Opioid Addiction Treatment

Prescription opioids are used for treating intense pain that cannot be relieved through any other means. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines opioids as “a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, morphine, and many others.” Being chemically related, these drugs interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the human body and brain. Though generally safe when taken for a short period, continued consumption of opioids for a longer duration can lead to severe health conditions.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), “The abuse of opioids, a group of drugs, including heroin and prescription painkillers, has a devastating impact on public health and safety in this country.” The over prescription and misuse of prescription drugs has resulted in an opioid epidemic in the United States. Therefore, it is imperative for those addicted to opioids to receive timely treatment for opioid addiction.

Opioids work by attaching themselves to opioid receptors present in our brains and other organs in our bodies. When opioids attach to these receptors, they reduce the amount of pain we feel. Our bodies naturally produce certain opioids known as endogenous opioids. Endorphins is one such example. Those produced outside the body are known as exogenous opioids and can be extremely addictive. They can be taken orally, smoked or taken intravenously. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies opioids as Schedule I, Schedule II or Schedule III, depending on their medical benefit and addictive properties. In addition to pain relief, opioids can produce feelings of well-being and euphoria.

Opioids commonly include the following drugs:

  • Demerol
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Percodan
  • Percocet

Symptoms of opioid abuse

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills. In the 2013 and 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), it was found that 50.5 percent of people who misused prescription painkillers got them from a friend or relative.

Opioid intoxication can cause death due to respiratory depression. Opioid intoxication usually exhibits the following signs or symptoms:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Respiratory depression
  • Constipation
  • Dry secretions
  • Pruritus
  • Slurred speech

After repeated use of exogenous opioids, our bodies begin to produce less of them naturally. As a result, people dependent on them begin to crave for an increased quantity of synthetic opioids, leading to intense physical and psychological pain upon withdrawal. Fortunately, the brain’s natural reward systems begin to normalize with proper opioid addiction treatment, and hence, addiction to opioids can be treated with professional guidance.

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Seeking help for opioid addiction

Withdrawal from opioids can cause depression, gastrointestinal pain, insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks as well as vomiting. Although the withdrawal effects are not considered lethal, they are described as some of the most painful occurrences an individual can ever experience, which can force the patient to use more of opioids, thereby, increasing the risk of a relapse.

This is why opioid treatment programs usually begin with a medically assisted opioids detox treatment offered at specialized opiate detox centers. This is an essential part of opiate rehabilitation as it assists patients in safely eliminating the abused substance from the body. Detox also helps them manage their acute physical symptoms associated with reduced or no use of drugs. Medications may be administered to help ease their acute withdrawal symptoms and reduce the severity of any life-threatening symptoms. For example, people who have opioid dependence may be treated with medications, such as methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone or Naloxone.

According to an article published in The Bulletin, “there is strong evidence that medication-assisted treatment, which uses prescription drugs to impact the opioid receptors in the brain to minimize the euphoric effects of drug use and ease withdrawal symptoms, might be the most effective approach.”

The increased availability of different medication options can help patients of opioid use disorders by suppressing the severity and length of withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. After the detox, treatment continues at opiate rehab centers utilizing other techniques and therapies in both inpatient and outpatient settings. However, consulting experts are the best people to recommend the type of treatment a patient may need because they have a strong understanding of the patient’s addiction history as well as the other issues he/she may be experiencing along with.

Why choose Sovereign Health of Florida?

Opioid addiction is a serious health hazard as well as a topic of major concern in the United States. Thankfully, recovery from opioid addiction is possible with the help of comprehensive treatment programs that include a well-planned detox program. This is what Sovereign Health of Florida specializes in.

Our strength lies in treating every patient as a unique individual who requires a customized treatment approach suiting his/her needs. Our opioid addiction treatment programs are designed in such a way that specific psychological and pharmacological needs of the patient are taken care of. This helps in maximizing the chances of a quick and lasting recovery. At each step of the treatment program, be it detoxification treatment, therapy or counseling, we are committed to helping people overcome addiction, reclaim their future, and enjoy healthy and happy lives.

Our services include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT), mindfulness meditation and a host of psycho-educational groups. We also encourage our patients to take up experiential therapies, such as yoga, art therapy, and equine therapy in addition to continuing care. This enables a holistic treatment and ensures that the patient does not experience a relapse, even during the toughest of situations.

For more information about our opioid treatment programs, contact our 24/7 helpline or connect with our online chat platform to get answers to your queries from our trained counselors.

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