Exploring Alternative Treatment Options to Opioid Addiction

November 5, 2017

For more than two decades, the United States has seen an opioid crisis. This was brought on by the increase in the use of this type of drug despite its addictive properties. Opioids constitute a range of prescription and nonprescription drugs used for pain relief.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are substances extracted from plants or derived from synthetic methods. They come in forms such as fentanyl, codeine, oxycodone, among others. The drug is known for its usage in pain management. It is often prescribed for immediate relief of individuals suffering from acute pain after surgery. This substance is also used for long-term pain management in certain chronic or terminal conditions such as cancer.

When prescribed and taken as directed by the doctor, the substance can be used not only for pain relief but for addressing a variety of medical conditions. The narcotic is used to relieve symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome. It is also used to address coughing and breathing problems related to COPD and other conditions.

Adverse Effects of Opioid Usage

Some types of opioids accumulate in the body over time. These means, the substance cannot be quickly synthesized by the body. As a result, the build-up produces long-term toxic effects to the body.

Like any drug or medication, adverse effects have been observed in prolonged and unregulated opioid use. Toxic exposure could lead to effects such as dizziness, nausea and vomiting. It could also lead to impaired cognition and increased pain sensitivity in some individuals. In extreme cases, unregulated prolonged use could lead to addiction, coma or death. In the case of an overdose, the individual may suffer from symptoms such as shock, decreased heart rate and breathing, and unconsciousness.

What are the Symptoms of Opioid Addiction?

Opioid dependence or addiction occurs as a result of the unregulated prolonged use of the substance. This usually results in a strong urge to use the drug and to an increased tolerance to the substance. When opioid use is abruptly halted, withdrawal symptoms could occur. Individuals suffering from these symptoms often seek relief through therapy and other means. Part of the current treatment options includes any Non Addictive Opioid Withdrawal Relief.

Are there Relief Options to Opioid Addiction?

Aside from the nonaddictive options, there are other forms of treatment for opioid addiction. These include replacement therapy which involves replacing the substance with another less potent form. The program utilizes a tapering approach or a gradual withdrawal from the substance.

Current programs also incorporate detoxification and behavioral therapy programs. The goal of these programs is to motivate the individual to conquer the addiction and to prevent a relapse. Some of these rehabilitative programs also incorporate community or group intervention.

Since becoming a popular option for pain relief, opioids became a public health concern due to its addictive qualities. Luckily, treatment options are available for those who are suffering from addiction. These include short and long-term treatment and therapy options that address all aspects of opioid addiction and dependence.