Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependency
Opioid and heroin addiction rates have been climbing in communities across the country in recent years. Overdose has become a serious concern for many families as more and more patients struggle with opioid dependence. Dr. Russell Surasky can provide hope to you and your loved ones through effective opioid addiction treatment. He understands that many of his patients who have become reliant on these drugs may feel ashamed to ask for help or seek the care they need. Dr. Surasky believes in treating opioid use disorder as a chronic illness and works with his patients to find the most effective solution at his practice in Great Neck, NY.
A shocking number of people die from opioids each year and that number is growing .
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers legally available by prescription which may include:
These drugs change the way your brain responds to pain by reducing the number of pain signals sent from the body. Opioids are commonly used to relieve pain associated with surgical procedures, injuries, and chronic conditions. However, they can also cause feelings of euphoria, tranquility, and sedation which often leads to substance abuse, as well as opioid and heroin addiction.
Defining Opioid Use Disorder
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5®) defines the diagnostic criteria for opioid use disorder as the problematic pattern of opioid use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by at least two of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:
Use of opioids in larger amounts and for a longer period than intended
Persistent desire or inability to control opioid use
Obtaining, using, and recovering from the use of the opioid occupies a significant amount of time
Strong urge or desire to use opioids
Opioid use prevents fulfillment of primary responsibilities
Continued use of the drug despite knowing that it is negatively impacting relationships
Decreased or halted participation in social, occupational, or recreational activities
Continued opioid use despite the risk of physical hazard
Failure to quit using the substance despite its role in physical or psychological issues
Changes in tolerance
Exhibition of withdrawal symptoms or use of opioids to negate these symptoms
These criteria are applied to determine the existence and severity of the substance use disorder.
Understanding the Opioid & Heroin Epidemic
The abuse of opioid drugs has led some to turn to heroin as a more affordable and accessible alternative. This has, in part, contributed to the growth of heroin use amongst social groups and communities that were not previously prevalent users. According to the most recent statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
Identifying Opioid Abuse Disorder
Identifying opioid abuse disorder can allow you to guide a loved one towards getting help. Opioids may be taken orally, injected, smoked, or snorted. "Track marks" are an obvious sign that a user may be injecting opioids. However, you may have to rely on more subtle cues, such as signs of withdrawal or intoxication including mood swings, changes in pupil size, and hallucinations.
Symptoms which indicate withdrawal include:
Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
Sweating or fever
Depending on the type and amount of drugs that were consumed, these symptoms may last for as little as five days or as long as several weeks. If you believe a loved one is struggling with an opioid addiction, seeking professional care as soon as possible is of the utmost importance.
Treating Opioid Dependency
Dr. Russell Surasky provides medication-assisted treatment (MAT), or opioid substitution therapy, to help patients with an opioid dependency. He believes this treatment is the best course of action for many patients as it has been shown to reduce the risk of relapse. MAT is the administration of pharmacological medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies.
Dr. Surasky believes in treating opioid use disorder as a chronic illness and works with his patients to find the most effective solution.
Medications which have been found to be effective include methadone, buprenorphine, or extended-release injectable naltrexone. These are typically administered to help the patient regain a normal state of mind, reduce cravings, and curb withdrawal symptoms. When used properly and overseen by an experienced neurologist, this treatment plan can be highly effective in managing addiction, helping patients maintain a healthy lifestyle and achieve a successful recovery.
Providing Compassionate, Effective Care
Opioid use disorder can not only hinder your ability to lead a productive life and maintain relationships. Consequences can be fatal. Dr. Surasky is dedicated to helping you lead a happy, healthy life by providing opioid substitution therapy for long-term treatment. Contact us today at (516) 487-9414 to schedule your consultation.
New York Office
Dr. Russell Surasky
15 Barstow Rd.
Great Neck, NY 11021