Opioid Addiction And Treatment In Indiana

Opioid addiction has quickly become one of the most pressing public health crises of our time, impacting families and communities nationwide. From prescription painkillers to illicit substances like heroin and fentanyl, opioid use can lead to a dangerous addiction that can be difficult to break free from.

While the journey to overcoming opioid addiction can be challenging, with the right support, resources, and determination, individuals can overcome their addiction and get back to a healthy lifestyle. At Indiana Center for Recovery, we strive to provide a safe, supportive, and comfortable environment for healing. Through evidence-based treatment and individualized plans, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to those struggling with addiction.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of potent drugs that work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and throughout the body. These receptors are primarily found in regions of the brain responsible for regulating pain perception, emotions, and reward pathways. This is why opioids are commonly used medically to manage pain. Opioids can be categorized into three main types, including natural opioids derived from the opium poppy plant, semi-synthetic opioids synthesized from natural opioids, and synthetic opioids entirely manufactured in a laboratory. Fentanyl, in particular, has garnered significant attention in recent years due to its staggering potency—up to 100 times stronger than morphine.

Despite their therapeutic benefits, opioids also carry a high risk of misuse, dependence, and addiction. With continued use, the brain adapts to the presence of opioids, leading to tolerance, physical dependence, and, ultimately, addiction.

Understanding Opioid Addiction

Opioid addiction, also known as opioid use disorder (OUD), is a chronic, relapsing condition characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and use despite harmful consequences. Opioid addiction essentially reflects a dysregulation of the brain’s reward system due to the effects of opioids on neurotransmitter pathways. The surge of dopamine created by the opioids binding to one’s brain receptors creates a high that encourages users to continuously use the drug in order to achieve that effect.

However, with repeated use, the brain undergoes adaptive changes in response to the constant use of opioids. Over time, the brain becomes less responsive to natural rewards, such as food or social interaction, and more reliant on opioids to maintain a sense of well-being. This habit of use leads to the development of tolerance, which causes the body to require higher doses to achieve desired effects. Additionally, the continued activation of stress and reward circuits in the brain can result in physical dependence, marked by withdrawal symptoms when opioid use is abruptly discontinued.

What Can Cause Opioid Addiction

Opioid addiction can be caused by a variety of factors ranging from biological predispositions to environmental stressors. Below are the most common risk factors for opioid addiction.

Prescription Practices and Accessibility

The widespread availability and overprescribing of opioid medications have contributed to the rise of opioid addiction in recent decades. In many cases, individuals may initially be exposed to opioids through legitimate medical prescriptions for pain management.


Certain genetic variations can influence an individual’s response to opioids, including their sensitivity to the euphoric effects and their susceptibility to developing tolerance and dependence. A family history of substance use disorders also increases the likelihood of developing opioid addiction, indicating a hereditary component to the disorder.

Environmental and Psychosocial Factors

Environmental factors, including access to opioids, availability of prescription medications, and exposure to trauma or adverse life events, can significantly impact the likelihood of developing opioid addiction.

Social and Cultural Influences

Social factors such as peer pressure, exposure to substance-using peers, and acceptance of drug use within peer groups can influence the initiation and escalation of opioid use among adolescents and young adults.


Recognizing the signs and symptoms of opioid addiction is crucial for early intervention and effective treatment. Opioid addiction encompasses a range of physical, psychological, and behavioral manifestations that reflect the profound impact of opioids on the brain and body. While each individual may have their own experience, the following symptoms are indicative of opioid addiction and should be addressed:

  • Persistent craving for opioids
  • Loss of control over drug use
  • Continued use despite consequences
  • Withdrawal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, sweating, etc.
  • Neglecting responsibilities like school, work, or family
  • Changes in mood and behavior

Long-Term Effects of Opioid Addiction

As individuals continue to misuse opioids over an extended period, they are at risk of effects that can profoundly impact their quality of life and overall health. Prolonged opioid use takes a toll on the body, contributing to a range of physical health problems that can persist long after an individual stops using opioids.

The chronic use of opioids is associated with an increased risk of respiratory depression, respiratory infections, and pneumonia. Additionally, opioid addiction can lead to gastrointestinal issues, including constipation, bowel obstruction, and malnutrition, as well as cardiovascular complications, such as irregular heart rhythms and increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Opioid addiction can also have lasting effects on brain function, impairing cognitive abilities, memory, and executive functioning. Prolonged opioid use disrupts the brain’s natural balance of neurotransmitters, which can lead to alterations in mood regulation, impulse control, and decision-making processes.

Additionally, the use of illicit opioids contaminated with potent synthetic opioids such as fentanyl amplifies the risk of overdose. Without prompt intervention and access to overdose reversal medications such as naloxone, opioid addiction can result in fatal consequences.

How Opioid Addiction is Treated

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. At Indiana Center for Recovery, all patients undergo a thorough assessment of their condition to create a personalized plan that matches their needs for recovery. Treatment for opioid addiction includes detox, therapy, and medication management.

Opioid addiction treatment is treated with behavioral therapy, medication management, and detox.


Detoxification, commonly referred to as detox, is often the first step in the treatment journey. The detox process involves the systematic removal of opioids from the body while managing withdrawal symptoms and ensuring the safety and comfort of the individual undergoing the process. While detox alone is not sufficient to address the complex nature of opioid addiction, it serves as a crucial initial phase that prepares individuals for further treatment and rehabilitation.

Behavioral Therapy

Unlike detoxification, which focuses on managing the physical dependence on opioids, behavioral therapy targets the underlying thought patterns, emotions, and behaviors that drive addictive behaviors, which is essential for lasting recovery.

By helping individuals identify and adjust harmful patterns of thinking and behavior, behavioral therapy empowers them to develop healthier coping strategies, strengthen resilience, and build skills for maintaining long-term sobriety.

One of the most commonly used behavioral therapies for opioid addiction is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy is based on the premise that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected and influence one another. CBT helps individuals recognize and challenge distorted thoughts and beliefs related to drug use.

Medication Management

Medication is commonly used throughout the treatment of opioid addiction to alleviate cravings, reduce withdrawal symptoms, and support the individual toward recovery. Medications for the treatment of opioid addiction target the brain’s opioid receptors, thereby stabilizing brain chemistry and mitigating the physiological effects of opioid dependence. One of the most widely used medications for opioid addiction is methadone. This long-acting opioid agonist activates the same receptors in the brain as other opioids but more slowly and less intensely.

Levels of Care Available at Indiana Center for Recovery

At our facility, we are committed to providing comprehensive and individualized care to individuals seeking treatment for opioid addiction. In order to meet the unique needs of all our patients, we offer residential and outpatient treatment options. Our goal is to provide a continuum of care that addresses each individual’s unique challenges and strengths on their journey to recovery.


Residential care, also known as inpatient rehabilitation, provides a structured and supportive environment for individuals seeking intensive treatment for opioid addiction. Individuals reside on-site for an extended period, ranging from several weeks to several months, receiving round-the-clock care and support from a multidisciplinary team of professionals.

Residential care provides a highly immersive and therapeutic experience that allows individuals to focus solely on their recovery journey without the distractions and stressors of daily life. This level of care is particularly beneficial for those with more severe conditions that require medical supervision.


Our outpatient programs offer a flexible and community-based approach to treating opioid addiction, providing individuals with the support and resources needed to navigate recovery while maintaining their daily responsibilities and routines.

Individuals in outpatient programs have the flexibility to attend treatment sessions at convenient times that fit their schedules, allowing them to continue working, attending school, and fulfilling family obligations while receiving treatment. This level of care is ideal for those who do not require 24/7 medical supervision.