Maybe your opioid addiction started simply for you – an injury you were being treated for with prescription painkillers. Soon, you discovered that you are taking more than the prescribed dosage, and when the prescription ran out, you looked for other ways to obtain the drug to get the same sense of calm the opiates provided. And before you knew it, you were addicted.
Opioid addiction has reached an all-time high in recent years, which has created a national drug crisis of epidemic proportions. With many different people dependent on these drugs, many pursue treatment but have fears about the withdrawal and detox processes that might ensue. This is where Suboxone comes into play – it helps you battle opioid addiction and the associated mental health problems that might exist.
At Charleston Pain & Rehab, we understand that the reasons behind your opioid addiction are as complex as you are. This is why we always seek to understand you and where you’re coming from, the underlying cause of your addiction, the health issues caused by the chronic opioid abuse, and any other mental health issues that you might be dealing with. You are more than an addiction to us.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are a class of drugs often prescribed to treat pain from injuries, pain after surgery, or pain caused by other chronic health conditions. These kinds of drugs tend to be highly addictive, even when taken as prescribed by the doctor.
The main reason why these drugs are highly addictive is that they work on the pleasure center of our brains, causing us to feel intense relief along with an overwhelming sense of wellbeing. This is what takes away the pain, even if it’s only for a while. The problem with overusing opioids is that it could lead to changes in the function and structure of the brain.
Abusing opioids can cause the brain to stop releasing endorphins, which are our body’s natural painkillers. This leads to a vicious cycle of pain; taking opiates to stop the pain as the body can no longer stop the pain on its own, which in turn increases the reliance on the drug. With time, you find yourself needing more and more opiates to feel the same sense of calm and comfort. You may find that if you don’t continue using the opioids, you experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
All addicts usually cite different reasons for their opioid abuse. Some are simply curious about what it feels like, while others just want to numb the emotional pain and escape from reality. Others want to forget their past. Nonetheless, opioids are a common drug of abuse simply because they provoke such pleasant feelings.
What is Opioid Addiction?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who become addicted to opioids after taking prescription pain medications that contain opioids. Both synthetic and natural opioids bind to the opioid receptors in the brain. These receptors are usually responsible for the regulation of “feel-good” and pain chemicals to reward positive behaviors.
Opioid drugs work by hijacking the brain’s reward system, to make you feel pleasure and euphoria. While some of these drugs have potent effects on the brain, they deplete your brain of the natural chemical rewards. This kickstarts the cycle of addiction as you continue using opioids to avoid the unpleasant feelings as a result of the absence of these “feel-good” chemicals.
Signs of an Opioid Use Disorder
Opioid use disorder or addiction causes certain physical, behavioral, and mental health symptoms. Below are some of the potential signs of an opioid use disorder:
- Mood swings
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
- Unexpected weight loss
- Problems at work or school
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Frequently fatigued
- Isolation from friends and family
- Financial issues
Unfortunately, these signs could also indicate other addictions or mental health issues. In case you’re concerned about sudden or significant changes in your loved ones that match the ones listed above, consider speaking to a trusted healthcare professional for guidance. Your family doctor, psychiatrist, or other health care professionals can help to rule out medical or psychological explanations and recommend an opioid addiction treatment if necessary.
Our Charleston Suboxone Clinic treats patients of all kinds dealing with opioid addiction through medication-assisted treatments and individual therapy. We are ready to tackle the reasons behind your addiction and work with you toward healing your emotional pain. Together, we can work towards facing your addiction and eliminating it.
My Doctor Prescribes Me This, I Can’t Be Addicted!
If you have been prescribed opioid medication for a medical condition, you might be concerned about developing a dependency or being addicted, and for good reason. However, there are many situations and conditions that warrant taking some painkillers. For example, if you were seriously injured in an accident or had some kind of surgery, the pain might be too much to withstand. And while taking opioids might be risky, there are some things you can do to lower the chances of becoming addicted to the painkillers.
If you’ve ever been addicted to other substances, or have a history of addiction in your family, you might have a higher risk of becoming addicted to opioid painkillers. It’s therefore crucial that doctors attending to you know your history. The following are some of the ways you can lower the risk of opioid addiction:
Talk to your doctor about other medications. Acute pain can sometimes be helped by non-opioid medication. Due to the current opioid epidemic, many physicians opt to prescribe non-opioid pain relievers first and only switch to opioids if other medications prove ineffective.
Follow the prescription as precisely as possible. If you do have to take opioids for your pain, be sure to follow your doctor’s guidelines as closely as possible.
Stop taking opioids as soon as you can. It’s always recommended that you should take opioids for the least amount of time possible, and at the lowest dose possible to prevent addiction or dependence on the drug.
Consider talking to your doctors about other medications. Some drugs can adversely interact with opioids, especially medication prescribed for sleep problems, anxiety disorders, and seizures. Ensure that your doctor knows about all the medications, supplements, and vitamins that you take.
