How Can We Treat the Opioid Epidemic?

Last Updated: Sep 20th 2019

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

There’s a decent chance that you or someone you know have heard in the media about the nation’s growing opioid epidemic. In truth, this isn’t something that’s suddenly appeared, but rather, the opioid crisis has built up for a long time, and it is built on the lives of many people who have become trapped by this highly addictive variety of drug, both in its legal and illegal forms.

 

What They Are

Opioids actually cover a sizable number of drugs, but what they are in essence are chemicals that act on the opioid receptors in the brain. These includes naturally occurring chemicals derived from the opium poppy, including the epinonimous drug opium, as well as morphine and heroin. It also covers artificially produced drugs synthesized to have effects like morphine, such as oxycodone and fentanyl. Some of these chemicals are available as prescription drugs, which worsened the problem with America’s growing reliance on these drugs.

 

Treatment

While the chemicals involved are slightly different, heroin treatment and oxycodone treatment will often turn out similar, just more or less dramatic. Often times it is necessary to go through a medical rehab in order to wean the body off of its dependence and ensure recovery. Opioids generally will have similar withdrawal symptoms, and they can be very dangerous if left unsupervised. Medical staff can provide medicines that can prevent seizures and convulsions which would otherwise endanger the addict’s life.

 

Rehab Options

There are both beds for supervised medical rehab and options for part time rehab. Generally, it is safest to take a bed at a rehab clinic, but due to waitlists or other personal realities, that might not be doable. However, even after the detoxification is complete, rehab clinics still have great resources for patients, such as psychotherapy partners and support group meetings to help the recovering addict settle back into a life without opioids.

 

If you or someone you know needs help with an addiction, contact us today. .

 

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.