Frequently Asked Questions
What are opioids and how do they work?
Opioids work by binding to receptors in the brain and inhibiting their ability to perceive pain and create a feeling of euphoria . Prescription opioids can be prescribed for pain and include oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, dilaudid, codeine, demerol, and fentanyl among others. Heroin is an illicit opioid that is commonly used by intravenous injection (IV), ingestion (swallowing) and insufflation (snorting.)
What is opioid dependence?
Whether taken as prescribed, self medicating or taken for the purpose of achieving euphoria, the risk of abuse and dependence is very high. As a tolerance is built to the opioid, the user will often need increased doses to avoid withdrawal and achieve the euphoric effects of the opioid. When the user begins to feel ill or unable to function normally without the drug in their system, the person is opioid dependent.
What is opioid withdrawal?
Depending on the persons level of dependency, withdrawal can range from mild to severe and be life threatening. Symptoms of withdrawal include rapid pulse, excessive sweating, headache, chills, itchy/watery eyes, runny nose, muscle/bone aches, restlessness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, anxiety, irritability, lethargy and tremors.
How does treatment work at New Life Recovery?
New Life Recovery is an outpatient medication assisted treatment center for opioid dependence that offers a variety of FDA approved buprenorphine and buprenorphine/naloxone options such as Suboxone, Zubsolv and Bunavail. Upon entry into treatment, you will be assessed by your physician and together will create a customized treatment plan specific to your individual needs.
How does buprenorphine/naloxone work?
Buprenorphine occupies the receptors of the missing opioid. Naloxone is a deterrent to avoid the misuse of buprenorphine. When taken as prescribed, buprenorphine/naloxone reduces opioid cravings, can prevent relapse, produces no euphoric high, reduces withdrawal symptoms and allows the person to feel normal again.
Can I stop taking buprenorphine/naloxone?
If you have achieved and maintained desired stability and wish to stop taking buprenorphine/naloxone medications, you must do so by slowly tapering off of your dose AS INSTRUCTED BY YOUR DOCTOR. Abruptly discontinuing your regimen may result in detox and relapse.
ALARMING TRENDS AND WARNING SIGNS
Fentanyl is a prescription opioid pain medication prescribed for severe pain and often end of life pain management. Fentanyl is 50-100 times more potent than morphine and 30-40 times more potent than heroin.
The demand for heroin is growing quickly as prescription opioids are becoming increasingly harder to find due to the government crackdown on the U.S. opioid crisis. A new and alarming trend of lacing heroin, cocaine and marijuana with black market fentanyl is responsible for the recent spike in lethal overdoses nationwide. Naloxone is used by first responders, paramedics, police officers and ER staffers to reverse opioid overdoses however, it has been found to have little to no success in reversing some overdoses caused by fentanyl laced drugs.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF AN OPIOID OVERDOSE
The use of heroin and misuse of prescription opioids can result in life threatening overdose. Overdose symptoms include respiratory failure (slow/shallow/absent breathing), confusion, impaired alertness, unresponsiveness and cold/clammy blue skin.
**CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY if you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose. While awaiting emergency medical help to arrive, follow 911 instructions which may include keeping a conscious person alert, rolling an unconscious patient on their side in the event they begin to vomit, and performing CPR on a person who is not breathing and has no pulse.
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