Opioid Addiction

Opioids are narcotic painkillers that are often prescribed by physicians for the treatment of moderate-to-severe pain.

Due to their interaction with the brain’s reward center, however, they are considered to have a high potential for abuse. Opioid addiction can develop after long-term use, regardless of whether or not it is used as directed. According to recent government research, currently there are millions of people in the United States addicted to opioids, and each year, thousands die of overdoses related to the use of painkillers, other prescription drugs, and illicit substances such as heroin and cocaine.


Methadone, like all opioids, blocks pain sensations but is most often used to treat opiate/opioid dependence and withdrawal symptoms. Opiates and opioids include drugs such as heroin, morphine, and fentanyl.

However, also like other opioids, methadone use can lead to addiction, and without the drug, persons who are dependent soon become irritable and experience symptoms related to withdrawal. Methadone is considered safe when used as directed, but misuse can result in physical and psychological risks.


Suboxone is a prescription opioid that contains the active ingredients buprenorphine and naloxone and is used for the treatment of dependency to other opioids such as heroin, morphine, and fentanyl.

While Suboxone is deemed safe when used as directed by a doctor, misuse can result in many health consequences including nausea and vomiting, depression, anxiety, insomnia, drowsiness, and hypertension. Abuse may also include using Suboxone in combination with benzodiazepines or alcohol, a mix that can repress respiratory activity to a point that is life-threatening.


Subutex is a buprenorphine-based drug used for the treatment of opiate/opioid addiction. It is not very potent, but its use can still produce psychological dependency and, thus, addiction. As with any buprenorphine-based drug, Subutex can be dangerous if taken in high doses, especially when taken along with benzodiazepines or alcohol which also suppress the central nervous system.


Dilaudid is a painkiller that is about six to nine times more potent than morphine. Dilaudid alters the user’s perception of pain by interacting with the brain to induce feelings of supreme well-being. It is believed that a dependence on Dilaudid can occur in less than one month.

The symptoms and side effects of Dilaudid include mood swings, irritability, and depression, as well as nausea, stomach pain, trouble urinating, and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.


Fentanyl is one of the most powerful opioids available. It is a potent painkiller that can be administered by transdermal patch, lollipop, and soluble film. There is little difference between the amount of fentanyl dispensed to alleviate pain and the amount that can prove deadly. Fentanyl overdoses, unfortunately, are very common.

Like other opioids, fentanyl induces euphoria, followed by general feelings of physical and mental weakness and lethargy. Other symptoms include dizziness, dehydration, depression, and hallucinations. Since a person using fentanyl can quickly exhibit tolerance, the drug rapidly devastates one’s life as addiction takes over.


Oxycodone is an opioid painkiller prescribed to treat severe pain. It provides extended relief due to its actions in the brain that cause feelings of euphoria that help to mask pain. Oxycodone is included as an active ingredient in other prescription medications such as Percocet.

Oxycodone was developed to alleviate pain for up to 12 hours, but those who misuse it drug may alter its form and method of administration. For example, snorting or injecting Oxycodone offers a more profound and direct sensation than when the drug is used correctly as prescribed.


Percocet is a painkiller that includes both Oxycodone and acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol). When you take Percocet, you receive all the side effects and risks that come with Oxycodone use, but in addition, an overdose of acetaminophen is much more likely when Percocet is misused.

Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Fortunately, opioid addiction can be effectively treated using a comprehensive, evidence-based approach that focuses on the learning of coping skills and addressing the symptoms of co-existing mental illness, such as anxiety and depression.

Our center offers treatment in partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient formats, which include behavioral therapy, family counseling, group support, and more.

We can help you recover from opioid addiction and live the long, fulfilling life you deserve!


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