Opiate Addiction – Suboxone Treatment in Northern VA
Opiate Addiction Treatment – Alexandria VA
Dr. Sendi is an addiction Medicine physician in Alexandria Virginia treating multiple types of Addiction. If you or a loved one in the Northern VA area suffer from Opiate Addiction, self-control or other addiction issues; do them or yourself a favor and contact our office at 703-844-0184 and schedule an appointment for evaluation.
What are Opiates?
Opiates are a group of drugs that are used for treating pain. They are derived from opium which comes from the poppy plant. Opiates go by a variety of names including opiates, opioids, and narcotics. The term opiates is sometimes used for close relatives of opium such as codeine, morphine and heroin. The term opioids is used for the entire class of drugs including synthetic opiates such as Oxycontin. But the most commonly used term is opiates.
List of Common Opiates of Abuse and Addiction
These are some of the common opiates and their generic names. They are listed in order of increasing strength.
You Can also develop strong addictions to these substances, requiring medical intervention. Ecspecially when combined with opiates and/or alcohol:
Opiates produce a sense of well-being or euphoria that can be addictive to some people. Opiates are legitimately used for treating pain. When used for pain relief, many people develop tolerance, meaning they need more and more to get the same effect. Some people go on to develop an addiction to opiates. They begin to obsessively think about getting more opiates and in some cases engage in illegal activities such as double doctoring or doctor shopping.
A high dose of opiates can cause death from cardiac or respiratory arrest. Tolerance to the euphoric effect of opiates develops faster than tolerance to the dangerous effects. Therefore people often overdose by mistake because they are trying to get a higher high and take too much.
Opiate overdose can be reversed in hospital with intravenous naltrexone. Please contact emergency services if you feel you are in danger of an overdose.
Opiate withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable. The important thing to remember is that opiate withdrawal is not life threatening if you are withdrawing only from opiates and not a combination of drugs. (Withdrawal from alcohol and some drugs such as benzodiazepines is potentially dangerous)
Opiate withdrawal symptoms include:
Low energy, Irritability, Anxiety, Agitation, Insomnia
Runny nose, Teary eyes
Hot and cold sweats, Goose bumps
Muscle aches and pains
Abdominal cramping, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea
Opiate withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from one week to one month. Especially the emotional symptoms such as low energy, anxiety and insomnia can last for a few months after stopping high doses of opiates. The after effects of withdrawal can sometimes last for months, even a year or more in rare cases as once the early stage withdrawal symptoms are over, you will still experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms. These are less severe but last longer.
Do You Have an Opiate Addiction?
Have had increase your dosage over time
Experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using?
Use more than you would like, or more than is prescribed?
Experienced negative consequences to your using?
Put off doing things because of your drug use
Find yourself thinking obsessively about getting or using your drug?
Made unsuccessful attempts at cutting down or quitting your drug use?
Use other substances like alcohol or benzodiazepines to increase your dose strength?
If you answered yes to at least three of the above questions, you have and addiction to opiates. It’s time to seek help before opiates destroy you or, even worse; end your life. Dr. Sendi can help. Contact our office right away at 703-844-0184.
A Recovery Plan
We provide out-patient treatment services for addictions of all types. You can finally begin to live a more happy, more productive life. Call our Alexandria VA office. We are conveniently located to serve Northern VA and surrounding DC Metro communities. Our office can be contacted at 703-844-0184 Dr. Sendi can work with you to develop and enforce your recovery plan. This may include:
Breaking the cycle of guilt and shame. Do your recovery with your doctor and family and/or close friends who can help keep you on track.
Meet with a group of other people who are going through the same thing. This is the benefit of going to 12-step meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous NA or Alcoholics Anonymous AA. This can help in your recovery and some insurance plans require it in order to provide you coverage for medications that may be required such as, Suboxone (buprenorphine), Naltrexone or Vivitrol.
Ask for help. Have a strong support system.
Be honest, and practice sharing how you feel.
Avoid high risk situations.
Learn relapse prevention strategies.
Do your recovery one day at a time.
Medications Used to Treat Opiate Addiction
What is Buprenorphine?
IMPORTANT: This is general medical information, and is not tailored to the needs of a specific individual. This material is NOT complete. It does not cover all possible precautions, side effects, or interactions. You should always consult your physician when making decisions about your health.
Buprenorphine is a medication used for withdrawing and detoxing from opiates. It is a combination of buprenorphine a mild opiate, and naloxone a medication that reverses the effects of opiates if taken intravenously.
Buprenorphine is unlike other opiates in that it does not lead to a greater high the more you take. It is a partial opiate agonist, meaning that it produces a mild high at most but, has a greater affinity to opiate receptors in the body more than any other known opiate. Therefore it is sometimes used to get people off more addictive drugs such as Oxycontin or heroin.
The reason for combining buprenorphine and naloxone is that it reduces the risk of intravenous use. Suboxone is supposed to be taken as a tablet and held under the tongue but there are now other routes of administration. Dr. Sendi can help determine which form may be best for you. If Suboxone is dissolved and taken intravenously, the naloxone reverses the effects of the buprenorphine, which blocks the high. Therefore, there is less danger of diversion.
Patients do not have to go to special clinics to get their Suboxone as they do with methadone. Physicians with proper training and certification can prescribe Suboxone in their offices, and patients can take it home. Dr. Sendi has more than 20 years in addiction medicine.
It’s never too late for help with Opiate Addiction, Alcohol Abuse or other addiction. If you or a loved one in the Northern VA area suffer from Addiction, self-control or other addiction issues; do them or yourself a favor and contact our office at 703-844-0184 and schedule an appointment for evaluation