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Opioid Addiction

Science and medicines have improved the lifespan of the human race. People depend upon medicines for their well being, especially painkillers to get rid of pains. People approach a doctor for their ailments and doctors prescribe painkillers to alleviate pain. In this case, most of the people will be prescribed a medication called opioid and doctors call it as a narcotic or opiate. These painkillers are derived from the “joy plant” named opium poppy. 

The medicines made from the opium poppy relieves the pain and in addition, it gives you a pleasant feeling(euphoria). Due to this, people begin abusing this medication and take a high dose to get a high feeling. In America, millions of people suffer from an opioid use disorder. People began using opioids for other purposes than intended by the doctor. The strong desire for this medication has turned into an addiction. This article will provide you with valuable pieces of information on opioid use disorder treatments.

What Is Opioid Use Disorder?

Opioid use disorder is a medical condition, where the individual is dependent and can not stop using opioids even in spite of the harmful consequences. This disorder is characterized by the strong desire to use opioids and increased tolerance to opioids. 

Here Are The Signs And Symptoms Of The Opioid Use Disorder:

  • Drug-seeking behavior and using high doses of opioids.
  • Can not control using the drug.
  • Strong desire for the drug in spite of legal or social problems. 
  • Have withdrawal symptoms.
  • Having more opioid cravings.

If a person tries to stop the opioid use abruptly, the individual may experience withdrawal symptoms which includes:

  • Anxiety 
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sweating
  • Yawning
  • Palpitations
  • Shakiness
  • Tremors
  • Dilated pupils

Diagnosis Of Opioid Use Disorder

With long-term opioid use, the individual has significant physical and mental impairments. Your doctor will decide whether you have opioid use disorder or not based on certain factors. The person takes more opioids than intended, spends more time seeking opioids, social withdrawal, increased tolerance, has strong cravings, unable to stop opioids use, and has withdrawal symptoms.

Treatment For Opioid Use Disorder

Treatment for opioid use disorder is based on how long the individual abused the drug and the severity of the addiction. The first step is to stop the individual from being dependent on the drug. For this detoxification is done, it can be performed in an outpatient or an inpatient rehab to make the patient abstinent. Based on the severity of intoxication, the individual experiences withdrawal symptoms. The doctor may prescribe some medications to ease the withdrawal symptoms namely methadone and buprenorphine. 

Another treatment approach for opioid disorder is medication-assisted treatment(MAT). Research shows that medication-assisted treatment is the most effective in treating people with an opioid disorder. MAT programs for opioid use disorder encompass the use of medications including Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Naltrexone. All these medications block the effects of opioids so that the person does not feel high. These medications come in tablet forms or as an injection. 

Opioid Replacement Therapy

Opioid replacement therapy sometimes also called opioid substitution therapy makes use of opioid medications that act as a substitute for opioids that were already taken and reduces the withdrawal symptoms. The medications used in this therapy suppresses the cravings for opioids. This replacement therapy stabilizes and maintains the patient’s condition thereby allowing them to proceed with further treatments through rehabilitation. The doses of the medication given in the replacement therapy are noted by the doctor and it does not alter the chemical reactions of the brain. However, replacement therapy alone is not sufficient, the patient has to go through individual counseling and other behavioral therapies to get sober and prevent relapsing. For the best opioid treatment programs, check the addiction centers listed by the addiction aide website. 

Tags

Opioid addiction, What is opioid addiction, Opioid addiction and dependence opioid replacement therapy, Opioid addiction, and dependence

Resources:

https://www.asam.org/docs/default-source/advocacy/opioid-addiction-disease-facts-figures.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/effective-treatments-opioid-addiction/effective-treatments-opioid-addiction

https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/index.html

 

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