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Healing Opioid Use Disorder: What you Need to Know

Healing Opioid Use Disorder: What you Need to Know

Opioid use disorder is a disease that affects the brain and involves ongoing drug abuse. It can be a difficult road in healing opioid use disorder, but it’s not impossible.

Thanks to strides in the medical industry, there are many treatment options for those who want help. Opioids are medications prescribed by doctors to treat pain; however, they can be addictive when abused and lead to opioid dependence or addiction.

If you have been diagnosed with an opioid-use disorder, it’s important that you seek professional help in order to stop using opioids and regain control of your life. There are various treatment options available such as therapy, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and medication management programs (MMPs), new technologies like Vivitrol injection or Suboxone programs, outpatient and residential care facilities (RCFs) where people live while being treated for their opioid use.


Healing Addiction

The term “addiction” refers to a wide range of disorders marked by compulsive, difficult-to-control, and repetitive behaviors that have adverse effects. This word is not commonly used in clinical practice since it is vague and does not characterize these problems as complicated and chronic brain diseases. Substance Use Disorders are the medical word for it (specifically, alcohol use disorder, opioid use disorder, etc.).


How Substance Abuse Affects the Brain and Body

Various substance abuse stimulates the reward-processing circuit in the brain, resulting in a subjective sense of pleasure or a “high.” When a drug like an opioid activates the reward circuit while simultaneously decoupling it from any relevant environmental inputs, the behavior of taking opioids eventually becomes self-reinforcing.

Furthermore, individuals who take opioids daily for several weeks become physiologically reliant on the medicine. As a result, when individuals stop taking the drug abruptly, they experience uncomfortable symptoms unrelated to the reward circuit, including increased heart rate, sweatiness, and acute desire.

Withdrawal is the term for these symptoms. Many individuals who have an opioid use problem develop tolerance, which means increasing doses of opioids to achieve the same results.

All substance use disorders are brain disorders, including opioid use disorder. When exposed to abused substances, some individuals are more sensitive to developing a substance use disorder due to a complex combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Contrary to many myths and stigmas, substance abuse problems are not the result of a moral deficiency or a lack of willpower.

Encouraging and motivating patients to participate in therapy, on the other hand, is critical. Emotional growth and self-awareness are crucial features of healing. Even when patients are ambivalent or resistant to treatment, constant support and personal improvement are linked to a better outcome.


How Opioid Addiction Happens

Anyone who uses opioids runs the danger of becoming addicted to them. Your personal history and the amount of time you use opioids play a factor, but it’s hard to predict who will become addicted to and abuse these medications in the future. Whether legal or illegal, stolen or shared, these medications are responsible for the majority of overdose deaths in the United States today.

Addiction is a disease in which something that was once enjoyable has become something you can’t live without. Doctors define substance addiction as an insatiable desire for a drug, out-of-control and obsessive use of the drug and continued use despite severe consequences.

However, certain medications can be taken to overcome opioid abuse, one of which is suboxone. Suboxone is a medication that combines buprenorphine and naloxone. It is used to treat opioid drug addiction, such as heroin and narcotic painkillers. Suboxone suppresses cravings for narcotics like heroin, morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl by binding to the same receptors in the brain as opiates.

Suboxone, like many other medicines, has negative effects such as sweating, headache, vomiting, nausea, constipation, insomnia, numbness or redness of the mouth, tongue pain (if using the film), and swelling in the arms and legs. It can also cause opioid withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, stomach cramps, diarrhea, irritability, and anxiety. If you are serious about Healing Opioid Use Disorder, find an addiction treatment clinic near you for help.


Risk Factors Involved with Opioid Abuse

When you consume opioids in ways other than prescribed, such as smashing a pill so it may be snorted or injected, they become extremely addictive. If the tablet is a long- or extended-acting version, this life-threatening activity becomes much more perilous.

Overdosing can occur if all of the medicine is delivered to your body at once. Taking more opioid medication than prescribed, or taking it more frequently than prescribed, raises your risk of addiction. Several other elements, including genetic, psychological, and environmental factors, have a part in addiction, developing swiftly or over time.

Addiction to opioids can lead to life-threatening health issues, including the danger of overdosing. When excessive doses of opioids cause breathing to slow or stop, the result is unconsciousness and death if the overdose is not treated very away. Overdosing is a concern with legal and illegal opioids if a person takes too much of the drug or if opioids are coupled with other drugs (particularly tranquilizers called benzodiazepines).


The Benefits of Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction

The use of drugs in conjunction with counseling and behavioral therapies to give a “whole-patient” approach to treating substance use disorders is known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the medications used in MAT, and MAT programs are clinically driven and tailored to each patient’s requirements.

According to research, a combination of medication and treatment can effectively treat these problems, and MAT can aid in the long-term rehabilitation of some persons battling with addiction. MAT is also used to prevent or lessen the effects of an opioid overdose. MAT has been used successfully and extensively in Healing Opioid Use Disorder.

MAT has shown to be therapeutically effective in reducing the requirement for inpatient detoxification services for these individuals. Most patients’ needs are met by MAT, which is a more thorough, personally planned combination of medication and behavioral therapy.

Full recovery, along with the ability to live a self-directed life, is the ultimate goal of MAT. This treatment strategy has been demonstrated to:

  • Improve patient survival
  • Increase treatment retention
  • Reduce illicit opiate usage and other criminal activities among people with substance use disorders
  • Improve patients’ job finding and retention ability
  • Improve the birth outcomes of pregnant mothers with substance use problems.


According to studies, these drugs and therapies can help reduce a person’s chance of developing HIV or hepatitis C by lowering the risk of recurrence.

Opioids are unlikely to be a safe and effective long-term therapeutic option if you suffer from chronic pain. There are a variety of different options, including nonpharmacological therapies and less-addictive pain drugs. If at all possible, choose a treatment strategy that allows you to live a life free of opioids.

Protecting opioid drugs while you’re using them and properly disposing of unneeded opioids can help avoid addiction in your family and community. For information on local prescription takeback initiatives, contact your local law enforcement department, your trash and recycling service, or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). If there isn’t a take-back program in your area, ask your pharmacist for advice.

What is the one most important thing you can do to avoid becoming addicted to opioids? Recognize that no one is immune and that we all have a role to play in breaking the drug’s grasp on our loved ones and our communities.