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New Strategies to Help People Overcome Opioid Addiction

There are many ways to help people who are suffering from opioid addiction. One way is by using Naloxone. The opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone is used to save lives. It works by obstructing the effects of opioids on the brain, restoring normal breathing and wakefulness. Depending on the kind of opioid overdose you’re experiencing, there are different ways to deliver naloxone. You should reach out to the local alcohol and drug rehab center near you immediately if someone you know overdoses on an opioid like heroin or fentanyl so they can get help as soon as possible! In this post, we review new strategies to help people overcome opioid addiction.


What is Opioid Abuse?

A medical emergency that can quickly turn fatal is an opioid overdose. Opioids, such as heroin and prescription painkillers, attach to the same brain receptors that they are intended to activate. When this occurs, your body may stop manufacturing endorphins and serotonin, which act as natural painkillers, and may instead release an excessive amount of dopamine.

Several symptoms result from this:

  • Extreme tiredness or drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Visual disturbances including impaired vision or the perception of colored rings surrounding lights
  • Trembling and tremors
  • Muscle deterioration leading to total paralysis

Opioid Addiction can also be treated with the following FDA approved medications:

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine(Suboxone)
  • Naltrexone

From above Suboxone is the most effective treatment for moderate to severe opioid addiction. Treatment plans with Suboxone Medication including counseling and behavioral therapy will do the best according to the patients changing needs.

Naloxone Medication to Treat Opioid Addiction

According to the NIH, Naloxone “is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose” that attaches to opioid receptors to reverse and block the effects of other opioids. Let’s review how Naloxone can help treat opioid addiction.

How does Naloxone Help People To Overcome Opioid Addiction

An opioid antagonist, such as naloxone, binds to the same receptors that opioids do and prevents them from binding? But since naloxone is not an actual drug but rather an antidote to one, it does not have the same effects as opioids.

If Naloxone is provided after an opioid overdose, it not only has its own effects on the victim’s brain and body, but it also reverses any respiratory depression brought on by an opioid overdose while it is being administered. 

This is why it’s crucial that individuals who may accidentally overdose get assistance right away; the longer you wait to administer Naloxone, the less effective your treatment will be when you finally get around to calling a nearby rehab facility or performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation procedures yourself!

Naloxone’s Potential to Fight Opioid Addiction

As an antidote for opioid overdose, naloxone is utilized. Although it isn’t addictive, it somewhat treats addiction. Careful administration is required. Naloxone might actually be harmful if used incorrectly or without the right training. Naloxone prevents opioids from binding to the brain’s opioid receptors and undoing their impact on respiration or heart rate. Additionally, it blocks the circuits that release dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins—chemicals linked to pleasure and reward in addition to their role in pain alleviation. Naloxone is available as an injectable and a nasal spray. In order to stop feeling high after using opioids for a long time, the medicine blocks the effects of opioids on your neurological system and brain. After using naloxone, it may take many hours before you feel like yourself again; nevertheless, most people get well within 24 hours.


How Can Naloxone Save an Opioid Addict’s Life?

An opioid overdose can be reversed with the use of the life-saving drug naloxone. It is administered to someone who has overdosed on opioids in order to keep them from dying or suffering from a life-threatening respiratory depression.

By preventing opioids from having an impact on the brain and neurological system, naloxone helps you regain control of your breathing while also treating any other symptoms you may be experiencing. It functions similarly to how epinephrine (adrenaline) assists those experiencing an allergic reaction to speed up their heart rate. The stimulation of breathing control-related areas in your central nervous system, which is still more precisely targeted, enables the return of regular breathing patterns.

What should you do after Using Naloxone to Reverse an Opioid Overdose

It is always best to get professional help from addiction rehab facilities when dealing with addiction of any sort. Here are some things to do after using Naloxone to fight opioid addiction: 

  • Call a rehab facility in the area.
  • Until the team arrives, stay with the person.
  • Verify their breathing and their well-being.
  • Never, ever let them be left alone!
  • Get them accepted into a rehab facility for addiction
  • Assisting them with their opioid overdose recovery

Psychological Treatments for Opioid Addiction

The sophistication of psychological therapy has increased during the past few decades. The strategies put a strong emphasis on each step of recovering from opioid addiction, from making the decision to change to stopping or cutting down on opioid usage to being abstinent and preventing relapse.

There are various strategies, but each one should be customized to the needs of the individual with an opioid use disorder.

Using Cognitive Behavior Therapy(CBT)

One of the best therapies for opioid use disorder is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Additionally, it’s a very effective treatment for other psychological conditions including trauma, depression, and anxiety disorders, all of which can co-occur with opioid addiction.

CBT is frequently a helpful psychological treatment to start with if a person has both an opioid addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder like depression or anxiety. Couples therapy, often known as marital therapy or couples therapy, can play a significant role in the treatment of substance use disorders, particularly opioid addiction. It frequently coexists with other therapies.

Couples counseling can be beneficial for both those who decide to separate and those who prefer to remain together throughout and after rehabilitation.

Insurance Coverage for Treatment of Opioid Addiction

Insurance companies are required to pay all or a portion of the cost of addiction treatment under US medical legislation. The level of coverage may vary depending on the type of plan you have, where you live, and how bad your addiction is. To avoid any misconceptions, it is best to call your insurance provider, go over your needs for addiction therapy, and then begin opioid addiction treatment.

Overdosed on Opioids? Find Help

Getting someone who has overdosed to help right away is the finest thing you can do. Let the nearby drug and alcohol rehab center know, and then stick by them until assistance arrives. Call the police or fire department in your area if you need help administering Naloxone while at home (or if it’s not possible).

Rescuing breathing: Give someone one breath into their lungs while simultaneously pumping their chest with your hands if they have stopped breathing (similar to how CPR works). Once they begin breathing again, you may need to make several attempts. Continue until an ambulance carrying an EMT comes (EMT).

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Jordyn Mastrodomenico LPC, LCADC CTP
Author: Jordyn Mastrodomenico LPC, LCADC CTP

Jordyn is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC) and Certified Trauma Professional (CTP). She holds a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling, from Caldwell University, Jordyn has extensive experience in Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient settings and is skilled at guiding clients through the recovery process in individual and group therapy sessions.

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