Opioid Addiction

Opioid Addiction Treatment in Louisiana

Facing the Crisis: A Deep Dive into Opioid Addiction

The United States grapples with a severe opioid crisis, exacerbated by the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. In 2018, the nation witnessed a staggering 128 lives lost daily to opioid overdoses, resulting in significant economic losses totaling $78.5 billion. Commonly known as painkillers, opioids, whether prescribed by medical professionals or acquired illicitly, present a range of substances, including synthetic variants and those derived from the opium plant.

Understanding Opioids: Types, Forms, and Uses

Opioids encompass a spectrum of pain medications such as tramadol, fentanyl, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. The notorious street drug heroin also falls within this category. Medical practitioners prescribe narcotics to manage severe pain, post-surgery, or in conditions like cancer. Opioids are available in various forms, including pills, lozenges, lollipops, skin patches, suppositories, injections, and IVs.

Genesis of the Opioid Crisis: Unraveling the Causes

The opioid crisis traces its roots back to the 1990s when pharmaceutical companies assured doctors that prescription opioids posed no addiction risk. Routine prescriptions for pain management led to widespread dependence, misuse, and overdoses. Attempts to curb the crisis through restrictions fueled the demand for illicit opioids. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tackles the issue through strategies such as enhancing treatment accessibility, promoting overdose reversal drugs, data collection, supporting addiction and pain research, and exploring alternative, safer pain relief methods.

How Opioids Impact the Body

Opioids interact with opioid receptors in nerve cells throughout the body, including the brain, spinal cord, and gut. By attaching to these receptors, opioids disrupt the transmission of pain signals. While effective in pain management, the risk of addiction is high, especially when used for chronic conditions.

Prescription Opioids: Names and Distinctions

Prescription opioids come in various generic and brand names, including Morphine, Codeine, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Fentanyl, and Oxymorphone. Common brand names like Percocet, Palladone, Vicodin, and OxyContin are employed based on pain levels, patient specifics, and the nature of the situation. Heroin, a potent illicit drug, is never prescribed by medical professionals.

Opioid Usage Trends

Different generations exhibit varied approaches to opioid usage. Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation prefer over-the-counter painkillers over narcotics. Baby Boomers are twice as likely as Millennials to use opioids, while Millennials and Generation Xers often opt for lifestyle changes. However, nearly 30% of Millennials find it acceptable to use opioids without a prescription, leading to regret in one in five cases.

Navigating Opioid Use Disorder: Identifying and Treating Addiction

Opioid use disorder, defined by the DSM-5, results from prolonged or incorrect use of prescribed pain medications. The disorder involves criteria such as unsuccessful efforts to limit use, persistent cravings, and difficulties meeting responsibilities. Side effects of opioid use disorder include severe withdrawal symptoms, making cessation challenging.

Recognizing Opioid Use Disorder: Behavioral Signs

In addition to DSM-5 criteria, behavioral signs of opioid use disorder include an inability to control use, persistent cravings, drowsiness, changes in sleep habits, weight loss, flu-like symptoms, altered personal hygiene, disrupted exercise routines, withdrawal from social circles, and engagement in theft or legal issues.

Treatment Approaches: A Holistic Perspective

Effective treatment of opioid use disorder involves a multi-faceted approach, incorporating medication, behavioral therapy, counseling, and medication-assisted therapy (MAT). Medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone, combined with counseling, play a crucial role in reducing misuse, criminal behavior, and relapse.

Facts and Figures: A Glimpse into Opioid Statistics

Opioid misuse statistics in the U.S. reveal a concerning trend, with over 191 million opioid prescriptions in 2017 and nearly 60% of all prescriptions being opioids. Over 11 million people misused prescription pain pills in the same year, leading to a significant number of emergency room visits and opioid-related deaths. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initiated a 5-Point Strategy to Combat the Opioid Crisis in 2017.

Help is Available: The Role of New Day Recovery

New Day Recovery, based in Louisiana, stands ready to address opioid use disorders comprehensively. Recognizing that recovery involves addressing underlying causes, the facility provides a range of evidence-based therapies, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Trauma Therapy, Grief and Loss Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. With a structured detox program and 24/7 medical support, New Day Recovery ensures a safe withdrawal process. Interventions, lifestyle guidance, and relapse prevention strategies are integral components of their approach.

If you or someone you know is grappling with opioid use disorder, New Day Recovery is poised to provide the necessary support. The first step toward overcoming opioid dependency may be challenging, but the professional team at New Day Recovery is committed to guiding individuals on the path to recovery. Reach out for help, as the journey to sobriety begins with a decisive first step.