Prescription Drug Addiction: Opiate-based Painkillers


One of the highest risks for prescription drug addiction are opiods or opiate-based painkillers such as Vicodin, Hydrocodone, Codeine, Morphine and OxyContin. These are commonly prescribed because of effective pain-relieving properties, generally for injury, surgery or chronic pain. Opiods used to treat severe pain include oxycodone (OxyContin®), Morphine, propoxyphen (Darvon®) and meperidine (Demerol®).

Opiods attach to opioid receptors in the brain and the spinal cord, effectively blocking the transmission of pain messages to the brain. These drugs can also affect the brain's pleasure centers, resulting in a feeling of euphoria. Side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and constipation. Taken in high doses, respiratory depression can occur and be fatal.

When opiods are taken as prescribed, they provide effective pain management. Because of the addictive properties of these types of prescription drugs, opiods carry one of the highest rates of prescription drug addiction.Chronic use of opiods leads to tolerance and can result in dependence, which leads quickly to addiction. Abrupt cessation of opiate-based prescription drugs can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including muscle pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes and restless leg syndrome. Individuals who have a history of drug addiction should use extreme care in determining whether opiods are advisable and discuss options with their doctor.

Prescription Drug Addiction: Treatment for Opiate-based Painkillers

There are a variety of treatment methods available for prescription drug addiction to opiates. Research methods developed in treating heroin addicts are applied to individuals addicted to prescription drug opiate-based painkillers because of the similar properties. Medications that have proven effective at blocking the effects of opiates include Methadone®, LAAM® (levo-alpha-acetyl-methadol) and Naltrexone®.

The most widely used medication is Methadone. Methadone is a synthetic opiod that blocks the effects of opiods, while reducing withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. However, methadone carries its own side effects and many people in the field of alcohol and drug treatment have discovered that discontinuing Methadone results in withdrawal symptoms that are similar to the heroin or opiate withdrawal.

LAAM effectively blocks the effect of opiods for up to 72 hours. Naltrexone is a longer acting opiod blocker. The effectiveness of all opiod blockers increases substantially when combined with a prescription drug treatment program.

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SouthCoast Recovery offers Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction to Opiate-based Painkillers

SouthCoast Recovery offers residential treatment in Dana Point, California, for individuals struggling with prescription drug addiction to opiate-based painkillers. We offer state-licensed, medically supervised detox and methadone maintenance programs for individuals who want to stop taking opiods and start living! Medically supervised detox is safe and comfortable with 24 hour care. We offer mild medication, detoxification massage, acupuncture and herbal remedies to assist in minimizing your discomfort during withdrawal from prescription drug opiate-based painkillers.

Don't let fear of withdrawal stop you from breaking free of your prescription drug addiction to opiate-based painkillers. We can help. We offer 30, 60, 90 day and 6-month residential stays. Our highly trained professionals in clinical and holistic care provide the highest level of care available in Orange County

Call us at 1-866-847-4506 – professional assistance is available 24/7.

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