Addressing the Underlying Factors Associated with Addiction
As mentioned earlier, opioids can be very addictive, which makes recovery from opioid addiction especially difficult. Fortunately, certain medications can help to alleviate many of the roadblocks that could stand in the way of recovery from opioid use disorder (OUD).
For instance, opioid replacement therapy medications such as buprenorphine and methadone can be used to help reduce withdrawal symptoms and curb cravings. Others like naltrexone can help block the effects of opioids altogether. When such medications are used in combination with a comprehensive rehabilitation program, patient outcomes can greatly be improved.
How We Treat Opioid Addiction
Our Charleston Suboxone Clinic treats patients struggling with opioid addiction through medication-assisted treatments and individual therapy. Medication-assisted treatments use special medications to help the patients transition from the physical dependence on opioids. Individual therapy aims at addressing the psychological and mental issues that might be contributing to the addiction.
The success of opioid addiction treatment will vary based on the patient and the severity of their disorder and can be influenced by complications of comorbidities like mental illness or alcohol use. Research has demonstrated that there’s a high rate of substance use in patients with diagnoses like depression and those who use other substances like alcohol.
Integrated treatment for both opioid use disorder and mental health is usually necessary in cases where both occur together. The environment of the patient, including their relationships with friends or family can also play an important role. Some patients will repeat therapy and even relapse severally before having success.
Some of the common medicines used in the treatment of opioid addiction include:
Suboxone is a prescription medication that’s often used to help people to quit using opioids. The medication can be helpful for people who abuse the stronger prescription painkillers and opioids. Suboxone is the brand name for a drug made up of naloxone and buprenorphine.
Buprenorphine is a mild opioid antagonist that essentially binds to the opioid receptors in the brain, resulting in feelings of calmness and reduced pain. While it’s not a full opioid, buprenorphine pretty much acts like one, but it does not create a euphoric state when taken as directed. It helps prevent withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings for opioids.
This is a brand name for prescription medication used in adults to treat moderate to severe opioid use disorder. Sublocade helps to prevent cravings as well as withdrawal symptoms that are often associated with quitting opioid medications.
For your doctor to prescribe Sublocade, you will first have to use a form of buprenorphine for about 7 days to see if it’s effective. In case it proves ineffective, your doctor may then switch you to Sublocade.
Subutex is prescribed by medical professionals for the treatment of opioid addictions. While the drug is approved by the FDA, it’s often misused and can also have powerful side effects. Nonetheless, Subutex does help to eliminate some of the withdrawal symptoms an individual might experience if they stop taking opioids. If handled correctly, it allows for a more comfortable recovery process.
Subutex does not give the individual any kind of euphoric high, as other drugs do. Its main component is buprenorphine, and it has similar effects. While Subutex’s side effects can be uncomfortable, the drug itself is effective for treating addiction and it isn’t seen as addictive.
Dedicated Therapist & Doctor
At Charleston Pain & Rehab, we aim to provide each of our clients with a comprehensive range of care options and personalize the treatment to suit their individual needs. This is why we provide every patient with a dedicated doctor and therapist that they will see for every visit.
Our Charleston Suboxone Clinic can accommodate medical-assisted treatments and individual therapy for addiction. Any of the medications we use during treatment are included as part of a greater collaborative care model personalized for each client. The recovery plan involves a comprehensive range of therapeutic methods including individual counseling methods like dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, group counseling, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, as well as recreational therapies.
What Should I Look for in a Doctor?
You can generally tell whether a doctor is credible by checking their reputation and credentials. Board-certified medical professionals, including doctors and psychologists, usually have the highest experience and skills in addiction treatment. Before you go for your first appointment, you will want to talk through the following questions and concerns with your doctor to establish whether they are right for you.
- What is your rate for opioid addiction treatment?
- Do you currently have openings for new patients?
- What forms of treatment do you offer?
- What insurance do you accept?
- How soon can I book my next appointment?
- What steps do I follow next?
It’s always wise to be honest with your doctor and your mental health professional for the addiction treatment to be effective. Make a list of all the medications, herbs, vitamins, or any other supplements that you might be taking. Be honest about any other legal or illegal drugs you may be using. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions or concerns during your first appointment.
Contact a Suboxone Clinic in Charleston Today
Our Charleston treatment center is designed with you in mind. We treat your body and mind, detoxifying you from any substances in your system and treating any medical issues that may have been caused by your addiction. We also treat your mind to help you see how strong you really are, identify the challenges you face, and reveal any undiagnosed mental health concerns you might be struggling with. Our treatment is focused on treating the whole of you.
We know that no two people are alike, and we ensure that your treatment is personalized to meet your unique needs. You can be sure that under our care, your recovery will be as unique as you are. Let us be your guide and support through your journey towards recovery. Get in touch with us today at (843) 345-8986 to schedule an appointment with us.