Today, no other category of drugs is more nationally discussed than opioids. Ranging from fentanyl and heroin to OxyContin and Percocet, opioids are widespread throughout the United States, taking the lives of 130 people each and every day. Currently, 3.3 million Americans are abusing prescription painkillers while nearly 1 million are abusing heroin. The vast majority (approximately 80%) of people who abuse heroin today first began their history of abuse with prescription painkillers. This is because in the early 1990s, pharmaceutical companies responsible for the production of painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin, Dilaudid, fentanyl, and more assured prescribing physicians that these medications had minimal potential for being habit-forming.
As a result, physicians prescribed them more freely than they should have, which has significantly contributed to the astonishing amounts of opioid addictions in the country.
As the opioid crisis surges on in the United States, citizens continue to lose their lives and suffer severe consequences of their use. And despite opioid addiction being as invasive in American culture as it is, the amount of people receiving treatment versus the number of people who have an addiction to opioids is severely disproportionate.
For those who are inclined to reach out and get help for their opioid use disorder, there are several different options for treatment available. One of the most important aspects to overcome prior to getting into the thick of addiction treatment is dependency.
Dependency on opioids does not just occur overnight. Instead, it develops in response to one’s patterns of abuse. When someone abuses opioids in a specific dosage for a period of time, his or her body will become used to the presence of that dosage. This is known as tolerance. In order to continue to achieve the desired effects of opioid abuse, an individual must increase how much he or she consumes. As he or she continues to take more of the opioids of choice, his or her body becomes dependent on opioids.
When someone is dependent on one or more opioids, it means that he or she is unable to decrease the amount in which he or she normally uses or stop use entirely without suffering the onset of withdrawal symptoms. Being dependent on opioids, individuals must keep using in order for their minds and bodies to maintain their “new normal” of functioning. Opioid withdrawal, which is known for how physically painful and psychologically draining it can be, is often feared to the extent that individuals will continue to use rather than make an attempt to get sober.
Unfortunately, continuing to abuse opioids for whatever reason will only lead an individual towards further consequence and potential fatality. However, when someone addicted to opioids reaches out for help in Ft. Walton, FL, he or she can get the guidance and support needed in order to face withdrawal and the steps that need to be taken in order to achieve long-term recovery.
What To Expect From Medication-Assisted Treatment In Ft. Walton, FL
Medication-assisted treatment is defined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, which is effective in the treatment of opioid use disorders and can help some people to sustain recovery. Today, medication-assisted treatment is one of the most popular treatment approaches for those who are recovering from an addiction to opioids.
Depending on the needs of the patient, medication-assisted treatment in Ft. Walton, FL may be the ideal fit for him or her, especially if he or she has struggled to overcome opioid addiction in the past and is ready to follow all directions and guidelines regarding his or her medication intake. If it is determined that a patient is a good candidate for medication-assisted treatment in Ft. Walton, FL, he or she may be prescribed one of the following commonly used medications:
- Methadone – Methadone has been utilized for decades as a medication known to minimize cravings for continued opioid use, as well as decrease the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Working as an opioid agonist, methadone produces similar effects that opioids do by without causing the patient to get high.
- Buprenorphine – Buprenorphine, like methadone, decreases both cravings and withdrawal symptoms so that focusing on a thorough, comprehensive recovery can be possible.
- Vivitrol – Vivitrol, which is the brand name for naltrexone, is also effective in blocking cravings and painful symptoms of withdrawal. This medication, however, can be injected once monthly or prescribed in pill form that can be consumed daily.
Each one of these medications can dramatically improve upon one’s recovery, as they allow more focus to be placed on getting sober and staying sober, but only when used as directed. Despite these medications being used to treat opioid addiction, they themselves can be addictive if abused in any way.
Treatment in Ft. Walton, FL does not just focus on prescribing patients with a pill and sending them on their way. The disease of addiction is not that easy to treat, as it requires a multi-pronged approach to care. Therefore, those who participate in medication-assisted treatment will also simultaneously engage in therapies deemed appropriate for his or her treatment needs. Medication-assisted treatment in Ft. Walton, FL includes several therapies in this particular program including group, individual, and family therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy, experiential therapy, trauma-focused therapy, motivational interviewing, and recreational therapy. This well-rounded form of care allows patients to receive both physical and psychological resources geared towards overcoming the many challenges that the disease of addiction can put in one’s path.
Do You Need Help?
If you are abusing opioids or any other type of addictive substance, do not waste another second of your life using. Contact us in Ft. Walton, FL right now to learn more about how we can help you face down your fears regarding recovery so that you can end your use for good.
Do not let anything stand in your way of reaching out and asking for the help that you deserve. Call us right now. We are ready to help you.