clarity clinic

Opioid Use Disorder

Opioid use disorder is a misuse of opioid substances. Opioids are usually used to treat pain and with continued use of opioids, the body can develop dependence. Opioid dependence causes withdrawal symptoms, which makes it difficult to stop taking them, consequently developing an addiction. Commonly abused opioids include codeine, fentanyl, heroin, morphine, opium, methadone, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.
Find Opioid Use Disorder Treatment
default
Jump to...

Opioid Use Disorder Defined

Opioid use disorder includes signs and symptoms that reflect compulsive, prolonged self-administration of opioid substances that are used for no legitimate medical purpose. Although opioids usually are prescribed to control pain or diminish cough, they also produce feelings of euphoria, tranquility, and sedation that may lead the patient to continue to take these drugs despite the development of serious related problems. Opioid use disorder, with severity specified as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the number of diagnostic criteria that have been met. While it can range from mild to severe, even a mild disorder can escalate and lead to serious problems, so early treatment is important.

Opioid Use Disorder Causes

There can be several causes of opioid use disorder. Various factors like genetic, psychological, social, and environmental factors can all impact how taking opioids affects your body and behavior. For certain people taking opioids has a different and stronger impact that can lead to opioid use disorder that it may not have on others.

Opioid Use Disorder Symptoms

Symptoms of opioid use disorder can include:

  • Craving
  • Sweating
  • Euphoria or general discontent
  • Chronic constipation
  • Small pupil
  • Nausea
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Sensitivity to pain
  • Shallow breathing or slurred speech

If you are taking opioids solely under appropriate medical supervision, an individual does not meet this criterion. Opioid withdrawal causes brief, but severe, episodes of depression that can lead to suicide attempts and completed suicide. Accidental opioid overdose is common and should not be mistaken for a suicide attempt. Opioid use disorder can include periods of opioid intoxication and symptoms of withdrawal.

Opioid Intoxication

  • Recent use of an opioid.
  • Clinically significant problematic behavioral or psychological changes (e.g., initial euphoria followed by apathy, dysphoria, psychomotor agitation or retardation, impaired judgment) that developed during, or shortly after, opioid use.
  • Pupillary contrition (or pupillary dilation due to anoxia from severe overdose) and one (or more) of the following signs or symptoms developing during, or shortly after, opioid use:
  • Drowsiness or coma.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Impairment in attention or memory.
  • Signs or symptoms that are not attributable to another medical condition are not better explained by another mental disorder, including intoxication with another substance.

Opioid Withdrawal

Presence of either of the following:

  • Cessation of (or reduction in) opioid use that has been heavy and prolonged (i,e. several weeks or longer).
  • Administration of an opioid antagonist after a period of opioid use.
  • Three (or more) of the following, developing within minutes to several days after Criterion A:
    • Dysphoric mood.
    • Nausea or vomiting.
    • Muscle aches.
    • Lacrimation or rhinorrhea.
    • Pupillary dilation, piloerection, or sweating.
    • Diarrhea.
    • Yawning
    • Fever.
    • Insomnia.

The signs or symptoms in Criterion B cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

The signs or symptoms are not attributable to another medical condition and are not better explained by another mental disorder, including intoxication or withdrawal from another substance.

How to Approach a Loved One About Opioid Use Disorder

There is no perfect way to approach a loved one that you assume or know is struggling with opioid use disorder. Many people who don’t recognize opioid use disorder hesitate to get treatment because they don’t recognize they have a problem, so approaching them to tell them that they do have a problem can be difficult. An intervention from loved ones can help some people recognize and accept that they need professional help. If you’re concerned about someone who may have an opioid use disorder, ask a professional experienced in drug addiction treatment for advice on how to approach that person. You cannot force someone to seek professional care, but you can always offer your support and encouragement. Even though you may not be able to prevent your loved one from developing an opioid use disorder, you can still talk with them about treatment options.

Types of Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

There are effective treatments for opioid use disorder. The first step in treatment is being able to recognize that you have an opioid use problem, which can be difficult for most individuals. Many individuals reach this realization at a very low point brought upon by opioid use disorder. Even with treatment, there is a probability that you may return to opioid use. This is more like occurring if you spend time with people who use opioids or you’re in environments where opioid use is common. A key part of recovery from opioid use disorder is continued support.

