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What to Expect During Opioid Rehab in South Carolina

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

Medical Reviewer

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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Opioid addiction has become an epidemic in the United States.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, “In 2019, an estimated 10.1 million people aged 12 or older misused opioids in the past year.”[1] Additionally, the CDC reported that the synthetic opioid overdose rate rose from 57,834 in 2020 to 71,238 in 2021.[2]

Because of the continuous increase in opioid addiction and opioid-related deaths, the need for addiction treatment awareness is more important than ever. Many individuals avoid attending opioid rehab due to a fear of the unknown. According to research, “5.2 million young adults or 1 in 7 aged 18-25 needed substance abuse treatment, only 1.6% or 547,000 received treatment.”[1]

The best way to motivate someone to attend professional treatment for opioid use disorder is to make them aware of what to expect during these recovery programs.

Medical Detox

The first step in an opioid rehab program in South Carolina is medical detox. When someone is addicted to opioids, they will experience symptoms of withdrawal once they stop using the drug or cut down on their use. Oftentimes, individuals who attempt to detox without the help of a professional program end up relapsing to soothe their symptoms of withdrawal.

The symptoms of opioid withdrawal include:

  • Cravings for opioids
  • Anxiety or restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Excessive sweating (diaphoresis)
  • Tachycardia

During medical detox, patients will be provided with medications to soothe their symptoms of withdrawal and prevent cravings from occurring. These medications may include:[3]

  • Clonidine
  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone
  • Codeine phosphate

Opioid detox typically lasts anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks. Patients with severe cases of opiate use disorder typically spend 2 weeks in detox, while mild cases of addiction take less time to medically stabilize.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Once someone completes medical detox, they will move on to the next stages of recovery. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a highly favored form of opioid addiction treatment in South Carolina.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, medication-assisted treatment provides the following benefits:[4]

  • Improved patient survival rates
  • Increased retention in treatment
  • Decreased illicit opioid use and other criminal activity associated with substance misuse
  • Increased patient ability to gain and maintain employment
  • Improved birth outcomes for pregnant individuals with opioid use disorders

During MAT for opioid addiction, individuals will be provided with maintenance medications like buprenorphine and methadone to prevent them from experiencing cravings. Additionally, some medications like Vivitrol or naltrexone can cause opioids to become non-effective when used, preventing patients from relapsing.

While many people believe that medication-assisted treatment is just substituting one drug for another, the medications provided to patients do not produce a psychoactive effect. The only purpose of these drugs is to ensure that patients can adjust to sobriety while preventing them from experiencing an unnecessary relapse.

Additionally, MAT services are only used in conjunction with other evidence-based addiction treatment approaches like behavioral therapy, group counseling, and relapse prevention planning.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is a vital aspect of opioid addiction recovery. Because addiction is considered a mental health condition, it requires extensive behavioral intervention, learning new methods of coping, and recovering from past traumas that may have led to the development of opioid use disorder.

The common forms of individual therapy used during an opioid rehab program in South Carolina include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Contingency management (CM)
  • Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT)
  • Motivational interviewing (MI)
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Matrix model
  • Person-centered therapy

Group Counseling

Group counseling includes the participation of multiple patients in a therapy session facilitated by a mental health professional. This allows patients to receive emotional support, gain new insight into healthy coping mechanisms, and create mutually beneficial interpersonal relationships.

Most counseling groups in opioid treatment facilities are specifically created to address certain issues that each group member struggles with. For example, trauma recovery counseling groups are extremely common in addiction treatment, as many recovering addicts have an extensive history of trauma.

Additional types of group counseling meetings in substance abuse recovery programs include:

  • Family therapy
  • 12-step facilitation
  • Trauma-informed care groups
  • Gender-specific counseling groups
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) groups
  • Spiritual counseling groups
  • Meditation and mindfulness counseling

Relapse Prevention Planning

Relapse prevention planning is arguably one of the most important aspects of opioid addiction treatment. This includes the patient and their therapists consulting with one another to create a plan that will help them maintain long-term sobriety after leaving the facility.

Relapse prevention plans typically include a combination of the following:

  • List of triggers for drug abuse
  • List of coping mechanisms to utilize in times of need
  • Sober support friends to call when times get rough
  • Continued attendance of individual and group counseling
  • Medication management for MAT or co-occurring disorders
  • Attendance of alumni support groups
  • Attendance of a sober living program or halfway home
  • Plans to attend weekly recovery support meetings like AA or NA

Utilizing the tools included in a patient’s relapse prevention plan will allow them to successfully maintain long-term sobriety while improving their overall quality of life.

Get Connected With a Top-Rated Opioid Rehab in South Carolina

If you or a loved one suffer from opioid addiction, you are not alone. Opioid use disorder is one of the most common types of substance use disorders in America. While this is unfortunate, it also means that addiction treatment centers have extensive experience in helping people recover from opioid abuse.

If you or a loved one would like to stop using opioids and regain control of your life, contact South Carolina Addiction Treatment Center today.