Opioid abuse and other types of addiction cause a range of negative consequences, including job loss, risky or illegal behavior, and severe health complications. Opioid overdose kills hundreds of Americans every single day. Addiction medicine provides the help you need to detoxify from drug dependency and regain control over your life. For more than 15 years, Dan G. Alexander M.D., a board-certified physician in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, has helped patients overcome substance abuse and dependency, proving himself to be an expert in addiction medicine. To schedule an evaluation, call the office today, or make an appointment online.
Addiction medicine refers to prescription medications that help people detoxify from drug dependency and/or prevent relapse. Addiction medicine is available for many types of substance use disorders, such as patches or gum for nicotine addiction or antidepressants used in treatments for alcohol addiction.
Addiction medicine is particularly helpful in treating opioid use disorder as part of a combined treatment approach that includes counseling and other therapies.
Opioid use is an epidemic that results in an estimated 130 deaths every day in the United States. Opioid use disorder involves the abuse of substances that act on opioid receptors in the brain, including prescription pain medications such as oxycodone or morphine and illegal drugs such as heroin. Opioids create a state of euphoria, or “high,” and they’re highly addictive. Many people experience extreme withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using opioid drugs.
Opioid withdrawal causes symptoms such as:
Depression, anxiety, and irritability are also associated with opioid withdrawal.
Dr. Alexander is a board-certified internal medicine physician with more than 15 years of experience using addiction medicine to help patients detoxify from substance dependency and prevent relapse for long-term recovery from opioid addiction and other types of substance use disorders.
Dr. Alexander designs personalized drug addiction treatment plans based on your personal needs. Depending on the type of substance use disorder you have and other individual factors, he may recommend one of the following addiction medications.
Buprenorphine acts on opioid receptors in a way that’s similar to opioids, without causing euphoria. It can prevent you from experiencing withdrawal symptoms while you detoxify from true opioids.
Vivitrol contains naloxone, a medication that blocks opioid receptors. In higher doses, naloxone is used on its own to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Vivitrol contains a lower dose that makes it impossible to become high from taking standard opioids, which is useful in preventing relapse in the early stages of drug addiction.
Suboxone is a medication that combines buprenorphine and naloxone for maximum effectiveness.
Once you have entirely detoxed from drug use, Dr. Alexander helps you wean off of addiction medication while you continue counseling as you progress on your journey to long-term recovery.
If you struggle with dependency on opioids or any other type of substance, don’t wait to seek help. Call Dan G. Alexander M.D. to schedule an evaluation, or make an appointment online today.