Opioid abuse has become an epidemic in the U.S. with both prescription and illicit opioid addiction and overdose on the rise for the last two decades. As opioids are misused, the drugs chemically interact with opioid receptors on the nerve cells, in the brain and in the nervous system. The drugs initially produce pleasurable effects and relieve pain, but over time opioids alter the chemical makeup of the brain, making the body dependent on the drug. Chemical dependence is a chronic and progressive disease that, if left untreated, can lead to physical, psychological and societal deterioration. Addiction can also be fatal.
The disease of addiction harms not only the individual but also impacts those closest to them – family, friends and loved ones. In addition, opioid addiction negatively affects countless aspects of one’s life including employment, finances, education, and community standing.
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- Opioids are drugs that act on the nervous system and are usually prescribed by a medical professional to relieve acute or chronic pain. When taken incorrectly though, opioid-only or opioid-combination drugs can become not only addictive but also deadly. The most common generic and brand-name opioids include, but are not limited to:
- Xartemis XR®
- Rybix ODT®
- Ultram ER®
- If opioid abuse is occuring, a medication may be taken in a higher dose or more frequently than prescribed. The individual may also take someone else’s prescription or seek to use the medicine for its euphoric effect. Attempting to obtain multiple prescriptions from different doctors can be another telltale sign of abuse and addiction.
- Physical symptoms of addiction may include: euphoria, drowsiness, slurred speech, confusion, insomnia, restlessness, loss of consciousness and / or slowed breathing
- Emotional and behavioral symptoms of addiction may include: suddenly shifting moods, social withdrawal, lack of motivation, irritability and / or aggression
- If you or a loved one has attempted to end prolonged opioid use, the following withdrawal symptoms may have been experienced. If these symptoms are applicable, treatment for opioid addiction should be sought immediately.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cramps / muscle aches
- Physicians regularly use Suboxone® as a method of opioid addiction treatment. The FDA-approved drug contains the active ingredient buprenorphine and works by suppressing the debilitating symptoms of withdrawal. When taken as prescribed by a medical professional Suboxone® is effective in medication-assisted treatment and enables patients to engage in therapy, counseling and support. A customized Suboxone® dose is based on your medical history, drug history, weight and metabolism. Combined with the holistic therapies offered at Serenity Oaks, Suboxone® serves as a stepping stone toward positive, long-term changes, culminating in sustained remission.