What is Opioid Addiction?
Opioid addiction is an addiction to any substance that contains opiates whether legal or illegal. Prescription drug addiction is a disease that affects your brain and causes changes in your moods and behavior. Often times, people who are prescribed pain medicine become addicted to the pleasurable effect that it produces. This makes some people want to keep using these drugs---despite the absence of pain. For those addicted, use turns into “abuse” and over time, an addict’s brain actually changes in such a defined way, that a powerful urge to use the drug overtakes any reasoning or rationale the addict may have with regards to the effect the prescription medication is having on their life. In other words addicts may truly want to stop using the medication but they cannot tolerate the physical effects associated with withdrawal. This is due to the chemistry changes in the brain caused by the opioids.
Prescription drugs that contain opioids or (opiates) are found in commonly prescribed pain medications. Many of us have used pain medication at one time or another but continuing to take a prescribed medication improperly or illegally is considered to be a non medical use of a prescription drug. Nearly 20% of all American’s are addicted to pain medications which leads to the destruction of their personal well-being and often the affects the well being of those closest to them.
Who is Affected by Prescription Drug Addiction?
There is no age, gender or race barrier against prescription drug abuse and addiction.
In fact, every day, more than 2,000 teenagers try a painkiller to get high for the first time.
According to recent ad campaigns to raise awareness of teen prescription drug use, teens are often times obtaining these drugs from their own parents’ medicine cabinets and are both being abused and sold on the street.
What Prescription Drugs Contain Opioids?
If you’re addicted to pain medications containing opioids, you may know them either by their prescribed or their street names; Codeine, Fentanyl, Hydrocodone, Morphine, Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet) Paregoric, and Sufentanil are the brand or generic names. The National Institute for Drug Abuse provides the public with a list of common street names used for prescription drugs containing opioids on their website, and they are as follows: Tylox, OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet; Oxy 80s, Oxycotton, Oxycet, Hillbilly Heroin, Percs, Demerol, Meperidine Hydrochloride; Demmies, Pain Killer Dilaudid; Juice, Dillies, Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet; Darvon and Darvocet. Fentanyl is often referred to as Actiq, Duragesic, Sublimaze; Apache, China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, TNT, Tango and Cash. Morphine is commonly referred to on the street as M, Miss Emma, Monkey or White Stuff.
As you can see, there is a sophisticated language that has emerged and associated with these drugs. If you are a spouse, parent, friend or family member of a prescription drug addict, you may have already figured out that deceit and desperation is associated with drug abuse--- It is common for the addict to be extremely successful in hiding their prescription drug abuse for some time and problems may not surface until that person no longer can obtain the drug legally.
A New Start Begins with Acknowledgement
Many who are addicted to prescription drugs, especially those addicted to opioids may have either tried to stop using “cold turkey” or they refuse to stop because they refuse to acknowledge that they have a problem. Surely if it’s prescribed they find justification in taking them yet, many Doctors in the United States, as well as certain online pharmacies make it far too easy for an addict to continue using.
Withdrawal from opioids is an unpleasant and sometimes even a life threatening experience for the user. The changes in the brain caused by the use of opioids causes the body to go on alert once the drug is stopped. The brain is telling the body to give the addict a signal by producing physical symptoms ---symptoms that in the past could only be alleviated by more opiates. Body aches, flu-like symptoms, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea as well as rapid heartbeat and tearing, are common withdrawal symptoms which can and do occur in most cases of withdrawal. Despite the addict’s desire to want to quit, the severity of the withdraw symptoms overrule any desire the user has to stop taking the medication. It’s a terrible, vicious cycle.
Medically Supervised Withdrawal Utilizing Suboxone
There is help for the person who is addicted to opiates by way of medically supervised withdrawal using Suboxone treatment. Combined with
psychiatric care or counseling--it is a highly successful treatment for
opioid addiction. Again, most people would rather not be addicted to painkillers however; the brain that has been altered by opioids fights against emotion and common sense—and usually wins. Suboxone or buprenorphine helps tame the opiate withdrawal symptoms. It is quickly becoming a popular method of treatment for opiate addiction. Entering into a
Suboxone treatment program is a highly personal decision, one that a Doctor who specializes in Suboxone treatment can help you make. It’s not for everyone but for some it has been the one method that has helped them to regain their dignity and quality of life.
Taking the steps to obtain the help that is needed for drug addiction begins with making a phone call to our office,located in Tampa, we can help you.
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