With a history that stems back to ancient times, opioid use or misuse is by no means a new occurrence. At A Step in the Right Direction, we’re more familiar with the recent opioid abuse epidemic that’s sweeping across the United States. From prescription painkillers to illegal narcotics such as heroin, opioids come in multiple forms. As a team working at a JCAHO accredited treatment center, we believe understanding a few facts about opioid addiction can help you or a loved one work toward recovery.

Opioids come in prescription forms and create pleasurable effects that make them addictive

Many of the opioids that cause addictions come in the form of a seemingly harmless prescription. Although many people can take painkillers without experiencing addictive effects, when they do rely on opioids to feel a certain way, the consequences can become devastating. For example, the medication codeine converts into morphine via the liver, which then produces chemical effects that are similar to endorphin release. Codeine is a common prescription drug and there are lots of other medications a doctor may prescribe that have similar effects:

  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine
  • Diphenoxylate
  • Meperidine
  • And more

Unfortunately, for those who form an addiction to the drugs above, the body can rapidly adapt to their pleasure-creating effects. As a result, they may begin to take more, placing them at risk of overdose, making them a danger while driving, or even causing death.

Statistics show that opioid addiction is more common than you think

In 2015, statistics showed that over two-million Americans had a substance abuse disorder involving prescription painkillers. Additionally, 591,000 suffered from a heroin addiction.

At A Step in the Right Direction, we understand that the ease of access to opioids and the effects they have can lead patients into a dangerous pattern. We try to understand why a person develops an addiction before using a multi-disciplinary team to create a bespoke plan that helps them develop better coping mechanisms. Such plans can involve creating better pain-management strategies. We believe our approach is how we became recgonized and awarded as a JCAHO accredited treatment center.

Heroin addictions are on the rise

While reversing the consequences of an opioid overdose using a drug called Naloxone is easy when performed in a timely manner, limiting the number of heroin addictions isn’t as simple. Unfortunately, some of the drugs used to wean heroin addicts away from opioids are opioids themselves. Methadone, for example.

Evidence shows that heroin addictions and overdoses are on the rise, which is why we like to take a unique approach to helping our patients recover. Each member of our team understands that it’s necessary to dig into an individual’s addictive behaviors before trying to treat them. With our patient-centered approach, you or your loved one have a stronger chance of rebuilding your life free from opioids.

To find out more about whether you are suffering from an opioid addiction or how we can help, contact us.