Opioid Addiction Q & A
What are opioids?
Opioids are a type of drug naturally found in the opium plant. The drug attaches to opioid receptors on nerve cells found in your brain, spine, and gut to block signaling to get the desired results. The drugs are primarily prescribed to treat pain.
Types of opioids include:
Though effective at treating pain, opioids are highly addictive because they also trigger your brain’s reward center. Up to 12% of people who are prescribed opioids misuse the drug.
Over time, your opioid use alters your brain’s chemistry so you develop a tolerance to the drug, which means you need to take more of the drug to experience the same effects.
What is an opioid addiction?
An opioid addiction is a chronic disease that affects your physical, mental, and social health. The cause of opioid addiction is complex and may develop from a combination of factors that includes your genetics, lifestyle, and environment.
With opioid addiction, you may prioritize getting and using the drug, which may affect your professional and personal relationships.
Your opioid addiction may also lead to an overdose, which is a life-threatening condition that slows or stops your breathing and requires emergency medical care.
What are the symptoms of opioid addiction?
An opioid addiction affects your physical, psychological, and behavioral health. Common symptoms of opioid addiction include:
- Compulsive urge to use the drug
- Mood swings
- Disinterest in usual activities
- Ignoring daily responsibilities
- Mood swings
- Lack of motivation
- Poor decision making
You or a loved one may also have an opioid addiction if withdrawal symptoms develop when you attempt to stop using the drug. Your withdrawal symptoms may include severe muscle cramping, diarrhea, and anxiety, which can last for days.
How is opioid addiction treated?
The team at Alpha Care Medical specializes in the treatment of opioid addiction and offers the medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program. MAT combines behavioral health with medications to help you recover from your addiction and reduce your risk of relapse.
With MAT, your provider at Alpha Care Medical prescribes specific medications that help manage your physical cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Your behavioral therapy addresses the psychological issues related to your opioid addiction.
For comprehensive care of your opioid addiction from an experienced team, call Alpha Care Medical to book an appointment today.