As the opioid epidemic continues to ravage the United States, lots of false information finds its way into popular opinion. Disseminated on social media and in person, this kind of misinformation can be incredibly harmful when taken seriously. It’s important to always listen to the facts and experts, especially when taking any kind of advice regarding opioids. Not consulting with a professional can result in a worsening, or ineffective treatment of addiction. Here are 5 common myths about opioid addiction and dependency, and why you shouldn’t believe them.
Myth: Most Opioids Are Illegal Drugs
When dealing with addiction, it’s commonly thought that these addictive drugs are illegal. However, with opioids, this is not the case; the only commonly used opioid that is entirely illegal is heroin. There is also illegally made fentanyl which is more common and prevalent than prescription fentanyl. Other than these two the other most commonly abused opioids are entirely legal. This legality is the reason why they have become so popular. For the most part, it can be easy to find a doctor willing to prescribe them, and many people use them long after they need to, resulting in a dependency. Additionally, with opioids common in many medicine cabinets, they may be sampled by those to someone they are not prescribed to. These kinds of misuse are often the catalyst for addiction and opioid abuse later on.
This is an overwhelmingly prevalent misconception that actually can become quite dangerous. Opioid addiction is a mental illness and should be treated as any other illness, with proper medical assistance and care. Many opioid users take this myth to heart, feeling like they simply aren’t trying hard enough if they can’t quit opioids on their own. This feeling of inadequacy will sometimes prevent them from seeking proper, professional treatment. Opioid addiction cannot be beaten through willpower alone. The only amount of willpower needed is the willpower to contact a professional and allow them to give you the medical treatment that this illness demands.
Myth: Taking Prescription Painkillers is Completely Safe
This is only a partial myth. Taking prescription painkillers, when prescribed, for the recommended amount of time, and safely disposing of them afterwards is completely safe. However, people, especially those with histories of addiction may take more than the prescribed amount. Do not leave painkillers of any kind lying around for anyone to sample, or develop a dependency on these painkillers. Taking prescription painkillers opens the door to abuse and misuse so it is important to exercise extreme caution when using them, and to talk to your doctor if you notice any kind of behavior change within yourself, or the person taking the opioids.
Myth: There Is Only One Kind of Opioid Addiction
This is patently false. There are as many kinds of opioid addictions as there are people addicted to opioids. They vary in terms of what kind of opioid one is addicted to, how long you have been addicted to them, and the level of addiction. Three commonly cited levels of addiction are dependency and addiction. There are even variations within these classifications, such as mental dependence as opposed to physical dependence. Each of these has specific symptoms so it’s important to do some research and see which one you feel fits you the best, to receive the best and most effective treatment.
Myth: Opioid Addiction Can’t Be Treated
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know about the treatment options there are for those suffering from substance use disorder. Due to the previous myth about opioids being a battle of the will, many think that they have to struggle in silence; this is not the case. One treatment option is the use of the drug Suboxone, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. This FDA-approved drug is highly effective for treating opioid dependence. Also, as with other mental illnesses, talking to a counselor specially trained to help you deal with the feelings that arise during treatment is a highly effective form of healing. Thankfully, these two treatment options are at the core of the healing process at Fritz Clinic. We work with you to provide low-cost, effective treatment options based on science and real facts, not myths.
Contact us today by phone or by filling out our online contact form. We will help you overcome this addiction!