Aftercare programs and/or support groups help people recovering from opioid use disorder stop using opioids, manage relapses, and cope with necessary lifestyle changes. If you feel that you’ll start to use opioids again, contact your mental health professional or sponsor right away to prevent a relapse. Lifestyle changes are also crucial in recovering from opioid use disorder. Ensuring that your family and friends are aware that you are recovering from opioids and develop a support system of friends and family who can support your recovery, not impair your recovery. If you have people in your life that continue to take opioids that do not support your recovery, they may impact your course of treatment and recovery. Finally, continuing to engage in other healthy habits is necessary for treatment. This can include managing stress in a healthy way, good sleep habits, maintaining a schedule, or regular physical activity can make it easier for you to recover from opioid use disorder.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy or psychological counseling is used to identify the patterns of behaviors, thoughts, triggers, etc. that may impact individuals with opioid use disorder. In therapy, individuals learn skills and establish treatment plans that usually involve drug treatment specialists. It may include goal setting, behavior change techniques, the use of self-help manuals, counseling, and follow-up care at a treatment center. In therapy or counseling, it may help individuals better understand their problem with opioids and support recovery from the psychological aspects of opioid use. Opioid use disorder commonly occurs along with other mental health disorders, like depression and anxiety, which can be discussed in therapy.

Family Therapy

Family therapy is a form of therapy that can support the individual, as well as the family in regards to how opioid use behaviors affect the family unit. It can provide the family with skills on how to resolve issues that arise and communicate with each other in a healthy manner. Family therapy also provides the individual with the support needed for their recovery.

Self-Help Groups/Therapy Groups

Various self-help groups are options for individuals to attend, such as Narcotics Anonymous. Some people find that talking with others who have an opioid use problem may be a helpful part of treatment. Through self-help groups, individuals find a forum of peer support, gaining strength as they share their feelings, and experiences with others who are facing the same obstacles as themselves. Self-help groups can also be helpful because you can have a sponsor that will assist in your continued recovery. Clarity Clinic provides group therapy that is led by a certified alcohol and drug counselor.

Medications

Some medications can assist in the treatment of opioid use disorder. It is important to be cautious when withdrawing from opioid use, especially if a person has been injecting use. It can be suggested an individual be considered for opioid agonist maintenance treatment. These medications can help alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal and cravings.

Start Your Journey to Healing Today

At Clarity Clinic, we're committed to helping you overcome the challenges of Opioid Use Disorder and finding a path toward a healthier and happier life. Our experienced team of professionals is dedicated to providing compassionate care and evidence-based treatments. Don't let Opioid Use Disorder hold you back any longer – take the first step towards recovery by scheduling an appointment. Your journey to healing and transformation begins here.

