Opioid-related disorders include opioid use disorder, intoxication, and withdrawal. One of the many addictions we treat is the addiction to opiates, which Opioids include are several different prescription commonly found in pain medications ands or heroin. There are increasingly more people who transition to heroin use once their physicians stop prescribing synthetic opioids such as Vicodin, Morphine, or Fentanyl.
Opioid medications include:
Vicodin recently became one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. According to The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) Chronic Opioid Therapy (COT) “should be reserved for those with intractable chronic pain that is not adequately managed with more conservative or interventional methods.” For many, pain actually worsens with COT. They also encourage the following alternatives for pain management. These pain medications are created to help those that experience intense physical pain from trauma or degenerative disorders; they are not meant to be abused. However, these opiate-based medications can often be taken over their intended limit as those affected with pain experience increased dependency in order to function in their daily lives.
- Primary Disease Management
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Participating in pleasant and rewarding life activities
- Physical Therapy
Many experience symptoms of an opioid use disorder for several years which may lead them to think that recovery is impossible. At Boardwalk Recovery Center, we understand that different people are at different stages of change in their lives. We provide realistic and therapeutic treatment plans instill hope that it is possible to overcome their symptoms of an opioid use disorder.
Opioid Use Disorder
Opioid use disorder is a problematic pattern of use that causes significant problems, distress, and/or impairment. The severity of this disorder is based on how many symptoms the individual is experiencing. When two to three symptoms are experienced in the past 12 months the disorder is considered mild; four to five symptoms are moderate, and six or more symptoms are considered severe. Symptoms of an opioid use disorder include the following:
- Larger amounts of opioids are used over a longer period than was intended
- Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to control use
- A great deal of time is spent obtaining, using, or recovering from opioids
- Craving or a strong desire to use opioids
- Recurrent opioid use when it is physically hazardous
- Continued use despite knowledge of how it is causing or exacerbating physical and/or psychological problems
- Increased tolerance for opioids
- Withdrawal symptoms when use is stopped
If opioid use is abruptly stopped after prolonged heavy use the withdrawal symptoms can become very uncomfortable and should be monitored by a qualified physician. There are medications a physician can prescribe to help manage the symptoms of withdrawal. Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to serious dehydration which can be life threatening if not properly managed.
Symptoms of opioid withdrawal include:
- Increased muscle and joint pain
- Muscle fatigue
- General fatigue, flu-like symptoms
- Cramping in the digestive tract
- Intense dehydration
- Nausea and vomiting