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Opioid Dependence a Chronic Illness That Can be Successfully Managed

Columbia University research studies have documented that opioid addiction in the U.S. tripled during the ’90s. Statistics from 2009 indicate nearly 2 million Americans were either dependent on or abusing opioid prescription pain medication such as OxyContin/oxycodone, Vicodin/hydrocodone or Demerol/meperidine.

Atlanta Opioid Addiction Needs Long-Term Treatment

Opioid addiction is more common than the abuse or dependence on any other type of prescription medication and two-times greater than those addicted to cocaine. The World Health Organization presents opioid dependence as a complex health condition that typically requires long-term treatment.

Opioid addiction is viewed as a life-long chronic illness or disease, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, which can be successfully managed but not “cured.” The development of a pharmacological treatment regime under the direct care of an opioid addiction psychiatrist has proven to be the most successful in overall management of opioid dependence.

Common Indicators of Georgia Opioid Dependence

While a thorough evaluation by an Atlanta opioid addiction psychiatrist provides the foundation for developing a comprehensive medical and medication treatment plan, the following list of behaviors may be the impetus that drives you to make an appointment with Darvin Hege, M.D.,  expert in opioid dependence with over two decades of experience in the field.

Generally, a person who exhibits three or more of the following behaviors may be considered opioid dependent:

  • Reports withdrawal symptoms when opioid medications are stopped or significantly reduced, often using other drugs to help diminish withdrawal symptoms
  • Increasing amounts of opiates taken, or taking them for longer periods of time
  • Needing to take more of the opioid medication in order to get the same effect that you once experienced
  • Wanting to quit, however are unsuccessful time and time again
  • Increased time is spent trying to obtain more of the medication
  • Finding the recovery period from taking opiates take longer and longer
  • Employment issues arise, such as missing work, being late for work, not being able to perform work properly, or being unable to find work if unemployed
  • Spending less time with friends and family who do not use opioids
  • Continuing to use opiates even when faced with negative consequences

Georgia Opioid Dependence Takes Control of Your Life

Opioid dependence slowly takes over and controls your life. Opiates are highly addictive and by their nature activate the brain’s pleasure and reward centers while making changes in the brain’s structure and function. The belief often forms that opioids are necessary for survival and attempts are made by any means to obtain opioid medications, either legally or illegally.

Atlanta Opioid Addiction Psychiatrist

By the time a person develops a dependence on opioids their brain no longer functions normally without these drugs in their system. Brain centers that involve judgment, perception and caution become impaired.

The Atlanta opioid addiction psychiatrist Dr. Darvin Hege has successfully helped patients regain the life they once had through an individually constructed, medically managed pharmacological treatment plan. Call the office and begin to live your life once again.