Whether you call it a crisis, an epidemic, or a public health emergency, there is no understating the extent of the nation’s opioid addiction. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that more than 10.3 million people misused prescription opioids in 2018. Of that total, 2 million were diagnosed with an opioid use disorder,.
Also in 2018, a staggering 808,000 people used heroin — 81,000 of those for the first time. Overall, 47,600 people died from heroin and synthetic opioid overdoses.
Despite all of the news coverage and lives impacted by the opioid epidemic, there is still a lot of misinformation out there about opioid usage. Addiction and treatment are complicated topics that are easily misunderstood.
When it comes to helping addicts wean off of their medication, you may not know what’s true and what’s not. Suboxone is a proven withdrawal and addiction medication that has helped millions turn the clock back on heroin addiction.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, the team at Lori Scott Family Care can help. Lori C. Scott, MD, is passionate about improving the lives of her patients through low-cost treatments. Dr. Scott’s combination of no-nonsense approaches and compassionate care ensures that her patients get the best care possible.
Use this blog to separate fact from fiction when it comes to addiction treatment.
Myth: Heroin is the main driver of the opioid epidemic
In fact, while heroin is one of the most visible opioids and has been a popular street drug for decades, there’s more to the opioid crisis than just heroin. On their face, opioids are a type of medicine that doctors use to treat pain. They block pain receptors and help those with high levels of pain find relief. Well-known opioids include:
Any of these are highly addictive.
Myth: Addicts are weak
In fact, anyone can become addicted. Look at it this way. Opioids do two main things: stop pain and create a euphoric feeling. It’s easy to see how the high of an opioid can quickly become addicting. Additionally, the body slowly builds a tolerance to opioids, pushing addicts to use more to achieve the same high.
Eventually, this leads to a total dependency. Suboxone® helps break the vicious circle of opioid addiction and can play a critical part in helping patients detox safely.
Myth: Narcan is the only effective anti-opioid drug
In fact, while Narcan® is one effective approach, it’s not the only one. Narcan is great when it comes to treating an overdose in progress; it can even reverse the respiratory depression often associated with overdose deaths.
However, Narcan is also an opioid antagonist. This means it can trigger painful withdrawal symptoms.
Suboxone works differently because it’s a combination of two drugs, naloxone and buprenorphine. The two work in concert to wean users off of opioids and block future cravings.
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, meaning that it provides very diminished opioid doses that help users come down and avoid withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone is a pure opioid antagonist that totally blocks the receptors activated by opioids.
When combined, the two drugs in suboxone help gently wean users off of opioids while avoiding withdrawal symptoms. It’s truly the best of both worlds.
Opioid addiction isn’t a death sentence. Dr. Scott can determine if Suboxone could work for you or your loved ones.
Call Lori Scott Family Care at 252-238-7079 or use our online booking feature to schedule an appointment at our Kinston, North Carolina, office today. You can also send the team a message here on their website.