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Opioid Addiction Complicating Factors

Opioid Addiction - The Bergand Group

The bottom line in discussing opioid prescriptions and use is that they are really only meant to be short-term. They are not supposed to exist for months and months in a person’s life as a constant companion. How then, and why, are so many people still taking them half a year after they first began?

Screening for Vulnerability to Opioid Addiction

It’s possible for some people with either chronic pain or a recent surgery to be given a set number of these pills, to take them until they’re gone, and to then continue on with their lives without additional opioids. However, this is clearly not the case for so many in the country who are exposed to these drugs and who then find themselves addicted. “The risks of prescribing opioid-based pain killers could outweigh possible benefits” in most cases, a fact which seems still to elude health care providers, drug companies, and the general public.

Part of those risks is that people have the capacity to develop a dependence from the period of legal prescription alone. This throws a wrench into the gears of anyone who might think that it’s completely safe to take these medications so long as it’s done within the doctor’s allotment. This is dangerous misinformation that can lead more people than ever into the grips of these drugs if it is continually spread.

Some people are more likely to develop an opioid addiction than others. Those factors include “a history of anxiety, depression or self-injury,” as an example. Therefore, issues of mental health can apparently complicate an already-dicey situation. There are a handful of other pre-existing conditions that could contribute to higher risk, too, such as a history of substance abuse, sleep disorders, etc. Unfortunately, other addictions aren’t the only consequences of an opioid addiction. “Continued use of prescription opioids over time interacts with an individual’s brain chemistry to foster mental health conditions that predispose to addiction.” That is, mental illness that more easily drives the individual toward substance abuse habits often develop as a result of substance abuse, forming a vicious cycle. 

What needs to be done is an across-the-board screening of patients before they are given these pills. If doctors can identify some potential risk factors for an opioid addiction, then they can suggest alternatives or at least work very closely with the patient to prevent the development of a substance use disorder. Since this addiction is also liable to lead to others, such as a heroin addiction, it is absolutely imperative that steps be taken to prevent patients from falling victim to these hazards. It is the responsibility of health care providers, lawmakers, and specialists to do so.

If you are suffering from an addiction to opioids or are looking for help for another person, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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