The Statistics of Addiction:
Addiction & Genetics
What is Addiction?
Addiction is a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequences. People with addiction (severe substance use disorder) have an intense focus on using a certain substance(s), such as alcohol or drugs, to the point that it takes over their life.
They keep using alcohol or a drug even when they know it will cause problems. Yet a number of effective treatments are available, and people can recover from addiction and lead normal, productive lives. People with a substance use disorder have distorted thinking, behavior, and body functions.
Changes in the brain’s wiring are what cause people to have intense cravings for the drug and make it hard to stop using the drug. Brain imaging studies show changes in the areas of the brain that relate to judgment, decision making, learning, memory, and behavior control.
These substances can cause harmful changes in how the brain functions. These changes can last long after the immediate effects of the drug — the intoxication. Intoxication is the intense pleasure, calm, increased senses, or a high caused by the drug. Intoxication symptoms are different for each substance. Over time people with addiction build up a tolerance, meaning they need larger amounts to feel the effects.
Symptoms of substance use disorder and addiction are grouped into four categories:
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Other symptoms of substance abuse problems include:
Treatment of your Addiction:
There are a number of treatment options for opioid addiction which include Suboxone (Buprenorphine), Zubsolv, injectable Buprenorphine (Sublocade) , and Vivitrol Therapy
Suboxone (Buprenorphine | Zubsolv) is a commonly used approach to decrease cravings and prevent relapse. Medication assisted therapy with Suboxone is proven and safe. Suboxone can allow for pain management in some individuals while preventing relapse and cravings. Suboxone partially turns on the opioid receptors but blocks maximal effects of opioids, thus placing a ceiling on any additional pain medicine or opioid you may try to add. It prevents relapse and overdosing.
We are not a methadone clinic, so we do not use methadone for opioid dependence
The best options for each case varies and is evaluated individually. For those that are seeking ‘detox’ off all opioids, Vivitrol therapy, a once a month injection, is the best option. This insures compliance in that no pain medications (opioids) can be taken to overcome the injection and prevents overdoses. Likewise, Vivitrol also diminishes cravings for opioids.
Oral Naltrexone, an opioid blocker, is also a possible treatment option, however, it requires compliance in order to maintain appropriate levels. It blocks the actions of opioids such as heroin, fentanyl, or oxycodone. The effects of a dose of the medication can last 1-2 days.
Injectable Sublocade is buprenorphine that is injects under the skin in the abdominal area once a month. It prevents withdrawals and diminishes cravings. Many insurances cover the actual medication less the cost of the doctor visit and the co-pay for the medicine.
We also evaluate for insomnia-related issues as well as mood and cravings, treating with medications and nutraceuticals (nutritional supplements) that allow better nutrition, energy, and sleep. Healthy eating habits, appropriate sleep, exercise, vitamins and herbal therapies can boost energy, immunity, sleep patterns, decrease pain related complaints, and enhance your wellness.
We offer IV NAD therapy as an option to detox from alcohol and Opioids. This multi-day therapy involves an infusion of NAD, the energy and ‘anti-aging’ molecule to prevent cravings, decrease withdrawal, and enhance health.
IV Vitamin Therapy is also helpful in cases where poor nutrition from addictions have resulted in deficiencies that cause you to produce less dopamine (the ‘reward molecule’) and serotonin (‘the happiness molecule’).
We also can arrange comprehensive metabolic and pharmacogenomic studies to evaluate the best medications to treat addiction, depression, mood-related issues, and other complicating problems.
While you are in treatment, we will refer you for the counseling of your choice and needs as we have an extensive referral base. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be useful in the recovery process. We have a panel of providers you can chose from.
We recommend AA (Alcohol Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) 12 step programs as part of the recovery process.
For those with stable co-occurring disorders, such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, or other issues, we can manage those within the practice as well. There are additional fees for the management of other disorders with the addiction treatment.