It is a medical condition called Opioid Dependency. It is growing exponentially. It affects all ages and all levels of society; most frightening it is growing rapidly among our youth. Many people become victims of this condition from misusing prescription medications for acute and chronic pain; others become addicted from recreational use. Opioid dependence ruins lives, physically, emotionally, financially and socially. It destroys families, jobs and professions.
Patients who become Opioid Dependent experience severe physical and mental pain if they do not continue to use opioids. This pain of withdrawal can be so horrible that it can reach psychotic mentation and delusions and actions. Thus, it is almost impossible to break this cycle of addiction without help.
When a person is addicted to drugs his main occupation is pursuing drugs, either from prescriptions from doctors or off the street. His family relationships suffer; his performance at work is impaired; his finances are impacted and destroyed, but he just don’t care. He is aware of the results of his addiction, but nothing else matters except getting more drugs.
The continual use of opioids causes brain changes which cause an ever greater increasing need for opiates. The brain can only be satisfied by taking more opiates. If the supply of opiates is cut off the person goes into severe painful withdrawal which can only be offset by taking more drugs.
Suboxone is a drug which can relieve the painful symptoms of withdrawal. Even though it is an opiate itself, it works by blocking the opiate receptors in the brain. If a person is taking Suboxone and then takes other opiates he will go into severe withdrawal. Suboxone must be prescribed and administered by a physician who is specially trained and licensed by the DEA to supervise patients who want to become free from opiate addiction. The DEA recommends a counseling program to be administered concurrently with the giving of Suboxone in order that the patient can have some understanding of the process he is going through to be free from drug addiction and rebuild his life. The DEA also requires periodic drug testing while the patient is on Suboxone. As with any prescription medication, the dosages must be supervised by a physician and patients are advised not to change their dosage on their own.
If a patient has other medical needs such as surgery or injuries that may require analgesic medications, he must tell the doctor or dentist that he is in a drug detox program and proper analgesic medications must be prescribed. If the usual narcotics are prescribed, the patient may relapse. This requires cooperative management by the patient and his doctors to avoid relapse.
Budget Medical Clinic offers a supervised drug detox program. It encompasses out patient group counseling in the privacy of our office on a twice weekly basis along with concurrent medical supervision and qualified drug addiction counseling. Our staff makes every effort to facilitate this process, the patient must have a sincere desire to be free of drugs. That is the first step. If the patient will not make this choice, he will fail. Our goal is to give the patient tools to choose not to use drugs.