What is opioid addiction?

In Texas and many other areas of the country, opioid addiction is becoming an increasingly difficult problem. This category of medication includes both legal and illegal drugs and those who become addicted face possible legal reprisals as well as health problems and issues within their families. Medline Plus offers the following information on opioids and their impact.

Heroin is an opioid, but so are drugs like fentanyl, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. These drugs are often prescribed to treat chronic pain conditions, or they’re used to control pain after major surgery. Opioids can also be used as a part of cancer treatment thanks to their strong pain-killing abilities. Abuse potential increases when opioids are taken for long periods of time.

Changes to the brain’s chemistry that results from addiction make it difficult to break the cycle for many people. There are a few treatment options in this case, and many people need more than one treatment to stay sober. When it comes to opioid abuse, certain medications can control symptoms and reduce cravings. Methadone targets the same receptors as other opioids but doesn’t produce the intoxicated feeling. Naltrexone is another therapy that stops the high experienced when taking opioids, and this is commonly used to prevent a relapse.

Counseling and therapy may also be effective. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps a person manage their addiction by introducing new coping mechanisms and deal with stress on a daily basis. There is also group counseling, which allows you to confer with people going through the same addiction struggles. Therapy can be provided on an inpatient or outpatient basis depending on the severity of the addiction.