It’s estimated that 8-12% of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain develop an opioid addiction, and about half of them transition to using heroin. No matter what type of opioid you use, you can safely and successfully overcome addiction with medical support from Melanie Rosenblatt, MD, at Pain Management Strategies in Boca Raton, Florida. To start medication-assisted opioid treatment, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Opioids are potent painkillers and highly addictive drugs. As a group, opioids include heroin, as well as prescription medications such as fentanyl, oxycodone (Oxycontin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), morphine, and codeine.
Opioids are so powerful that it’s easy to take a dose large enough to stop your heart unknowingly. This makes them especially dangerous when addiction leads to taking progressively higher doses.
Even when you take opioids to alleviate pain, you’ll feel the rush of euphoria that develops when opioids activate your brain’s reward system and trigger a large release of endorphins. Continuous opioid use causes physical changes in the brain, leading to an irresistible craving for the drug. That’s when you’re addicted.
There are three vital signs of a substance abuse disorder such as an opioid addiction:
You can’t control the urge to use the drug, therefore, you can’t stop using it. You keep using the drug despite the potentially harmful consequences.
You start to avoid daily activities and fail to meet responsibilities at work and home so you can take drugs. You may take dangerous risks to obtain and use opioids.
You begin to build up a tolerance to opioids, so you need ever-increasing doses to achieve the same high. Additionally, you have withdrawal symptoms if you don’t take the drug.
Dr. Rosenblatt uses Suboxone® to help patients break their opioid addiction. Suboxone contains two medications, buprenorphine, and naloxone. Buprenorphine prevents withdrawal symptoms and cravings, while naloxone prevents misuse of Suboxone.
You’ll receive your Suboxone treatment in the office under Dr. Rosenblatt’s close supervision. During the first stage, you slowly detox, eliminating opioids while taking Suboxone.
Once your cravings stop, you’ll continue taking a maintenance dose of Suboxone and start counseling. While the medication works to normalize your brain chemistry, counseling gives you the tools to resist opioids and move forward in your life.
When it’s time to stop taking Suboxone, Dr. Rosenblatt gradually lowers the dose and continues to monitor your progress, adjusting your treatment if your cravings return.
If you were taking opioids for pain, you can count on Dr. Rosenblatt’s expertise in pain management to help you find safe, effective alternatives for alleviating your pain. To learn more, call Pain Management Strategies or schedule an appointment online today.