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studies of human brain offer clues into opioid addiction

What Happens When an Opioid User Tries to Quit?

There are many substances, like methadone, that have been proven to make it easier for those dependent on opioids to quit. These medications help by easing the cravings associated with opioid addiction, and by making the withdrawal process easier to cope with. Scientists, though, are beginning to look to see if substances such as methadone do more than help with cravings and withdrawal.

When it comes to the treatment of opioid addictions, critics of the use of substances such as methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone claim that it is simply a case of ‘changing one drug for another’, but recent research suggests that the effects of such substances are actually more extensive than is commonly thought.

Do Medications Do More Than Simply Make Withdrawal More Tolerable?

It seems that such medications are actually helpful in aiding those who have become reliant on opioids to repair damaged neural networks – one of the key requirements of successful addiction recovery.

In one study, overseen by Dr. Nora Volkow of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, brain scans of people using medication-based opioid withdrawal treatments were compared to those who are undergoing withdrawal programs without medication, and those who are still using opioids on a regular basis.

“Can we completely recover? I do not know that,” said Volkow. “But with the medications, you’re creating stability” in the brain.”

Opioids ‘work’ by triggering the brain’s reward system. This releases dopamine – the brain’s ‘feel-good’ chemical – and in quantities that natural processes cannot hope to match. However, in tandem with this, the brain stops releasing dopamine when an opioid user experiences something that should make them feel good. This means that, eventually, opioids become the only thing that makes life pleasurable for an opioid user.

Medications Help Opioid Dependent Individuals Feel ‘Normal’ Again

Treatment involves allowing the brain the chance to function normally again, therefore allowing someone recovering from opioid dependency to experience pleasurable feelings without the ‘input’ of opioids. The research being undertaken by Dr. Volkow hopes to find out with increasing accuracy how medications work to facilitate this process.

If you have been affected by opioids and wish to get your life back on track, then please consider seeking the help offered by us here at Advanced Rapid Detox. We can help you to quickly free yourself from the grip of opioids thanks to our 3 day opiate detox process. To contact us, please call us today at (800) 603-1813.