Macon Opioid Addiction Treatment
Holistic Treatments for Opiate Dependency in Georgia
Opioids are a class of drugs commonly used to treat pain, but they can also be highly addictive. In addition to relieving pain, opioids produce a calming effect and trigger intense feelings of pleasure and reward, which can together lead to dependence. Opioid abuse has become an epidemic in many parts of the country, and overdoses have taken far too many lives. If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid dependency, know that overcoming addiction is possible with professional medical support.
At the Georgia Recovery Campus, our Macon opioid addiction treatment professionals craft tailored plans to help each of our patients safely detox and achieve long-term recovery. Through our dual diagnosis treatment approach, we heal the mind, body, and spirit by simultaneously targeting addiction as well as the factors driving it, such as mental health disorders. We recognize how difficult it can be to escape the thrall of opiates, but our compassionate staff and state-of-the-art facilities make us well-equipped to help our patients retake control of their lives and become the best versions of themselves.
What Are Opioids, and Why Are They Addictive?
Opioids are a class of powerful drugs that act on the nervous system to relieve pain. They are derived from the opium poppy plant or synthesized to mimic its effects. These drugs interact with opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and other areas of the body, reducing the perception of pain and producing feelings of pleasure or euphoria.
Medical conditions that might require opioid prescriptions include:
- Acute Pain: Opioids can be prescribed for severe pain after surgery, injury, or trauma when other pain relievers are not sufficient.
- Chronic Pain: Some chronic conditions, such as certain types of cancer, severe arthritis, or nerve damage (neuropathy), might necessitate opioid use when other treatments have been ineffective.
- Terminal Illness: Opioids are often used in palliative care for individuals with terminal conditions to manage severe pain and improve quality of life.
- Severe Cough: Codeine, a mild opioid, is sometimes prescribed in cough suppressants for severe cases not responding to other treatments.
- Diarrhea: Certain opioids, such as loperamide, can be used to alleviate severe diarrhea.
Common types of opioids that are routinely prescribed include:
- Morphine: Derived from the opium poppy plant, morphine is a potent pain reliever used in medical settings to manage moderate to severe pain. It's a primary component in various pain medications.
- Codeine: Also derived from the opium poppy, codeine is often used in combination with other medications for mild to moderate pain relief or as a cough suppressant.
- Oxycodone: Widely prescribed for moderate to severe pain, oxycodone is found in medications like OxyContin and Percocet. It's more potent than codeine and often used after surgery or for chronic pain management.
- Hydrocodone: Typically combined with acetaminophen or ibuprofen (Vicodin, Norco), hydrocodone is prescribed for moderate to severe pain relief.
- Fentanyl: This synthetic opioid is significantly more potent than morphine and is used in medical settings for severe pain, such as during surgery or for chronic pain. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is a major contributor to opioid overdoses.
- Tramadol: A synthetic opioid used for moderate to moderately severe pain. It also has some antidepressant effects due to its action on serotonin and norepinephrine.
- Methadone: Often used in the treatment of opioid addiction as well as for chronic pain, methadone has a long duration of action compared to many other opioids.
- Buprenorphine: Approved for treating opioid addiction and chronic pain, buprenorphine has a unique pharmacology, acting as a partial opioid agonist.
When opioids bind to the opioid receptors in the brain, they block pain signals and trigger a flood of dopamine into the reward system, resulting in intense feelings of euphoria and relaxation. This reward system encourages people to seek out more drugs to experience these effects again, especially if they are simultaneously dealing with acute or chronic pain. Over time, their brains become accustomed to this effect and begin to crave more of the drug to feel normal. Soon, an addictive cycle can form, and users will have an extremely difficult time escaping it without medical support.
Despite these known dangers, opioids are still often casually overprescribed by doctors who do not necessarily do enough to warn patients about the risks. Others seek out opioids illicitly for recreational use or to self-medicate. No matter how dependency developed, our Macon opioid addiction treatment center offers no-judgment help with getting and staying clean.
What Are the Common Signs of Opioid Addiction
Opioid addiction, also known as opioid use disorder, involves a range of physical, behavioral, and psychological symptoms. Some common signs and symptoms of opioid addiction include:
- Drowsiness or nodding off
- Constricted pupils
- Slurred speech
- Shallow or slowed breathing
- Sudden weight loss or changes in appetite
Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms:
- Strong cravings for opioids
- Inability to control opioid use
- Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, or recovering from opioid use
- Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home due to opioid use
- Continuing to use opioids despite knowing the negative consequences
- Withdrawal symptoms when not using opioids, such as agitation, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and muscle aches
Social and Lifestyle Changes:
- Withdrawal from social activities and hobbies
- Relationship problems with family and friends
- Engaging in risky behaviors to obtain opioids
- Financial difficulties due to spending money on obtaining opioids
- Legal problems related to opioid use or acquisition
What Are the Long-Term Consequences of Opioid Addiction?
