Opioid Abuse Treatment Specialist

Carty Addiction Medicine and Internal Medicine Clinic

Addiction Medicine & Internal Medicine located in Winston Salem, NC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that in 2016, over 11.5 million Americans were abusing prescription opioids, and the problem continues to grow. If you’re concerned about your use of prescription opioids, Brian Carty, MD, MSPH, of the Carty Addiction and Internal Medicine Clinic in Winston-Salem, North Carolina can help. Dr. Carty is an addiction specialist who consistently helps people recover from opioid addiction with his medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program. Call today for more information or book an appointment online.

Opioid Abuse Treatment Q & A

What are opioids?

Opioids are prescription painkillers used in the treatment of severe pain. Commonly prescribed opioids include:

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Sufentanil
  • Tramadol

Though the pain-killing properties of opioids are invaluable when used appropriately, these types of drugs are also highly addictive, leading to substance abuse problems in people who take opioids regularly for pain. There’s currently a serious opioid abuse problem across the United States.

What problems does opioid abuse cause?

Overuse of opioids can cause a range of symptoms, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Mood disorders
  • Agitation
  • Breathing problems
  • Clouded thinking
  • Unusual behavior
  • Disrupted usual sleep patterns

Opioid addiction can lead to the same kinds of physical and mental health issues, family breakdowns, and job losses, as an addiction to illegal narcotics.

If you find yourself in a position where you feel you aren’t able to function without your prescription and therefore can’t stop taking your medication, or you take more than your prescribed dose, those are signs that you might be starting to experience an opioid abuse problem.

What treatments are available for opioid abuse?

If you want to quit your use of opioids, getting help from a specialist clinic like Carty Addiction and Internal Medicine Clinic gives you the best chance of succeeding. Trying to come off opioids without support can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating and chills
  • Shaking
  • Racing heart
  • Problems sleeping

At Carty Addiction and Internal Medicine Clinic, patients go on a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program. MAT consists of counseling and behavioral therapies combined with the use of a drug called Suboxone®.

Suboxone is a medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone, substances that replace the opioids in your system safely, helping you to cut down opioid intake without experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. You might also need other medications such as anticonvulsants or antidepressants, particularly if you were taking opioids for chronic pain.

If you’re worried about taking opioids and think you may have an opioid abuse problem, call Carty Addiction and Internal Medicine Clinic today to find out more about medication-assisted opioid treatment, or book an appointment using the online tool.