Opiate Addiction

What is Opiate Addiction?

Opiates are medications frequently prescribed for pain but that can be abused. Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Morphine, Demerol, Codeine are all examples of opiates. Heroin is also an opiate but is not used medically. Opiate addiction is a serious medical condition that can affect virtually all areas of a patient’s life. They may have significant problems with personal relationships, health problems, difficulty on the job, legal issues, or all the above. One only needs to turn on the news to hear that Ohio is during an opiate abuse epidemic. Unfortunately, opiate addiction can ruin lives and be fatal.

Opiate Addiction Signs to Look for:

While opiate addiction will require a medical professional to make a formal diagnosis, here are some of the most common signs to look for that require treatment.

  • Increased Tolerance: Needing increasing amounts of the drug to get the same results.
  • Withdrawal: Physical symptoms are relieved by taking more of the substance.
  • Risky Behavior: Persistent desire to use the drug despite increasingly bad consequences with time, money, and behaviors to obtain the substance.
  • Decrease in Social Activities: A decrease in participation with family functions and other social and recreational activities.
  • Trouble Quitting: Repeated unsuccessful efforts to quit.

If opiate use is ruining your life and you are unable to quit on your own, you may have opiate addiction and be a candidate for medication-assisted opiate therapy.

Medication-Assisted Opiate Therapy

At ATS, many patients suffering with opiate addiction can be treated by medication-assisted opiate therapy products like Suboxone. Suboxone is a combination of the medications Buprenorphine and Naloxone. The active ingredient is the Buprenorphine, and it helps with the physical components of withdrawal and cravings and allows the patient a relatively quick reintegration with daily life. This is essential as opiate addiction can impact many areas in a patient’s life. Buprenorphine is also derived from opiates and is addictive. The implications of this will be discussed at your visit to see if you are a candidate for this treatment. Medication-assisted opiate treatment is undertaken on an outpatient basis and does not typically require a lengthy inpatient stay.While Suboxone does not “cure” your opiate addiction. It may help control certain aspects of addiction. To ensure the optimal benefit from treatment, you will need to participate in mental health counseling at the same time. Opiate addiction is currently being treated like other chronic diseases such as diabetes or hypertension. These diseases cannot be cured but with adequate medical therapy, they can be managed so patients can live a full healthy life. You will need to speak with your physician to determine how Suboxone can best be fitted into a treatment plan that is right for you.