Those who suffer from opioid dependence have an increased risk of overdose, coma, organ failure, and even death. Long-term opioid use can lead to profound changes in behavior, such as impaired decision-making and loss of impulse control. Opioid addiction can also interfere with personal relationships due to its tendency to isolate the user from friends and family. The individual may become fixated on obtaining or using the drug, further leading to social isolation and financial difficulties due to the need for more of the substance.
Additional long-term health risks include weakened immune system response, poor nutrition, respiratory depression (as a result of decreased oxygen intake), heart problems (including irregular heartbeat), liver damage, kidney damage, and weakened bones (due to decreased calcium absorption). Finally, those suffering from opioid addiction often experience mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts or actions.
Supporting someone with opioid addiction can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to assist them:
- Educate Yourself: Learn about opioid addiction, its signs, symptoms, and available treatments. Understanding the condition will help you provide informed support.
- Encourage Professional Help: Encourage the individual to seek professional assistance from healthcare providers, addiction specialists, or counselors. They can offer proper diagnosis, treatment plans, and support.
- Offer Emotional Support: Be there for them emotionally. Listen without judgment, show empathy, and offer encouragement. Let them know you care and that they're not alone in this.
- Explore Treatment Options: Research and discuss various treatment options with the individual. These may include medication-assisted treatment (MAT), therapy, detox programs, or support groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or SMART Recovery.
- Create a Supportive Environment: Help create a supportive and safe environment that minimizes triggers for drug use. Remove any prescription opioids from the home and encourage healthy activities and routines.
- Encourage Positive Lifestyle Changes: Support them in adopting healthier habits, including exercise, proper nutrition, and finding hobbies or activities to replace drug use.
- Be Patient and Understanding: Recovery is a process that takes time and involves setbacks. Be patient and understanding throughout their journey to recovery.
- Consider Support Groups or Family Therapy: Joining support groups or attending family therapy sessions can help both the individual and their loved ones understand and cope with the challenges of addiction.
- Establish Boundaries: While offering support, it's essential to set clear boundaries. These boundaries should support the individual's recovery while not enabling addictive behaviors.
- Prepare for Emergencies: Educate yourself about overdose response methods, such as carrying naloxone (Narcan) in case of an emergency overdose situation.
Remember, supporting someone with opioid addiction requires patience, understanding, and a commitment to their well-being. Encouraging them to seek professional help is crucial for successful recovery.
Are you or a loved one struggling with opiate addiction? Call (478) 216-1110 or contact us online to discuss treatment options today. Same-day appointments are available.
If you know someone who suffers chronic pain or has recently undergone major surgery, you may not think twice if you notice them popping a pill. If they are following their prescription to the letter, there may not be anything to worry about, but because opiates are so addictive, you should keep a close eye on loved ones who start taking them. Several warning signs may indicate when it is time to have a conversation about a possible dependency.
Someone may be suffering from opioid addiction if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Clammy skin
- Mood swings
- Poor impulse control
- Shallow breathing
- Sudden loss of consciousness
- Unusual changes in behavior and decision-making
In addition, the following patterns of behavior may signal an opioid dependency:
- Asking friends or family for help obtaining opioids
- Making comments about how great the opioids make them feel or how they love taking them
- Mixing opioids with other drugs (including alcohol)
- Taking opioids in higher quantities or more frequently than prescribed
- Visiting multiple doctors to procure opioids
Is It Safe to Quit Opioids “Cold Turkey?”
Even if someone is resolved to get off opioids and kick an addiction, it is not wise to try to stop taking them “cold turkey.” Quitting opioids without supervision can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms and even life-threatening complications. Symptoms may include anxiety, insomnia, sweating, restlessness, nausea and vomiting, muscle aches and pains, depression, increased heart rate and blood pressure, fever, and chills. More severe symptoms can include seizures or hallucinations.
Do not be afraid to ask for help if you think you may have an opioid problem. Contact us online or call (478) 216-1110 today.
We understand how difficult recovery is. We work one on one with you every step of the way to ensure we are helping you make the necessary changes to obtain the life you deserve.
When you come to our facility, you are not only getting a beautiful campus and quality services, but you are also getting a team who truly cares about your recovery.
Our dedicated, experienced, and compassionate team of experts is here for you every step of the way. We have the tools, resources, and knowledge to help you on your journey.
At Georgia Recovery Campus we treat the entire mind, body, and spirit. When you come to us, we work one on one with you to select the track that would be most beneficial to you and your goals.