Fighting Opioid Addiction At Home
A chronic pain originating from either trauma or infection can be really bothering for the person affected. The condition requires frequent visits to the doctor and a series of tests for diagnosis, but the emotional toll of chronic pain is a major issue that often remains undetected. It is important to address both physical and psychological aspects of pain owing to the mind-body association pertaining to it.
Many people increase the dosage of their medicines when they do not experience the desired relief from pain with the prescribed quantity. This happens due to the gradual resistance developed by the body against the painkiller that has been regularly consumed by the user. In a majority of the cases, the growing resistance transforms into tolerance, which eventually leads to dependence and addiction to painkiller medications.
Buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction at home
There are millions of people waiting to get rid of their drug cravings and prevent abuse of prescription drugs but do not get a chance to get treated due to long waiting lists at clinics. Sadly, many people on the wait lists succumb to overdoses and suffer from deadly physical diseases.
A 2016 study, which received a grant from the U.S. government, came as a ray of hope for numerous people waiting to get into a treatment program. Researchers at the University of Vermont developed an electronic pill dispenser that allows home use of the drug buprenorphine, sold as Suboxone. The device was designed to furnish the dosage at a three-hour interval each day.
“Of the 25 people given the device, 88 percent tested free of illicit opioids at four weeks. At eight weeks it was 84 percent and at 12 weeks, 68 percent,” said the researchers.
Pros and cons of using buprenorphine
Buprenorphine is an effective drug normally used to treat opioid abusers under various recovery programs. The drug was approved for its efficiency by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2002. Since then, it has been significantly prescribed as part of a comprehensive recovery treatment plan that includes counseling and participation in social support programs. However, the drug is given only under the supervision of a doctor.
Efficiency of buprenorphine, as stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), includes its unique pharmacological properties that help to lower the potential for misuse and reduce the effects of physical dependency (withdrawal symptoms and cravings) to opioids. The drug mimics opioids by attaching itself to the same brain receptors like opioids.
Although buprenorphine produces effects such as euphoria or respiratory depression, its unique chemical composition makes the drug weaker than heroin in terms of addictiveness. However, its misuse can cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, constipation, muscle aches and cramps, cravings, sleep disturbance, distress and irritability. Ironically, even people who are not addicted to opioid often misuse the drug.
Road to recovery
Medication prescribed for a variety of reasons, including mild or chronic pain, surgical procedure, common cold and cough, headaches, migraine, etc., carries a high risk of developing increased dependence. Recovery can be a long and arduous road that also demands endurance of withdrawal symptoms and emotional breakdown. Although the process can be mentally exhausting and physically painful, addiction is treatable with comprehensive treatments customized according to a patient’s needs.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to prescription drugs, it is advisable to seek help immediately. The Arizona Prescription Abuse Helpline can guide you to one of the best prescription drug abuse treatment centers in Arizona. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866–692–3563 for more information on prescription drug abuse treatment clinics in Arizona.