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Recognizing and Treating America’s Epidemic of Opioid Dependence

The United States is suffering from a serious opioid dependence problem, but Florida has made a great deal of recent progress in combating this drug epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of opioid-related deaths in 2015 surpassed the amount of fatalities from vehicle crashes and gun homicides combined. Looking at the big picture, more people have died from opiates than from HIV/AIDS at its height during the mid-1990s. In fact, the number of opioid-related deaths in the U.S. is the highest in history years and two-thirds are related to opioids like OxyContin, Percocet, fentanyl, and heroin.

Florida alone had almost a 23% increase in the number of opioid-related fatalities last year. The only way to reduce the epidemic is by providing addicts with opiate withdrawal help to overcome the addiction and encouraging doctors to be much more conservative and careful about the opiates they prescribe. At MD Now, we are extremely concerned about this problem and want South Floridians to know that opioid addiction treatment is available to help addicts and their families overcome this dangerous problem.

Opioids are a form of medication that works by interacting with the brain to prevent the sensation of pain. The body still registers the pain, but the brain stops the person from feeling it. Many people first encounter opioids when they’re prescribed as medication. When properly taken, they’re effective pain relief treatments. But opioids can become addictive very easily when people rely on them excessively.

Indications of Opioid Dependence

Some of the most common signs of addiction include:

  • Frequent lying
  • Not following through on obligations
  • Stealing money from the wallet and purses of others to purchase more drugs
  • Engaging in all kinds of criminal activity to access the medication
  • Frequent bathroom visits
  • Staying awake all night and then sleeping all day
  • Waking up in a sweat

Most addicts don’t seek opiate withdrawal treatment because they either don’t know what’s available or have heard frightening stories about the discomfort of opiate withdrawal. While opiate withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable for addicts, they’re worth the brief distress to overcome the deadly problem.

Many treatment facilities offer programs that customize opiate withdrawal remedies for each and every patient. Some of today’s residential opioid withdrawal treatment programs can last up to 60 days, while others are much shorter. The way to identify the kind of treatment needed is through intensive patient screening. Today, most opiate addiction treatment programs include some combination of mental health, substance abuse, spiritual, and suboxone treatment. Once patients have achieved complete opiate withdrawal and are released from treatment, they must continue with some sort of aftercare that incorporates psychiatric services. Fortunately, more doctors are starting to concentrate on pain-relieving alternatives like physical therapy and more natural medications to reduce the serious risk of opiate addiction.