Opioid Use Disorder Providers

Bryanna
Bryanna Tartt, LCSW
Therapy
Ross
Ross Pepper, MD
Psychiatrist
Jessica
Jessica Selk, LPC
Therapy
Anish
Anish Desai, MD
Psychiatrist
Sheena
Sheena Patel, PA-C
PA-C
Rebecca
Rebecca Helm, LSW
Therapy
Ryan
Ryan Atkins, PA
Psychiatry
Hannah
Hannah Wychocki, PA-C
PA-C
Lauren
Lauren Isdale, NP
Nurse Practitioner
Hope
Hope Hirsch, LPC
Therapist
Gabriella
Gabriella Lerner, PA-C
PA-C
Cyrus
Cyrus Ma, PA-C
PA-C
Maggie
Maggie Semprevivo, LSW
Therapy
Zubair
Zubair Khan, PA-C
PA-C
Nicholas
Nicholas Zaris, LPC
Therapy
Kumail
Kumail Hussain, MD
Young Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist
Jaimee
Jaimee Jaucian, LCPC, BC-DMT
Therapy
Megan
Megan Becker, PA-C
PA-C
Emma
Emma Arsic, PA-C
PA-C
Paul
Paul Bamberger, PA-C
PA-C
Tonie
Tonie White, LCSW
Therapy
Sankrant
Sankrant Reddy, MD
Psychiatrist
Stephanie
Stephanie Osborne, PA-C
Psychiatry
Ashley
Ashley Seredynski, PA-C
PA-C
Christine
Christine Lantin, PA-C
PA-C
Sudhakar
Sudhakar Shenoy, MD
Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist
Tara
Tara Ufer, LCPC, CADC
Therapist
Sharon
Sharon Koys, PA-C
PA-C
Reggie
Reggie Pacheco, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Sarah
Sarah Beerman, LCSW, CADC
Therapist
Sahar
Sahar Eftekhar, DO
General & Addiction Psychiatrist
Rebecca
Rebecca Gilfillan, MD
Psychiatrist
Rebecca
Rebecca Kuhn, PA-C
PA-C
Sonnie
Sonnie Cousins, MA
Therapy
Elana
Elana Horowitz, PA-C
PA-C
Pavan
Pavan Prasad, MD
Psychiatrist
Michael
Michael Colombatto, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Lovea
Lovea Smith, LCPC
Director of Therapy– Loop
Mariyah
Mariyah Hussain, MD
Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist
Khrystyna
Khrystyna Helner, LPC, MBA
Therapist
Laura
Laura Schroeder, LCPC
Therapist
Kiran Binal
Kiran Binal Maharaja, MD
Psychiatrist
Karen
Karen Richardson, LCSW, ICDVP
Therapy
Lizzie
Lizzie Ausland, LCPC, CADC
Therapist
Kalyan
Kalyan Rao, MD
Psychiatrist
Jonathan
Jonathan Kolakowski, MD
Psychiatrist
Judy
Judy Bitzer, LCPC
Therapist
James
James Histed, Clinical Intern
Therapy Clinical Intern
Jessica
Jessica Masbaum, LCSW
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Jeanette
Jeanette Marinier, PA-C
PA-C
Jamie
Jamie Schubert, PA-C
PA-C
Sherita
Sherita Hernton, PA-C
PA-C
Jodi
Jodi Randle, LCPC, CADC
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Emily
Emily Street, PA-C
PA-C
Emily
Emily Shelton, LCPC, LMHC, CADC, CAGCS, CRSS
Therapy
Thomas
Thomas Thurlow, NP
Psychiatry
Savannah
Savannah Sullivan, PA-C
PA-C
Kathryn
Kathryn Ross, PA-C
Psychiatry
Summer
Summer Slininger, PA-C
PA-C
Ravali
Ravali Poreddy, MD
Psychiatrist
Ariella
Ariella Panos, PA-C
PA-C
James
James Ham, PA-C
Psychiatry
Rayna
Rayna Gorstein, PA-C
PA-C
Daniel
Daniel Shuter, LSW
Therapist
Sierra
Sierra Purcell, PA-C
PA-C
Emily
Emily Hoag, MD
Psychiatrist
Ali
Ali Sheikha, PA-C
PA-C
Grace
Grace Starrs, PA-C
Psychiatry
Cassie
Cassie Donahue, PA-C
Psychiatry
Gayathri
Gayathri Ganesh, PA-C
PA-C
Ryan
Ryan Watters, LCSW, CADC
Therapy
Samuel
Samuel Eckert, PA-C
PA-C
Nayeli
Nayeli Cruz-Castillo, LCPC
Therapy
Rafael
Rafael Lopez, MD
Psychiatrist
Nicholas
Nicholas Little, PA-C
PA-C
Kaitlin
Kaitlin Digrispino, LPC
Therapy
Scott
Scott Shadrick, PA-C
PA-C
Mira
Mira Ebalo, PA-C
PA-C
Mark
Mark Bey, LPC
Therapy
Miriam
Miriam Mixon, LCSW
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Mary
Mary Ivory, LCPC
Therapy
Justin
Justin Lee, PA-C
PA-C
Jordan
Jordan Valentic-Holden, MA
Therapy
Katherine
Katherine Cunningham, LPC, CADC
Therapy
Elia
Elia Narvaez-Mushtaq, LPC
Therapy
Sam
Sam Donham, LCPC
Therapy
Carol
Carol Briggs, LPC, NCC
Therapy
Emily
Emily Filip, PA-C
PA-C
Jenna
Jenna Jacobson, PA-C
PA-C
Dane
Dane Davlantis, LCPC
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Caitlin
Caitlin Daughtry, PA-C
PA-C
Camryn
Camryn Schmidt, PA-C
PA-C
Courtney
Courtney Daly, LCPC, CADC
Therapy
Christopher
Christopher Edwards, LCSW
Therapist
Abbey
Abbey DeBaene, LCSW, CADC
Therapy
Brittany
Brittany Wilson, LPC
Therapy
Brent
Brent Hope, LCSW
Therapy
Alexandra
Alexandra Gregor, PA-C
PA-C
Allegria
Allegria Knouse, PA-C
PA-C
Alyssa
Alyssa Bobak, PA-C
PA-C

Related Blog Posts

blog
Recognizing the Signs of Alcohol Abuse & Dependence
April 17, 2024
blog
Sobriety Tips: How Can I Enjoy Social Situations Without Alcohol?
April 12, 2024
blog
Does Alcohol Affect Depression & Anxiety?
April 03, 2024
Find a provider
clarity clinic
© 2024 Clarity Clinic. All Rights Reserved.Privacy Policy