About Opiate Addiction

Opiate Addiction Treatment

People can become addicted to opiates for many different reasons, and to be honest, how it all started for you doesn’t really matter, what matters is that you are here because you want to stop using and hopefully get help! Realizing you have an opiate addiction is a victory unto itself, it takes people years to admit it to themselves, let alone anyone else. The next step is asking for help.

Opiate drugs, which include prescription opioid painkillers such as Codeine, Fentanyl and Hydrocodone, as well as other drugs like heroin, can start producing withdrawal symptoms within just hours of taking the last dose. Those symptoms can typically last for one or more weeks. Unlike other sorts of withdrawals, unassisted withdrawal from opiates, going cold turkey, may not be life-threatening, but it is painful to endure, and it can lead to relapse.

Everyone experiences withdrawal a little differently, but some common symptoms of opiate addiction withdrawal might include:

  • Muscle Pain
  • Shakiness
  • Feeling Cold
  • Sweating
  • Inability to Sleep
  • Nightmares
  • sleepiness
  • runny nose
  • watery eyes
  • crying
  • depression
  • hallucinations
  • Severe Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Racing Thoughts
  • Loss of Interest in Activities
  • nervousness
  • slurred speech
  • teeth chattering
  • trembling
  • general weakness

The good news is, medications and therapy seem to help decrease chances of relapsing and help to significantly minimize or avoid the typical feeling of withdrawal. Medication-Assisted-Treatment, commonly known as MAT, is a very promising way to get your life back on track. Through medications such as Buprenorphine, commonly known as Suboxone, or other similar formulations of the medication, patients work with a qualified medical provider to stop using the harmful or destructive opiates. This helps with controlling the withdrawal symptoms and increasing their chances of sobriety with long-term success.

Here is how it works: Buprenorphine is an opioid agonist/ antagonist that works to block other narcotics while reducing the symptoms and feelings of withdrawal. Patients that are a good fit for this treatment, can come to our office to meet with a medical provider who will assess their individual situation. From there, we will determine a plan of treatment that is unique and specific to their needs. We work with our patients to find the best and most affordable formulation of the medication, as well as regular visits with their provider to ensure that the patient continues to do well throughout treatment. Typically, patients will have a few follow up appointments the first month until the patient and provider are comfortable with how things are going. After that, one follow up visit per month is typically enough, however patients are always welcome to come in more regularly if they feel that will be helpful for their long-term recovery goals.