OPIOID DEPENDENCE TREATMENT
Opioid dependence is a challenging and complicated condition, but it can be treated. If you’re working to overcome opioid dependence, you know the experience can sometimes be overwhelming. That’s why the formulation of your medication should help make your experience convenient.
Opioid dependence—addiction to opioids such as prescription painkillers or heroin—is a challenging and complicated condition. But it can be treated effectively with medication-assisted treatment combined with counseling and support.
Opioids are drugs that work in the body the way opium does. Some are made directly from opium (for example, morphine and codeine), while others are man-made but similar chemically to opium (for example, the painkillers oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl, better known by such brand names as OxyContin®, Vicodin®, Percocet®, and Actiq®*). The illegal drug heroin is also an opioid.
All of these drugs are extremely powerful. For people with severe pain, opioids are very effective medicines, and most patients treated for pain with opioids do not become dependent on them. For some people, however, opioid dependence is an unexpected side effect of proper pain treatment. The problem comes when someone is unable to stop using the drug after the pain passes.
A lot of patients do not even know they have a problem until they are in much deeper. Ask yourself this question to find out if you need to seek help.
Have you experienced 3 or more of these over a 12-month period?
- Needing to take more of the drug to get the same effect—or getting a lesser effect from the same amount of drug.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using opioids, or taking other drugs to help relieve withdrawal symptoms.
- Taking larger amounts of opioids than planned, and for longer periods of time.
- Persistently wanting to quit, or trying unsuccessfully to quit.
- Spending a lot of time and effort to obtain, use, and recover from taking opioids.
- Working less, missing work, or, if unemployed, not seriously looking for a job.
- Spending less time seeing friends who don’t use opioids; skipping recreational activities.
- Continuing to use opioids despite negative consequences.
Why Dependence Needs Treatment
Opioid dependence—addiction to opioid prescription painkillers such as OxyContin®, Vicodin®, Percocet®, Actiq®,* or to heroin— can reset the brain’s chemistry to think the drug is necessary for survival. When your brain tells you that you can’t live without a drug, it can quickly lead to compulsive drug-seeking behavior.
Because opioid dependence is a medical condition, it can be treated effectively with medication-assisted treatment combined with counseling and support. Don’t let shame or stigma get in the way of getting the help you need. People with other chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma also benefit from medical treatment combined with behavioral changes.
The goal of treatment is to help opioid-dependent people stop misusing opioids and regain control over their lives. Medication is only ONE part of the treatment picture.
As a medical condition, opioid dependence carries a high risk of relapse. To learn to manage this risk, plan to make a commitment to ongoing treatment, including counseling. Since everyone is different, the treatment plan can be tailored to your individual needs. Length of treatment varies and can last anywhere from months to years—depending on what the Dr. decides is best for you.
Suboxone /Buprenorphine/ Subutex are special medications that require a special license to be able to prescribe. Not very many Dr’s carry this license, and when they do the DEA only allows Suboxone licensed Dr’s to take on 100 patients. So it is imparitive for you to call or email right away to assure you have a spot.
If you feel you have a problem with narcotic/ opioid dependence please call or email us and we will setup a time and date for you to come in and meet the doctor and get started on the treatment plan.