One of the most popular reasons people visit a doctor is for pain relief – and there are a great variety of opioid based drugs that doctors can prescribe to treat this problem. Opioids are derived from the poppy plant, and its two most commonly known natural products include morphine and codeine. While pain relief is very important for patients in critical times right after surgery and for those with chronic conditions that result in constant pain, these drugs are very addictive and can lead to chemical dependencies. Doctors normally only prescribe these medications for short periods of time due to their highly addictive nature. The reason for this is while these drugs are great for helping ease pain, they also cause highly addictive feelings of euphoria, which are triggered by dopamine release in the brain. These qualities have caused millions to become addicted to opiates after needing them for longer periods of use due to an injury or chronic condition.
If you have begun to take more than the prescribed amount of your painkiller or have sought out extra dosages than your doctor recommended, you may be at risk for developing a serious opiate condition that can damage your brain, muscular system, and overall ability to lead a normal and healthy lifestyle. Thankfully, there are treatment methods designed to help not only rebalance your brain chemistry to a non-dependent state, but also methods to help get you out of the mindset that addiction breeds.
3 Ways We Treat Opioid Addiction
If you spot the signs of dependence to the drug or your doctor tells you a problem may be developing, it may be time to begin detoxifying. The first step is to stop taking the drug. Your doctor can slowly lower your dose over a few weeks if you notice symptoms such as:
- Drug craving
- Rapid breathing
- Runny nose
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal cramps
- Enlarged pupils
- Loss of appetite
Your doctor can provide you with medications to help prevent and reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, a process called detoxification (detox). This process helps to mimic the drug to your brain receptors while slowly lowering the desire and need for these chemicals. The most common medications are methadone (Methadose Dolophine) and naltrexone (Revia). Another option is Lofexidine hydrochloride (Lucemyra), which is a non-opioid drug that can be used to ease the symptoms in rapid detoxification.
After detox has concluded and your body begins to correct itself and be rid of the chemical dependencies, there is still a chance that you could be psychologically addicted to the chemicals. There are professionally trained counselors who can help break these repetitive thought patterns and put you on a path to better habits and healthier thought tracks that help to detox your mentality as well. These counselors understand that you are at a high risk for relapse directly after detox, as your mind will still be addicted to the process you have repeated so many times. This is why they will help you to deal with the stress and anxiety this may bring and provide you with coping mechanisms and ways to combat these pre-wired feelings, all while helping you understand that these thoughts and feelings do not have to be permanent.
Substance abuse disorder is a chronic illness, which means you can potentially have it for the rest of your life if it is not handled with care. A lot of the time, it is a genetic and innate characteristic that your body possesses, making it hard to identify at times. Opioid addiction is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly, and the longer you wait, the harder correcting it will be for your body and mind. With proper medications and behavioral therapy, our services can help you
- Manage cravings
- Build healthy habits and thoughts
- Avoid triggers that could lead to relapse
Going through our drug detox program can help you to beat your addiction healthily, without being in constant pain or quitting cold turkey. It allows more focus to be placed on bettering yourself and not the pain you are trying to beat. Addiction is a serious disease, and treatment with our drug detox programs can make it a more tolerable and peaceful experience.