Opioid Addiction

Long before anyone ever heard of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was the opioid epidemic that we have been fighting for years. Opioid addiction is not taking a break while we struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, many individuals who were receiving treatment such as methadone from a clinic aren’t eligible to take a 28-day supply of the methadone home to take under their own supervision.

Opioid Addiction Treatment Programs

Some of the opioid addiction treatment programs include medication-assisted treatment along with counseling. One of the medications used to treat opioid addiction is methadone. Medical personnel normally disperse this medicine at methadone clinics. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA) is allowing some patients in opioid treatment programs to take their medication home. (This is a 28-day supply for stable patients.) Methadone is addictive and individuals abuse it just like other opioids.

Methadone is a synthetic opioid. It acts on the same opioid receptors as heroin and morphine. Medical professionals use this drug to minimize withdrawal symptoms in cases of opioid addiction. Methadone is a Schedule II drug which means it does have legal medical uses but individuals can develop a dependence on this drug. In fact, this is a drug of choice for many addicts and is sold illegally on the streets. A person can overdose on methadone and for this reason, a 28-day supply should only be allowed to stable patients.

Some of the signs of a methadone overdose include:

          • Nausea and vomiting
          • Dizziness
          • Constricted pupils
          • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
          • Respiratory depression
          • Discoloration of nails
          • Loss of consciousness

Individuals should never combine methadone with other substances, especially alcohol or benzodiazepines such as Xanax or Valium. This combination can produce deadly effects.

Social Isolation and Risks for Addiction or Relapse 

Social isolation which is necessary during COVID-19 can be detrimental to the well-being of addicts or those individuals in recovery from addiction. The stress and anxiety of isolation take a toll on individuals’ mental health.

Many people are struggling with depression while they are isolated at home alone. This makes them more prone to using substances of abuse to cope with the loneliness and even boredom from not being able to visit with friends and family. 

Individuals who are in recovery from addiction may be tempted to turn back to their substance of abuse because of the disruption in their daily lives. After all, they can no longer attend support meetings or counseling sessions which they desperately need to keep them on the path of recovery. Meetings with other recovering addicts are crucial to people in recovery from addiction. They need the fellowship and encouragement of others who understand the hardships and issues they struggle with in trying to remain sober one day at a time. However, online meetings are a tremendous help during COVID-19 and any person who needs support can benefit from these meetings.

Ask for Help if You Need It

COVID-19 is disrupting everyone’s lives today. Many individuals are going to need help when this pandemic is over and lives return to some sort of normalcy. Sadly, individuals in recovery from addiction may suffer relapses at this time and need additional treatment. Others who are struggling with opioid addiction will need inpatient addiction treatment which will be available. Some people may develop problems now with substances of abuse. If you need help with opioid addiction (or addiction to any other substance) ask for it. 

If you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction or trying to prevent a relapse, reach out to them. Call and check on them daily. Try to see that they are eating healthy meals. Just let them know that they have your love and support.

Contact New Beginnings Drug Rehabilitation to learn about treatment programs available at our facility. One of our well-informed representatives can answer any questions you may have about our facility and treatment programs that we design to fit the needs of the individual and their preferences.

In addition, we can answer any questions about programs that are available online today.  

 

 

 

Resource:

Medscape.comCOVID-19 Prompts ‘Lifesaving’ Policy Change for Opioid Addiction

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