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A Hope for Rehabilitation, A Hope for Change

It can be a fine line between dependence and full-blown addiction, especially when it comes to opioids. The former is marked by bodily adaptation to a substance as well as cravings for the drug of choice. It becomes addiction when these cravings are uncontrollable and a person is unable to stop using despite harmful effects. Their life becomes consumed with chasing a high or—eventually—simply staving off the sickening symptoms of withdrawal.

This pattern of behavior can be difficult to escape, especially as it breaks down an addicted person’s physical health, willpower, and social support system. But clinicians and staff at Jefferson’s Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Program (NARP) believe deeply in the possibility of change.

Using every available tool from standard cognitive therapies and peer counseling to medications and other social services, NARP embraces each patient and challenges them to imagine a different life. Through individual and group therapy, the program helps individuals and families to think critically about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in order to uncover what is at the core of their predicament. Peer mentors who can tell their story are an essential part of this process, as they model what recovery looks like and show patients that they, too, can lead a sober life.

Among the most important facets of NARP is its medication-assisted treatment, which makes methadone available at its outpatient treatment location in South Philadelphia. Methadone, part of the standard of care in addiction medicine, is itself an opioid, which is administered orally and helps patients to taper their use over time, softening cravings and increasing the likelihood of a successful recovery.

Together, these services give patients the tools and support they need to create space for themselves—for new hopes and goals—so the work of change can begin.