Opiate addiction is much different than that of other substances that are abused and can cause addiction. Opiate addiction is a serious problem in our country and will become an even bigger problem in the years ahead. The persistent use of opiates and is thought to be a disorder of the central nervous system. Though opiate painkillers are prescribed by physicians, opiate addiction is an insidious medical disease. But since opiate addiction is far more than a “behavior problem,” treatment requires more than just therapy.
Addiction today is no longer confided to the alley’s, but instead is in our neighborhoods and our homes. Addiction professionals more frequently recommend opium treatment that involves a short and intense period of detox, but after which the physical dependency to opium is over, and the recovering addict can better participate in therapies of relapse avoidance, and hopefully within a relatively short period learn the life strategies needed to stay opium free for life. Some of the signs and symptoms of opiate addiction may include but are not limited to:Restlessness, Hyperactive behavior, Poor physical coordination, Inability to concentrate, Poor judgment, Slurred speech, Bouts of euphoria followed by bouts of extreme depression, Accelerated heartbeat which can ultimately result in coma or death. The road to opiate addiction treatment begins by understanding that this is a brain disorder and not a will power or moral issue, and that treatment options are available to those that suffer with this disease.
Treatment for opiate addiction entails a grueling detoxification and withdrawal suffering that can be followed by intense physical and psychological cravings, lasting months. Due to variability in brain recovery, many addicts may require prolonged treatment or supportive medications in order to discontinue their addictive lifestyles. Since the body becomes physically addicted to the drug, the body too must be cleaned of its effects before treatment can progress. Any detox can be extremely painful with severe physical symptoms that may be traumatic if attempted without medical treatment.
Withdrawal from opiates can be very trying on the body and generally requires medical assistance to ease the patient through the process as much as possible. Disruption of endorphin production is thought to be associated with a need to increase opiate use in order to avoid the onset of painful withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone (an alternative to Methadone) was created for the user to be able to avoid withdrawal symptoms while in the mean time during treatment rebuilding the receptors in the brain that have been destroyed while using narcotics. Methadone is a rigorously well-tested medication that is safe and effective for the treatment of narcotic withdrawal and dependence.