It’s a common scenario: an individual gets hurt. Their physical pain requires the use of and a prescription for painkillers. Yet, over time, an addiction develops. Over time, they need the drug physiologically and even psychologically.
Randy, who is now 33 and living in Southern California, was happily married and working at a rewarding job. But when he was 26, he got into a serious motorcycle accident, and his recovery required painkillers. An addiction developed and it eventually got in the way of his marriage and his career.
Long after the accident, he continues to struggle with an addiction. Sadly, he was recently arrested for the illegal possession of prescription drugs. Although he was required to look for addiction help, he ignored it and continues to abuse painkillers to this day.
Types and Effects of Opiods
Opioids are the main activating drug found in painkillers, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, diphenoxylate, morphine, codeine, and methadone. Opioids are synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of the Asian poppy plant.
It can be injected or inhaled by snorting or sniffing or smoking it. Symptoms of abusing the drug include red or raw nostrils, needle marks or scars on arms, wearing long sleeves at inappropriate times, and medicinal breath.
Physical evidence might include cough syrup, bottles, syringes, cotton swabs, and spoons for heating heroin. Long-term symptoms are loss of appetite, constipation, brain damage, and damage to the central nervous system.
The University of Michigan recently did a study that surveyed students regarding their use of opioids. The study explored whether a student’s participation in sports led to the abuse of and addiction with opioids.
The theory behind the study is that students that participate in sports are more likely to get seriously injured and therefore more likely to become addicted to opioids if they were used in their healing to relieve pain. When there is easy access to painkillers among athletes, there is often a risk for addiction and abuse of opioids.
Opiate Dependence Treatment
Opiate dependence treatment includes a few various methods, one of which is medication which block the opiate receptors in the brain. An example of this is the non-addictive drug Vivitrol. Another form of treatment is the emergency drug, Naloxone, which aids in saving lives when someone who is in the middle of a heroin overdose.
In general, however, the treatment for those with an opiate/heroin addiction need to undergo clinical, supervised detoxification in order to manage the withdrawal symptoms. Research has shown that the best combination of treatment include medication to manage the withdrawal symptoms as well as therapy to address the behavioral and psychological issues that contributed to the addiction in the first place.
Long lasting treatment includes creating a new lifestyle that includes making different daily choices to promote health, creating a strong support system, and examining the thoughts and behaviors that might be contributing to the cycle of addiction.
Yet, the question is not so much about opiate dependence treatment, but instead: what is creating the cycle of addiction in so many people across America. What are the underlying issues that cause drug addiction?
How to Prevent Addiction
And what can we do to prevent addiction in the first place? Once these questions are answered perhaps we will see less addiction, fewer suicide attempts, and more lives saved. Perhaps fewer people will need to seek opiate dependence treatment at all.
This is a fundamental healing. In other words, opiate dependence treatment isn’t only addressing physical and psychological addiction, but it’s also correcting the underpinnings of addiction in order to create a culture of sobriety.
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