ingesting opioids can not only create dependence but also tolerance. This means opioids will be less effective over time. To try and make them more effective, users will often consume greater doses. Unfortunately, this often leads to overdoses, which are sadly common amongst those living with opioid addiction.
What to Expect in Individual Therapy
Therapy is one of the best methods to address the mental aspect of addiction. Although therapy can take several forms, the use of individual therapy is especially effective for treating opioid addiction. In individual therapy, a person with an opioid addiction meets with a counselor or therapist who specializes in treating individuals with an addiction. During their sessions, the two explore the patient’s mental health and any underlying trauma or issues that may have contributed to their addiction. In doing so, the patient can identify, confront, and overcome any mental and emotional issues that could lead to an opioid relapse.
Benefits of Individual Therapy for Opioid Addiction
Individual therapy offers those with an opioid addiction several benefits, including:
1. Privacy and Confidentiality
Although group therapy is often effective for those recovering from addictions, some can find it intimidating — at least at first. Individual therapy offers those with opioid addiction the opportunity to discuss their addiction and other mental and emotional issues without the pressure of communicating with a room full of people. Individual therapy is private and confidential (to a certain extent), which can make it easier to discuss personal topics.
2. Identifying Triggers
One of the most crucial aspects of overcoming opioid addiction and avoiding relapse is to identify one’s triggers. For many, an addiction takes control of their life and bleeds into their relationships, experiences, places, and potentially people. For example, if a person typically ingests opioids while partying with their friends, the act of partying with those friends can and often trigger a desire to use opioids. However, not all triggers are easily identifiable. By working with an addiction therapist in individual therapy sessions, the specialist and patient can identify more subtle triggers and then create coping strategies to address them.
3. Someone to Talk to
Sadly, opioid addictions can be isolating. Because the drug essentially becomes the center of a person’s life, their relationships can be negatively impacted. Individual therapy offers a person who has become isolated by an opioid addiction the chance to talk to someone. Whether they discuss the addiction or not, the act of communicating with someone and feeling heard can in itself have a tremendously positive effect on a person’s mental health.
Looking for Individual Therapy for an Addiction Near You?
Opioid addiction can be difficult to recover from. However, lifelong recovery and sobriety are possible through treatment, specifically individual therapy. This type of therapy offers those with opioid addiction the opportunity to more comfortably speak about personal issues with someone privately, identify triggers for drug use, and ultimately give them someone to talk to.
For more information on individual therapy in treating opioid addiction, contact us at Knoxville Recovery Center today! Our team of addiction specialists can answer any questions and offer you a variety of treatment plans and strategies, including individual therapy, to help you be or become the best you that you can be.