Opioids such as heroin and fentanyl often come to mind when people think of addiction or opioid use disorder (OUD). However, prescribed medications, whether prescribed or bought on the street, such as oxycodone and morphine, are a huge problem as well. This article will explore the various supports and treatments available for people struggling with OUD.
Definition of Fentanyl and Opioids
Opioids are available in a variety of forms, both legal and illegal. They are used to treat pain but they are highly addictive, even when taken as directed by a doctor.
Addiction and the use of prescription drugs without a doctor’s order are even more common in people with personality, mental and substance use disorders.
Types of Opioids:
The most dangerous is fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be fifty to one hundred times more potent than heroin and morphine.
There are two kinds of synthetic fentanyl:
- Fentanyl can be prescribed by doctors to treat and manage severe pain. It goes by the names Actiq, Duragesic and Sublimaze
- Fentanyl is produced illegally in labs and sold as powder, blotter paper, eye drops, nasal sprays and pills. It is linked to the majority of overdoses and deaths
Recently, illegal drug manufacturers are currently combining fentanyl with cocaine, heroin, MDMA and methamphetamine. This reduces the price for dealers and significantly increases the number of accidental overdoses.
Overview of Opioid Crisis in the US
The opioid crisis began in the 1990s with the introduction of new painkillers that, despite claims from pharmaceutical companies, turned out to be very addictive, leading to a rapid rise in patient abuse and addiction.
Because they have been approved for medical use, the side effects of these medications have frequently been underestimated despite their similarity to illegal substances.
Negligence on the part of pharmaceutical companies and health care providers, as well as a lack of public education and awareness, have contributed to the rapid rate of addiction and abuse.
Drug overdose death rates in rural areas have surpassed those in urban areas, posing a serious threat to public health.
The opioid overdose crisis has three waves:
- Overdose deaths caused by prescription opioids started in 1999
- There was a rise in deaths caused by heroin in 2010
- Since 2013, there have been more deaths involving synthetically produced fentanyl
Support for Fentanyl and Opioid Recovery
Detoxing from opioids is the first step toward recovery. Detox on its own typically is not sufficient to maintain long-term recovery. Medically supervised detox can lead to long-term recovery for many individuals.
Counseling is also recommended and there are a variety of options available to meet individual needs. A customized treatment plan will be developed for each individual who requires opioid detox and treatment.
Detox, Therapy and Inpatient Treatment
Inpatient treatment programs provide help with detox as well as therapy and emotional support within a safe environment while being removed from the home environment which is full of triggers. This is the best option for people to detox safely and get the most out of treatment.
There are a number of therapies that can help throughout the detox and recovery process, including:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): this therapy helps people change their negative thought patterns and behaviors
- Motivational enhancement therapy (MET): strives to help people remain motivated during treatment and recovery
- Group counseling: therapy by way of peer support has great success rates and offers people in recovery a much-needed sense of belonging and community
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
When it comes to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder, multiple medications are available to provide people with the consistency and support they need to recover quickly and sustainably.
Opioid addiction treatment with MATs should always include additional treatment to address the client’s mental and emotional needs.
- Methadone – reduces pain, cravings and withdrawal symptoms. This was the opioid detox drug of choice before 2000. The concern with methadone is the high risk for misuse and addiction.
- Buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex) – effective in reducing pain and cravings and can prevent uncomfortable symptoms while detoxing. This was introduced in 2002 and is preferred by practitioners due to the lower risk for abuse.
- Naltrexone – blocks the effects of the drugs and does not provide any type of high or pleasurable feeling
Reach Out for Help with Opioid and Fentanyl Addiction
Are you or a loved one struggling with fentanyl or opioid addiction? Luxe Recovery’s knowledgeable admissions staff is happy to discuss treatment options and help find a solution that is best for you.
As our clients make the commitment to overcome their addiction and live a fulfilling life of sobriety, Luxe Recovery provides them with a treatment program for substance abuse and mental health that is of the highest quality.
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