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Opioid Addiction Treatment

You’ve likely heard about the ongoing opioid epidemic sweeping California and the rest of the nation. It’s a crisis affecting countless families and claiming thousands of lives a year. Drug overdoses now exceed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with opioids involved in a staggering 45% of fatal overdoses here in California. With drug use increasing among 18- to 25-year-olds, it’s clear we need solutions. That’s where opioid addiction treatment centers like ours come in.

At Immersive Recovery, our men’s opioid addiction treatment center in Encinitas, California believes that with the right support, recovery is achievable. We provide a variety of substance abuse programs and therapy services to help our clients recover and maintain their sobriety long-term.

Keep reading to learn about opioids, how they affect the brain and body, the signs of addiction, and our comprehensive treatment options to help you or your loved one break the cycle of drug addiction.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of drugs that includes both prescription pain relievers and illegal substances. They work by binding to specific receptors in the brain and body to reduce the perception of pain. Common prescription opioids include oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and fentanyl. These medications are often prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain, especially after surgery or injury, or for chronic pain conditions.

In addition to their pain-relieving properties, opioids can produce feelings of euphoria, which can lead to misuse and addiction. The misuse of prescription opioids and the use of illegal opioids like heroin have contributed to a significant public health crisis known as the opioid epidemic. A high incidence of overdose deaths and widespread addiction mark this crisis.

Opioids can be very effective for pain management when used correctly and under medical supervision, but their potential for addiction and other serious side effects requires careful and responsible use.

opioid epidemic

The Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic refers to the widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids, leading to a significant increase in addiction, overdose, and death. In California, this crisis continues to escalate, with drug abuse and overdose rates rising annually. According to recent statistics, California has seen a concerning uptick in opioid-related deaths and hospitalizations.

  • In 2020, there were over 5,500 opioid-related overdose deaths in California.
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that over 115 million pills containing illicit fentanyl were seized by law enforcement in 2023.
  • There were 107,941 drug overdose deaths reported in the United States in 2022. Deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (primarily fentanyl) continued to rise with 73,838 overdose deaths reported.
  • Emergency room visits due to opioid overdoses have increased by 50% over the past five years.
  • Fentanyl-related deaths have spiked dramatically, contributing to the overall increase in opioid overdose fatalities.
  • Young adults aged 18 to 25 have the highest rates of substance use disorder in California.
  • Low-income individuals also have a higher risk of addiction due to a lack of access to healthcare and mental health resources.
  • Those with co-occurring disorders like depression or anxiety are more likely to misuse opioids to self-medicate.

While the statistics on opioid addiction in California are staggering, the good news is that opioid use disorder is a treatable medical condition. Many opioid addiction treatment centers utilize both medication and behavioral therapies to help people safely stop using opioids, avoid relapse, and reclaim their lives. By raising awareness of addiction as a disease and promoting access to evidence-based treatment, we can turn the tide against the opioid epidemic. But it will take the effort and compassion of all Californians to make that happen.

What are the Types of Opioids?

There are three main categories of opioids:

These are medications prescribed by doctors to manage moderate to severe pain. Common examples include:

  • Oxycodone: Found in OxyContin and Percocet, used for moderate to severe pain.
  • Hydrocodone: Present in Vicodin and Norco, often combined with acetaminophen.
  • Morphine: Used for severe pain, available in oral and injectable forms.

These man-made drugs mimic natural opioids and can be legally prescribed or illicitly manufactured. Examples include:

  • Fentanyl: Fentanyl is an extremely potent opioid used for severe pain in medical settings but is often illegally produced. This powerful opioid is commonly disguised in other drugs, making it extremely dangerous, and has resulted in high rates of overdose-related deaths.
  • Methadone: Used for pain relief and in addiction treatment to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tramadol: Used for moderate pain, less potent but still carries a risk of misuse.

These are non-prescription substances used recreationally for their euphoric effects:


Understanding these types helps highlight the various ways opioid addiction and abuse can occur.

What are the Warning Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction?

Opioid addiction can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or socioeconomic status. Indicators that opioid use may have become problematic include:

  • Drowsiness or heavy sedation
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Constricted pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Slurred speech
  • Noticeable euphoria or elation
  • Increased secrecy or isolation
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home
  • Sudden financial problems or frequently asking for money
  • Changes in social circles or activities
  • Mood swings or heightened irritability
  • Anxiety or paranoia
  • Depression
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia (syringes, pill bottles, etc.)
  • Unexplained absences or frequent trips to the bathroom
  • Frequent flu-like symptoms
  • Dramatic weight loss or changes in appearance.

What are the Causes and Risk Factors of Opioid Abuse?

Opioid abuse can result from various causes and risk factors, including:

man with opioid addiction talking to a health expert
  • Family History: A family history of addiction can increase the likelihood of developing an opioid addiction.
  • Genetic Predisposition: Certain genetic factors may make some individuals more susceptible to addiction.
  • Mental Health Disorders: Conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD can increase the risk of opioid abuse as individuals may use opioids to self-medicate.
  • Stress and Trauma: Experiencing significant stress or trauma can lead to substance use as a coping mechanism.
  • Availability: Easy access to prescription opioids or illegal opioids like heroin increases the risk of abuse.
  • Social Environment: Being in an environment where drug use is prevalent can encourage opioid use.
  • Peer Pressure: Influence from friends or peers who use opioids can lead to experimentation and abuse.
  • Early Drug Use: Using opioids or other substances at a young age can increase the risk of developing an addiction later in life.
  • Chronic Pain: Individuals with chronic pain conditions may be more likely to misuse opioids prescribed for pain relief.
  • Previous Substance Abuse: A history of substance abuse can increase the risk of opioid addiction.

Understanding these causes and risk factors can help in identifying individuals at risk and developing strategies for prevention and treatment. Seeking help from an opioid addiction treatment center in Encinitas, CA can provide the necessary support and resources for overcoming addiction and achieving long-term recovery.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options for Opioid Addiction

man with opioid addiction undergoing treatment

Opioid addiction is a disease that often requires professional help to overcome. The first step is diagnosis, which involves a physical exam, mental evaluation, and history of drug use. Be honest with your doctor about your opioid use-they need an accurate picture to determine appropriate treatment. Our treatment center provides comprehensive care, including:


Medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone can effectively reduce cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Methadone and buprenorphine are opioid agonists, meaning they activate opioid receptors in the brain but at a controlled, steady level. Naltrexone blocks the effects of opioids. Common withdrawal symptoms of opioid abuse include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle pain and cramps
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Insomnia and fatigue

Understanding these symptoms can help individuals prepare for recovery. Treatment programs that include therapy, have proven to give individuals the best chance at overcoming an opioid use disorder (OUD).

Addiction Therapy

Counseling, whether individual, group, or family-based, is essential in addressing the root causes of addiction. Addiction therapy services such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) teach coping strategies to avoid relapse, while motivational interviewing helps build the motivation for change.

Our Opioid Addiction Treatment Center Is Dedicated to Your Recovery Journey

opioid treatment center in california

Opiate usage is becoming increasingly common, and the drugs are devastating for physical and mental health and even sometimes fatal. If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid addiction, know that help is out there.

Opioid addiction is often a lifelong battle. Relapse is common, but hard work and perseverance make long-term recovery possible. Our caring staff provides the tools and support you need to break the cycle of addiction for good. Don’t lose hope – contact us for help right away. You deserve to live a happy, fulfilling life free from addiction. Our opioid treatment center is here to help you take that first step toward recovery.