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What to Expect During Opioid Rehab in North Carolina

Opioid addiction is a serious problem in the United States. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, there were 21,089 opioid overdose deaths in 2010. Since then, opioid overdose death rates have continued to climb, reaching 80,411 deaths in 2021.[1]

Because of the steady increase in opioid overdoses throughout the years, getting the help you need is as important as ever. Unfortunately, many individuals avoid seeking the help they need out of fear of the unknown. Only 10% of people struggling with addiction get the help they need.[2]

Quitting opioids isn’t easy, and many people are afraid to try and do so because of the effects of withdrawal and lingering drug cravings. However, opioid rehab centers in North Carolina can provide medically-assisted detox and treatment services to help you overcome your addiction. If you or a loved one suffer from opioid addiction, contact our qualified admissions counselors at Next Step Recovery today to learn about your opioid addiction treatment options.

Medical Detox

The first step in opioid addiction treatment is always medical detox. When you become addicted to opioids, your brain and body begin to rely on the substance to function properly. If you suddenly stop abusing opioids, you will experience symptoms of withdrawal.

The goal of medical detox is to help you cope with your withdrawal symptoms while your body rids itself of the opioids. This is accomplished through the use of evidence-based treatments and FDA-approved medications that limit withdrawal symptoms and prevent cravings.


Most Common Medications used during Opioid Detox


The most common medications used during opioid detox in North Carolina include:[3]

  • Clonidine
  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone
  • Lucemyra (lofexidine)

Typically, opioid withdrawal lasts anywhere between 5 days and two weeks. The length of time you spend in detox will depend on a variety of personal factors, including the dosage of opioids you were using, how long you abused substances, your metabolism, and more.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Once you complete medical detox, you will move on to the next phases of opioid addiction treatment. Oftentimes, people attending opioid rehab will participate in medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT is an integrated treatment approach that combines evidence-based behavioral therapy, counseloing, and medications to provide clients with a “whole-person” approach to recovery.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there are many advantages of using medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder, including:[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

In addition to preventing cravings, some medications like Vivitrol or naltrexone can block the euphoric effects of opioids. In other words, if you are on these medications and attempt to abuse an opioid, you will not experience the “high” you are seeking. They also help stablize brain chemistry, thereby reducing drug cravings and the risk for relapse.


Medication-Assisted Treatment


Evidence-Based Behavioral Therapy

Medications in MAT are intended to be used in combination with behavioral therapy, so a huge aspect of opioid rehab in North Carolina is evidence-based behavioral therapy. Evidence-based approaches are those that have been proven effective in treating addiction, can be tailored to the needs of the individual, and are implemented based on the therapist’s experience and specialty.

The point of behavioral therapy is to help you identify triggers, develop coping mechanisms, and recover from past traumas or co-occurring mental health conditions. Examples of evidence-based behavioral therapies used during opioid rehab 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

Therapies may be held in individual, group, or family settings.

Aftercare Support and Relapse Prevention

Before you finish opioid rehab, you will work with your therapist on relapse prevention and aftercare planning. Relapse prevention planning is a process where you identify potential causes for relapse and obstacles you may face in recovery and create a plan to cope with them.

Typically, relapse prevention plans include the following:

  • List of triggers for opioid abuse
  • List of coping mechanisms to utilize in times of need like meditation or mindfulness techniques
  • A list of personalized relapse prevention techniques
  • Sober support friends to call for emotional support and advice

Aftercare planning, on the other hand, outlines services you will take advantage of in early recovery to help you maintain your sobriety. Your opioid rehab after care plan may include:

  • Continued attendance of individual, family, or group counseling
  • Medication management for MAT or co-occurring mental health conditions
  • Attendance of alumni support groups
  • Referrals to a reputable sober living program or halfway home
  • Plans to attend weekly recovery support meetings like AA or NA

Because the relapse rates for addiction are between 40 to 60%, having a plan in place to prevent yourself from returning to substance abuse is vital.[5] The tools and techniques you include in your aftercare and relapse prevention plan should be personal to you and your recovery to ensure that they will help you overcome strong cravings, hard times, or difficult situations without succumbing to drug and alcohol use.

Start Opioid Rehab in North Carolina Today

If you or a loved one suffer from opioid addiction, Next Step Recovery is here to help. With a combination of medical detox, medication-assisted treatment, evidence-based behavioral therapies, and relapse prevention planning, we can provide you with all of the support you need to recover.

Next Step Recovery aims to provide the highest quality of drug rehab programs possible for those continuing their journey to sobriety. These programs include Intensive Outpatient Programs, transitional sober living, relapse prevention, and medication-assisted treatment specifically designed for men ages 18-40 in early recovery from substance use and co-occurring disorders in The Greater Asheville Community in North Carolina.

To learn more about our opioid rehab program in North Carolina, contact Next Step Recovery today.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): Drug Overdose Death Rates, Retrieved Feb 2023 from
  2. National Library of Medicine: VISION FOR THE FUTURE: A PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACH, Retrieved Feb 2023 from
  3. National Library of Medicine: Withdrawal Management, Retrieved Feb 2023 from
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Medications for Substance Use Disorders, Retrieved Feb 2023 from
  5. National Insititute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): Treatment and Recovery, Retrieved Feb 2023 from

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