OPIATE AND HEROIN ADDICTION
At the Fritz Clinic, we understand that opiate dependency is a very difficult challenge to overcome. That is why we are here to support you on your journey to recovery.
At Fritz Clinic, we fully believe everyone can recover from addiction. Our doctors and staff are passionate about helping you, or a loved one, overcome opiate addiction. Please believe that you are not alone in the recovery process. Many of our patients have overcome addiction and are now enjoying a better life. Fritz Clinic understands that taking the first steps towards recovery and towards getting your life back is difficult and we are here to help you.
What are Opioids|Opiates?
In medicine, the term opiate can refer to any of the narcotic painkilling drugs with opium-like effects, both natural, and fully or semi-synthetic. Traditionally, opiate refers only to the narcotic drugs that are naturally present in opium.
A more appropriate umbrella term for all of the drugs derived from opium, both natural and synthetic, would be opioids. Opioids get their name from the fact that they are found in, or derived from drugs that are found in opium, which is the processed resin of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum).
Many common opioids include:
Codeine, Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Hycodan), Morphine (MS Contin, Kadian), Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), Fentanyl (Duragesic)
Continuous use of opioids can cause opioid dependence, leading to symptoms of opioid withdrawal with abrupt discontinuation. Opioids are well known for their ability to produce a feeling of euphoria, which is a mental and emotional state of intense well-being and happiness. This is one of the reasons some choose to use opioids recreationally, which can often lead to opioid addiction.
Substance addiction usually meets two main criteria:
- A person has difficulty controlling how long they use a substance or how much they take
- A person continues to use even though it has negative consequences on their life. While there are different stages of addiction, and the consequences get worse over time, these two criteria define all addictions, include opiate/opioid addiction.
We at Fritz Clinic know addiction is a progressive issue and it’s never easy to quit, but our medically trained and experienced staff are here to help you.
At Fritz Clinic, we understand withdrawal symptoms are a part of every addiction and recovery process. In addition, every drug is different, and every person’s physical withdrawal symptoms are different. A patient may or may not experience physical withdrawal, but that doesn’t mean they’re not addicted. Instead, it’s not uncommon for patients to experience more emotional withdrawal.
There are two stages of withdrawal:
First stage, the acute stage: This usually lasts at most a few weeks. During this stage, a patient may experience physical withdrawal symptoms. But every drug, and person, is different.
Second stage of withdrawal is the Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). During this stage patients tend to have have fewer physical symptoms, but more emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms instead.
Post-acute withdrawal occurs because a patient’s brain chemistry is gradually returning itself to normal. As the brain chemical levels improves, chemicals fluctuate as they normalize, causing post-acute withdrawal symptoms.
Contrary to the acute stage of withdrawal, where every person is different, most patients experience some post-acute withdrawal symptoms.