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Rehabilitation for pain killers is approached in several different ways. While some recovering addicts, as well as professionals in the field, view pain killer addiction as indistinct from any other chemical dependency, others disagree. Here we will focus on the camp that feels that total abstinence of all substances is necessary to achieve real recovery. This side of the recovery world feels that a short-term detoxification program should be coupled with a lifelong 12-step program. Individual and/or group therapy is often utilized in this treatment approach.
If this sort of recovery option seems "over the top" to you, be careful not to jump to early conclusions. The decision to embark on this kind of recovery program may be the only way if the pain killer addict in question was using any other substances simultaneously, or was using pain killers as an additional substance after already exhibiting a problem with multiple substances.
While it is sometimes the case that patients who have no history of chemical dependency are innocently prescribed pain killers and get a bad deal out of it, this is not always the case. Most long-term, hard core addicts use multiple substances. Even if pain killers are the number one or "drug of choice," this does not mean that cessation of only that group of drugs will lead to a sober life. In fact, it is likely that another drug will creep up as the addict culprit as soon as the pain killers are aborted.