What is Opiate Addiction?

Opiates are a highly addictive substance derived from poppy plants – the same plants that produce opium. Opium itself is used in various narcotic prescription medications, and is also the primary ingredient in Heroin. Opiates are narcotic substances which should only be taken under the supervision of a medical professional. Alternative means of using or obtaining opiates – like purchasing them on the street – is highly illegal and very dangerous, contributing to opiate addiction.

All opiates travel directly to the brain’s opioid receptors and radically alter one’s perception of pain, which also facilitates the acute euphoria, or “high”, that causes overwhelming cravings in opiate addicts.

Opiates affect, primarily, three areas of the nervous system and brain:

  1. The limbic system, which controls our emotions.
  2. The brain stem, which controls functions like breathing.
  3. The spinal cord, which transmits sensations throughout the human body.

Consuming opiates in larger doses than those prescribed by a medical doctor, or obtaining and administering opiates illegally, creates physical dependence and significant distress in people’s social lives, jobs and relationships.

Opiate Withdrawal

As soon as opiates are removed from the body, the neurological systems in the brain respond immediately. Within a few short hours, the brain begins to overproduce endorphins, precipitating physical withdrawal. Opiate withdrawal symptoms - or major physical symptoms, at least - begin two to three days following an individual’s last use, and may continue for weeks.

The severity of opiate withdrawal symptoms varies depending on each individual’s frequency and duration of opiate use. Many addicts experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS), and psychological withdrawal with symptoms of physical sickness for up to 6 months after the conclusion of initial physical detoxification and withdrawal.

Physical Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms

Joint, muscle & bone pain




Restless Leg Syndrome




Distorted Thinking



Opiate detox symptoms are best managed by coordinated dispensation of specific drugs aimed at minimizing the physical sensations of opiate withdrawal. Some of these drugs include clonidine, naltrexone, Suboxone and Subutex. These medications are only examples and do not indicate the exact drugs that may be used during an individual’s opiate detoxification program.

Opiate Detox

The first step in treating Opiate addiction is admission to – and successful completion of – opiate detox at a licensed opiate rehab in PA. In detox, patients are fully evaluated and monitored during the opiate withdrawal process. This is essential because preexisting medical conditions, as well as psychological problems, determine the detox treatment utilized in an individual case.

At Blueprints for Addiction Recovery's Pennsylvania drug rehab centers have developed professional referral relationships with premier care partners throughout the country. We will coordinate admission to a state-of-the-art medical detox facility with 24-hour, 7-day-a-week medical staff coverage and luxury amenities. Following detox, you will transition smoothly through our integrated continuing care program – ensuring the best possible chance for lifelong freedom from opiate addiction.

Quality Opiate Rehab in PA

Completing Opiate rehab in PA, after opiate detox, helps addicts build additional sober time away from stressful environments full of triggers and potential challenges. Addressing physiological and psychological issues decreases the risk of relapse, while allowing clients to explore the underlying causes and conditions of their opiate addiction.

Blueprints for Addiction Recovery enables clients to make a seamless transition from detoxification and medically-monitored programs, through our coordinated transitional continuing care program. Our opiate rehab in PA is custom tailored to your individual needs. Blueprints' Opiate rehab in PA includes individual, group and family therapy, 12-Step program integration, recreational and experiential activities, spiritual workshops and programs (if desired) and more.

In addition to quality opiate rehabs in PA, there are other addiction service providers all over the country, from NJ drug rehab centers, CT drug rehab centers and WA drug rehab centers, to In Network Drug Testing Labs and In Network Toxicology Labs