Opioids

Menstuff® has information on Opioids.

What Happens When My Son or Daughter Goes Through Opioid Withdrawal?
Why Can’t My Kid Stop Using Opioids?”
Countering the problem of opioid addiction
Resources: Parent Toll-Free Helpline: 1-855-DRUGFREE or drugfree.org

What Happens When My Son or Daughter Goes Through Opioid Withdrawal?


One of the reasons that opioids, which include heroin and prescription pain pills like OxyContin or Vicodin, are so addictive is that when a person stops after consistently using, he or she begins to experience painful withdrawal symptoms.

“I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy,” said Mike, a 24-year-old Naltrexone (Vivitrol) patient committed to recovery. “It’s the worst thing you could think of.”

Because of learned responses in your loved one’s brain that come from opioid use, once he or she has “detoxed” — meaning that the body is free of the drug — he or she is still highly susceptible to relapse.

In the video below, experts Alicia Murray, DO, a Board Certified Addiction Psychiatrist, and Adam Bisaga, MD, a Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, describe what opioid withdrawal is really like and how use of medications in a treatment plan can help ease (or alleviate) the brain’s learned responses and aid in your son or daughter’s recovery:

2:04
Opioid Withdrawal

“Why Can’t My Kid Stop Using Opioids?”


Many parents ask themselves this question. But as more and more scientific studies are confirming, the drugs that your son or daughter is using are actually creating changes in his or her brain. So, in a way, your child is not the same person he or she was before using opioids.

Watch experts Adam Bisaga, MD, a Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, and Alicia Murray, DO, a Board Certified Addiction Psychiatrist, discuss the changes that occur in the brain when heroin, prescription pain pills or other opioids are used, and how they can make your child think only about the drug:  

1:40
14:42
3:47
3:14
4:15
Effects of Opioids on the Brain
Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong | Johann Hari
How to Help Your Child Struggling with Substance Use
How addiction changes your brain
Mechanism of Drug Addiction in the Brain, Animation
 

Countering the problem of opioid addiction


The United States is in the middle of a public health epidemic, with more than 40 people dying each day from prescription opioid overdoses. Health care systems across the nation are racing to implement policy and practice interventions to address the epidemic. At Kaiser Permanente, our Safe and Appropriate Opioid Prescribing Program has been one of our most successful efforts to confront the problem — not only for our members, but in the communities we serve.

The principle behind the program

In 2009, our physicians looked at the most frequently prescribed drugs for Kaiser Permanente members in Southern California. They were surprised to find that drugs for hypertension and diabetes were not at the top of that list. Instead, opioid medicines and highly addictive narcotics were the most common. In addition, people were getting prescriptions at higher doses than we had previously seen.

Around the same time, new research was being published on the hazards and ineffectiveness of opioids for the management of chronic pain. Given all this evidence, we decided we needed to break the cycle and find alternatives. Rather than risk patients being addicted and overdosing, we would seize the opportunity to improve the quality and safety of drug prescribing at Kaiser Permanente.

Starting in 2010, we launched the Safe and Appropriate Opioid Prescribing Program, a comprehensive initiative to transform the way that chronic pain was viewed and treated. We implemented several efforts to reduce opioid prescriptions, including prescribing and dispensing policies, monitoring and follow-up processes, and clinical coordination through our electronic health record system.

Changing prescribing patterns

Through this program, we’ve effectively and appropriately reduced:

  • Prescription of high-risk, long-acting opioids
  • Prescription of opioids at high doses and in large quantities
  • The combined prescription of opioids with carisoprodol (known as Soma) or Benzodiazepine

Results continue to demonstrate that the program is reducing overprescription of opioids and reducing the risk of overdose and death in our members.

Beyond protecting our members, Kaiser Permanente’s focus on prescribing the lowest effective dose and supply has helped reduce the risk of opioids getting to the street. We know that unused medications in the medicine cabinet can find their way into our communities.

Caring for chronic pain

According to current clinical evidence and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, opioids are not effective in treating chronic pain. Therefore, Kaiser Permanente has turned to a more multidisciplinary approach. We focus on making sure patients get the most effective treatments based on current evidence. This could include non-opioid medications, physical therapy, acupuncture, exercise, injections, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other methods.

After implementing the Safe and Appropriate Opioid Prescribing Program across Southern California, patients themselves reported feeling generally positive about our new approach to pain management. Many are, in the end, feeling better once they are off the very large doses of opioids they were on in the past.

Replicating this program across the country

As a result of a systematic and comprehensive set of strategies and tactics over several years, we’re seeing similar results in other states where Kaiser Permanente operates. We’re encouraged for the long term because other health care systems could implement this program, too.
Source: https://thrive.kaiserpermanente.org/thrive-together/live-well/countering-the-problem-of-opioid-addiction?wt.tsrc=email_pih&cat=2d_coverage

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