About Opiate Addiction
Heroin and Pain Pills
Addiction to opiates, such as heroin and pain pills, can be very scary and leave you feeling very alone, helpless and hopeless. Many lose jobs, homes, family, marriages, family and custody of their children, because of their addiction. Just to ‘feel normal,’ you may find yourself doing things you never imaged you would do. Obviously, you did not set out to become an addict, but there is a certain segment of the population whose brain is wired in a way that greatly increases the chance of becoming opiate dependent. This wiring, combined with certain environmental stressors and a family history of drug addiction, also contributes to this risk.
Many of those we treat were initially prescribed pain pills for a legitimate reason such as following an injury, surgery or medical illness. However, because of certain environmental triggers, in addition to a genetic predisposition, there are certain individuals who very quickly become addicted to these medications and find themselves unable to stop using them once the doctor quits prescribing them. These patients then find themselves doctor shopping and buying pills off the street. Many times they can progress to heroin and IV drug use, which is very dangerous and risks exposure to deadly diseases. Further, because opiates such as pain pills and heroin, suppress your immune system, this decreases your body’s ability to fight off disease. When exposed, you are more likely to get Hepatitis, HIV, TB and other diseases.
However, there is hope! Medications with the active ingredient buprenorphine, such as Suboxone, Subutex and Zubsolv, can be very effective in treating opiate addiction.
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