Opioids are narcotics that are commonly prescribed by doctors for the treatment of moderate-severe pain. Due to their psychoactive properties and interaction with the brain’s reward center, they are considered to have a high potential for abuse and dependence. Opioid addiction can develop after long-term use, regardless of whether or not it is used as directed.
According to government data, there are currently millions of Americans addicted to opioids, and each year, thousands die of overdoses related to the use of painkillers, other prescription drugs, and alcohol.
Methadone, like all opioids, works to block sensations of pain and satisfy cravings. It is most commonly used to treat opiate addiction and withdrawal symptoms. Opiates include drugs such as opium, heroin, and morphine.
However, also like other opioids, methadone use can lead to dependency, and without the drug, persons who are addicted will become irritable and experience withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is considered safe when used properly, but abuse can result in physical and psychological risks.
Suboxone is a prescription painkiller that contains the active ingredients buprenorphine and naloxone and is indicated for the treatment of addiction to other opioids such as heroin, hydrocodone, and morphine.
Although Suboxone is considered safe when used as prescribed by a doctor, abuse can lead to many health and psychological consequences including nausea and vomiting, insomnia, depression, drowsiness, and hypertension. Abuse also includes using Suboxone in conjunction with benzodiazepines and/or alcohol, a combination that can suppress respiratory activity to a point that can become fatal.
Subutex is a buprenorphine-based substance indicated to treat opiate addiction. It is not a very potent medication, but its use as a treatment for drugs such as heroin or fentanyl can produce psychological dependency and thus, addiction. As with any buprenorphine-based drug, Subutex can be dangerous if taken in high doses, especially with benzodiazepines which also act to repress the central nervous system.
Dilaudid is prescribed as a painkiller and is roughly six to nine times stronger than morphine. Dilaudid changes the user’s perception of pain by reacting with the brain to produce feelings of euphoria. It is believed that a dependency on Dilaudid can develop in just three weeks.
The symptoms and side effects of Dilaudid include mood swings, irritability, depression, nausea, stomach pain, trouble urinating, and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Fentanyl is among the strongest opioids available. It is a painkiller that is administered in several ways including by transdermal patch, pill, lollipop and soluble film. There is very little difference between the amount of fentanyl used to relieve pain and the amount that can be fatal.
Like other opioids, fentanyl produces a feeling of euphoria, followed by general feelings of physical and mental weakness. Other symptoms include dizziness, trouble with vision, dehydration, depression, and hallucinations. Since a person taking fentanyl can quickly develop a tolerance, the drug can rapidly consume one’s life as dependency takes over.
Oxycodone is an opioid indicated to treat severe pain. It offers long, extended relief due to its interaction with the brain that creates feelings of euphoria and masks pain. Oxycodone is included as an active ingredient in other drugs including Percocet and Roxicodone.
Oxycodone is designed to relieve pain long-term (up to 12 hours), but those who abuse the drug may alter its form and administration. For example, snorting or injecting Oxycodone provides a much more intense and immediate sensation than when the drug is used as properly prescribed.
Percocet includes a combination of Oxycodone and acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol). When you use Percocet, you get all the symptoms, side effects and risks that come with Oxycodone use. Also, overdose of acetaminophen is more likely when Percocet is abused.
Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Fortunately, opioid addiction can be treated using a comprehensive, evidence-based program focuses on teaching coping skills and addressing the symptoms of underlying mental health conditions, such as depression.
We can help you recover from opioid addiction and live the long, fulfilling life you deserve!