Opioids are a narcotic substance that comes from the poppy plant. These drugs, both legal and illegal, are highly addictive and affect people from all walks of life, no matter their age, race, gender, or income level.
The most common prescription opioid medications include:
- Oxycodone, brand name OxyContin®
- Hydrocodone, brand names Vicodin® and Lortab®
- Fentanyl, brand name Duragesic®
- Meperidine, brand name Demerol®
- Hydromorphone, brand name Dilaudid®
Illegal forms of opioids include opium, heroin, carfentanil, and kratom.
At Vulcan Pain Management, we understand the risks associated with opioid use. To help you safely manage your pain and reduce your dependence on opioids, Dr. Victor E. Mendoza and our pain management experts offer customized and medically supervised drug addiction therapy plans using Suboxone®.
The addictive nature of opioids
Opioids pose a risk for anyone who takes them for several reasons.
Opioids and your brain
Opioids cause your brain to release endorphins. Endorphins are a type of neurotransmitter that makes you feel good, boosts your pleasure sensations, creates a powerful sense of well-being, and dulls your perception of pain.
Opioids and your body
When you take opioids over time, your body makes fewer endorphins, and the opioid no longer produces the same surge of good feelings. At this stage, you’ve developed a tolerance for the medication, so you need to take higher doses of opioids to continue feeling good.
Opioids and tolerance
Having a tolerance to opioids increases your chances of life-threatening complications because you begin taking them in unsafe ways. And if you try to stop taking them, you can experience a wide range of severe side effects, including:
- Agitation or anxiety
- Muscle aches
- Increased pain
- Abdominal cramping
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
Because of the addictive nature of opioids, Dr. Mendoza and our team rely on Suboxone as part of our medically supervised drug addiction treatment strategies.
Suboxone and opioid addiction
Suboxone is a prescription drug containing buprenorphine and naloxone. These medications work together to reduce the effects of opioids and to block the opioid receptors in your body. This approach helps control your urges and prevent the withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid addiction. You can only receive this medication by prescription.
As part of a drug addiction treatment plan, you typically start taking Suboxone when you begin treatment and continue using it throughout your recovery. We can use Suboxone during different stages of your addiction treatment, including the withdrawal phase when your symptoms can be the most uncomfortable and potentially dangerous.
Suboxone also offers a long-term addiction treatment solution by eliminating your opioid cravings altogether.
Additional advantages of using Suboxone as part of a comprehensive, medically supervised therapy plan include:
- Pain relief with less risk of addiction
- A sense of calm and overall well-being
- Reduction in perceived worries and stress levels
As part of your Suboxone treatment, we monitor you closely for any side effects, allergies, or medical issues that may affect your recovery.
To learn more about Suboxone and opioid addiction, call us at Vulcan Pain Management or schedule an appointment online today.