What is Opioid Addiction and How Can Pain and Spine Specialists Help?

In the last week, the Baltimore City Health Commissioner has officially declared opioid addiction to be a public health emergency. According to one news source, the number of people who have died of an opioid overdose has officially reached epidemic proportions. But this problem isn’t just in Baltimore. The drug addiction problem has stretched across the Nation and even around the world. Although opioids are meant to be pain relievers, many of these prescription medications are more potent than some street drugs. So, what constitutes an opioid addiction and how can this addiction be treated?

What is an Opioid Addiction?

To understand opioid addiction, it is important to first discuss opioids. An opioid is a type of medication that is used to relieve pain. When taken, these drugs work to lower the number of pain signals the body sends to the brain and change how the brain responds to pain. Opioids can be prescribed for pain relief after surgeries, injuries, dental procedures, and for chronic conditions like cancer or diseases. Even some prescription cough medicines contain opioids. While these medications are safe when used correctly, misusing them can lead to addiction. Opioid addiction occurs when the pleasurable effects of drug misuse begin to make the individual crave that drug. Over time, the brain changes the way it functions so it becomes dependent on the drug. The category of “opioid” includes opium, codeine, fentanyl, heroin, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, methadone, pain killersz, oxycodone, oxymorphone, paregoric, sufentanil, and tramadol. If a patient is dependent or addicted to any of these medications, there are some treatment options available.

Treating Your Addiction at Pain and Spine Specialists

Due to how this addiction affects the brain, it is not often something that can be overcome without help. Along with medical treatments, counseling, and behavioral therapies can help millions of people regain control over their lives. Buprenorphine/naloxone, also known as Opioid Treatment Film, is a way for the patient to treat his/her addiction at home discreetly and effectively. After taking the Opioid Treatment Film, a patient will need to seek counseling to learn how to deal with the after-effects of the addiction. With an effective treatment plan, the patient will be able to recover from their addiction.

Opioid addiction is a disease that changes the way the body and the brain function. For more information on dealing with your addiction, call Pain and Spine Specialists today.

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Pain and Spine Specialists treat many conditions and injuries of the back, neck, and spine by taking a whole-person approach to care. Our focus is getting you back on your feet in good health.

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