Every year, millions of Americans misuse or abuse opioid medications, including prescription medications and illicit drugs. For many, that initial misuse leads to a long-term and life-threatening addiction, frequently culminating in a deadly overdose.
Opioids exert powerful effects on your brain, with misuse quickly leading to both psychological and physical addictions. The key to breaking the grip of opioids is to work with caring, compassionate medical providers skilled in treating opioid use disorder.
The team at Triad Primary Care uses the most advanced methods to help patients in Greensboro, North Carolina, overcome opioid addiction and reclaim their lives. In this post, learn why opioid addiction happens and how treatment can help you break the addiction cycle.
Opioid addiction: The basics
Opioids can play an important role as powerful pain relievers, but that power can also drive addiction. The way these drugs work to drive addiction is actually surprisingly simple.
Your body produces natural opioid substances that help your body deal with some amount of pain without medication. These natural opioids bind with special receptors on nerve cells, producing “feel-good” sensations of euphoria.
Opioid drugs bind with the same receptors, but their binding power is much stronger, preventing natural opioids from binding. As your body senses less need for natural opioids, it reduces production, leaving you with a physical dependence on synthetic opioid drugs.
As time passes, your body produces fewer and fewer natural opioids, and your dependency increases, eventually leading to addiction. Because of this physiological change, trying to stop an opioid addiction on your own can be very dangerous, sometimes even life-threatening.
Treating opioid addiction
In recent years, big advances have been made in opioid addiction treatment. Our team uses an effective approach called medication-assisted therapy or MAT. During your therapy, you’ll use medications to help you wean off opioids without going through the painful withdrawal symptoms.
While methadone was once the only option for MAT, today there are safer options that can be prescribed and used under the supervision of our team. Many patients benefit from a medication called buprenorphine that also binds strongly with opioid receptors, preventing the “highs” that drive cravings and addiction.
Performed on an outpatient basis, MAT allows you to continue with your daily routine without the need for inpatient hospitalization. Most patients also undergo psychotherapy to “unlearn” negative behaviors and learn how to cope with stressful situations without turning to drugs.
During treatment, you’ll meet with our team regularly so your therapy can be closely monitored and adjusted over time. Regular visits also ensure you get the support you need to stay focused and on track.
Break the cycle of addiction: Start today
Every journey begins with a single step. To take that first step toward overcoming your opioid addiction, call 336-800-8958 or book an appointment online with Triad Primary Care today.