Opiate/Opioid addiction is a dangerous and potentially deadly condition that requires long term treatment and care in order to promote recovery. It is recognized as a brain disorder that is caused by the use of opiate-based drugs such as Oxycontin, morphine, oxycodone, opium, heroin and others.
Opioids are often prescribed to treat pain. With prolonged use, pain-relieving effects may lessen and pain can become worse. In addition, the body can develop dependence. Opioid dependence causes withdrawal symptoms, which makes it difficult to stop taking them. Addiction occurs when dependence interferes with daily life. Taking more than the prescribed amount or using illegal opioids like heroin may result in death.
Opioid addiction can happen to anyone, whether you are taking the drugs because you are prescribed or if you are illegally abusing them.
Prolonged use of opiates can lead to nerve damage within the brain that causes cells to stop producing their own opiates (natural painkillers known as endorphins).
Common Opiate withdrawal symptoms include:
Heroin is an opioid and produces a “downer” effect that rapidly induces a state of relaxation and euphoria (related to chemical changes in the pleasure centers of the brain). Like other opioids, heroin use blocks the brain’s ability to perceive pain. Heroin abusers, particularly those with prior history of drug abuse, may initially be able to conceal signs and symptoms of their heroin use.
Loved ones or co-workers may notice a number of signs of heroin use, which are visible during and after heroin consumption:
The above signs are not unique to heroin abuse. More definitive warning signs of heroin abuse include possession of paraphernalia used to prepare, inject or consume heroin:
Behavioral signs of heroin abuse and addiction include:
Users build tolerance to heroin, leading to increases in the frequency and quantity of heroin consumption. With growing tolerance, more definitive physical symptoms of heroin abuse and addiction emerge:
Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drugs are the third most commonly abused category of drugs, behind alcohol and marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine and is now the No. 1 cause of unintentional death in the United States. Every day, more than 100 people die from opioid drugs – 37,814 people every year – and many of these overdoses are from prescription opioid medicine.
Prescription drug addiction can begin quite innocently, as when a person is given prescription drugs to treat a medical condition. Lortab, Oxycontin, Vicodin and Hydrocodone are commonly prescribed by medical doctors to alleviate pain due to pain. These drugs are highly addictive and doctors who prescribe them, rarely provide any information that explains this fact, people are becoming addicted at an alarming rate.
Recognizing prescription drug abuse, symptoms include:
The best way to help a person struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs is to get them into treatment. A long-term prescription drug treatment program is often needed to put the person on the path to full recovery. Prescription drugs are highly addictive and over time, the human body needs the drug in order to feel balanced in the day. A safe and easy transition to help with this addiction is with medication assisted treatment (MAT).
Suboxone (Buprenorphine/Naloxone) is used as a first choice in our clinic. Once our patients start treatment, we provide and maintain the proper level of care for them based on the detailed assessments performed. We also require each patient start addiction counseling with a licensed counselor or therapist as soon as possible.