Kicking Prescription Drug Addiction
Suboxone Can Help You Kick Prescription Drug Addiction to the Curb
Prescription drug addiction goes beyond over the counter medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen in their strength, and while they may be an asset to those recovering from illness or surgery, they are not without complications. Certain prescription painkillers are opioids, which are medications derived from opium, the same plant source from which both poppy seeds and heroin are derived. As such, prescription painkillers are narcotics, and they can cause users to develop addictions when taken incorrectly or over a long period. Addiction may be a physical, biochemical dependence, but it can also have emotional consequences, such as feelings of humiliation and anxiety.
How Does Prescription Drug Addiction Work?
Opioids work by traveling to the brain and interacting with opioid receptors, which are protein molecules in cell membranes that respond when they come into contact with specific chemicals. Endogenic opioids, which are opioid peptides that naturally occur in the human body, trigger a pain-relieving response when they attach themselves to opioid receptors. If you have ever jogged a long distance and experienced a so-called “runner’s high,” this sensation is the result of the endogenic opioids known as endorphins interacting with the receptors in your brain.
Unlike endorphins and similar opioid peptides, opioids derived from opium are habit-forming, and prolonged use will result in increased tolerance to the drugs’ effects and addiction. Common signs of physical dependence on opioids include both a reduction in the drugs’ effectiveness as well as marked symptoms such as nausea, sweating, and tremors between dosages. Our office has worked with many patients who began to take painkillers such as codeine or oxycodone for relief of pain due to chronic illness or recent surgery, only to find themselves becoming dependent on the drug. Common signs of prescription drug addiction include withdrawal symptoms, a gradual increase in use, and compulsively seeking prescriptions from numerous doctors. Dependence on opioids can affect both a person’s physical health as well as other aspects of life; according to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, someone with an opioid addiction may find him- or herself unable to concentrate at work or uninterested in typical pastimes and social activities.
Can I Battle My Prescription Drug Addiction Myself?
Simply quitting prescription painkillers cold turkey can result in severe withdrawal symptoms—an experience that is difficult to endure and may even require hospitalization. However, there is another option: if you are serious about breaking your prescription drug addiction to an opioid medication, treatment with Suboxone can help. Suboxone, a combination of the receptor antagonists buprenorphine and naloxone, is a medication that can allow patients to slowly wean themselves off opioids. This medication is a film that is taken sublingually—that is, the film is placed under the tongue—and in combination with counseling-based treatment methods, Suboxone can help patients gradually reduce their dependence on opioids. Because Suboxone leaves the brain cells more slowly than opioids, it is particularly effective in staving off withdrawal symptoms.
The Suboxone treatment program that our Doctors in Buffalo offer is designed to guide individuals with opioid and prescription drug addiction along the winding path to recovery. Our Doctors in Buffalo are committed to ensuring that all of our patients are able to recuperate from their addictions in a calm and supportive environment. If you or a loved one is currently struggling with a dependence on prescription medication, call our Buffalo office today to discuss how Suboxone can help to break the addiction once and for all.