Opioid Addiction Treatment Q&A
Opioids are a type of medication that is typically used to treat extremely painful conditions. In America, opioid use disorder affects over 2.5 million. At Integrated Health & Wellness Services, LLC Ngozi T. Chiekwu, MD, PMHNP-BC a board-certified psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner. She has experience with substance use disorder. The “whole-patient” approach is used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to treat opioid addiction. Opioid addiction treatment is available at Integrated Health and Wellness Services LLC. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 1508 Pennsylvania Ave Wilmington, DE 19806.
Table of Contents:
What is used to treat opioids?
What is an opioid?
What does opioid treat and what does it do to the body?
What is the first step in treating drug addiction?
What is the first line of treatment for opioid use disorder?
In the treatment of substance use disorders, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) uses both medication and counseling and behavioral therapies to provide a “whole-patient” approach. A MAT program is clinically driven and tailored to fit the needs of each patient. The drugs used in MAT have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Some people struggling with addiction may benefit from MAT as a means of maintaining recovery if they combine medication and therapy. Additionally, MAT is used to prevent or reduce opioid overdoses.
In most cases, MAT is used to treat opioid addiction, such as heroin and prescription pain relievers containing opiates. In addition to normalizing brain chemistry, blocking alcohol and opioid euphoric effects, relieving physiological cravings, and normalizing body functions, the prescribed medication also helps normalize brain chemistry.
An opioid is a class of drugs that is usually prescribed for pain relief. The most common examples are codeine (in Tylenol No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4), oxycodone, morphine, hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and fentanyl. Treatment of addiction to other opioids, as well as the treatment of coughs and diarrhea, are other medical uses of opioids. The euphoria produced by opioids makes them highly addictive. A mellow, relaxed high is one of the reasons why some people use opioids.
Opioids are used by people suffering from chronic headaches and backaches, those recovering from surgery, and by those suffering from severe cancer pain, as well as by people who have been severely injured by sports, falls, auto accidents, or other accidents.
Neurons in the brain, spinal cord, gut, and other parts of the body contain opioid receptor proteins. As a result, opioids block the transmission of pain signals from the body to the brain through the spinal cord. Despite their effectiveness in relieving pain, opioids are associated with some risks and can be highly addictive. When opioids are used to manage chronic pain for a long time, the risk of addiction is especially high.
Addiction treatment begins when the individual admits they have a problem and seeks treatment. Getting sober requires a motivation for getting sober, understanding that they have an addiction, and being willing to work for it.
Therapy and counseling can be lifelines for many people, but friends and family members can also provide a safe and supportive space for them to express themselves without blame language or too much outside opinion.
There are significant personal, public health, and economic implications associated with opioid use disorder (OUD). People with OUD have been involved in many fatal and non-fatal overdoses in recent years. Medications diverted from the medical system may contribute to OUD, as can illicitly manufactured opioids like heroin and street fentanyl.
With effective treatment and follow-up, people with OUD can achieve long-term remission. In order to optimize the determinants of health and address other psychosocial factors that influence substance use and quality of life, opioid agonist therapy (OAT) should be considered as a first-line treatment for moderate to severe OUD.
It is ideal to combine OAT with behavioral and social supports. Among other things, OAT can block the intoxicating effects of other short-acting opioids, including fentanyl, and stabilize the cycle of intoxication and withdrawal. Those who are maintained on OAT typically experience improved health and social functioning, as well as a significant reduction in the risk of overdose and all-cause mortality.
It is possible for people to use illicit drugs without meeting the criteria for OUD, yet suffer from poisoning, overdose, and death due to these drugs. People in these situations are not covered by this guideline, and recommendations for programs and services to address their needs are not included.
Opioid addiction treatment is available at Integrated Health and Wellness Services LLC. For more information, contact us and schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 1508 Pennsylvania Ave Wilmington, DE 19806. We serve patients from Wilmington DE, Ashley, Newport, Stanton, Elsmere, Greenville, Landlith, Minquadale, Montchanin, Wilmington, Pennyhill, and surrounding areas.
Additional Services You May Need
▸ Addiction Treatment & Counseling
▸ Psychiatric Medication Management
▸ Telehealth Service and Inperson Service
▸ Opioid Treatment and MAT Program
▸ DNA Testing
▸ Psychiatric Evaluation
▸ Monitoring and Screening
▸ Cognitive Assessments
▸ Remote Health Monitoring
▸ Couple Counseling
▸ Family & Group Counseling