Opioid Use Disorder
More than 1200 Americans die every week from overdosing on opioids such as pain killers, heroin and fentanyl. This number has been rising dramatically since 2015 and increased by 30% from 2019 to 2020.
Fortunately, in the midst of the crisis, there is good news, and hope for people struggling with addiction to opioids.
Opioid use disorder is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that alters the mechanism of brain function. It creates uncontrollable cravings for drugs in one region of the brain while short-circuiting the part of the brain that normally guides self-control, goal achievement, and self-awareness.
Treatment for this type of brain disease is likely to require long term care, and includes therapies that uniquely address each of the affected regions of the brain.
If you’re struggling with opioid use disorder, it may feel like you’re alone, but you’re not. Opioid addiction affects many local families. We’ve worked with hundreds of people in Clallam County who have shared your struggle. Seeking medical help is a strong step in your journey to health.
Treating Opioid Use Disorder
We know from many studies that the combination of medication and counseling is an effective treatment for opioid use disorder. This two-pronged approach quiets opioid cravings deep in the brain’s limbic region with medication. And it strengthens the ability of the brain to guide people wisely through the challenges of recovery with counseling and other treatment programs.
The medications attach to opioid receptors in the brain’s limbic region, yet do not produce the same “high” as heroin and other opioids. By completely occupying those receptors, the medications dramatically decrease opioid cravings, prevent withdrawal symptoms, and block the effects of other opioids in the system.
The effect is to reduce cravings for opiates, and reduce the extreme highs and lows of opiate addiction so patients can do the work they need to do, often with the help of a counselor or other treatment programs. With the limbic region of the brain in a more balanced state, the cortex — the thinking, planning area of the brain — can rally to assist in the recovery process.
What to Expect
Addiction is an illness that is likely to require long-term management. Much like other chronic illnesses such as diabetes and arthritis, opioid addiction requires ongoing management and control. We’re here to partner with you as you seek to heal and strengthen your brain for a life of recovery and health.
You’ll meet with one of our medical providers to discuss your concerns about your opioid use and your goals. Together, you’ll design an effective treatment plan with a combination of medication and counseling that fits your needs and lifestyle.
Typically, you will leave your first visit with a prescription for Suboxone, the medication you will take daily at home to diminish cravings for opioids. Vivitrol is also available as a treatment option as appropriate.
Early in your recovery, you will have weekly appointments with your provider to make any needed adjustments to your treatment plan. As your health and confidence improves, your appointments are likely to decrease in frequency.
Your recovery journey can start TODAY by calling the clinic at (360) 452-7891 and asking to speak with our Medication Treatment Program Coordinator.
Mindful Body Awareness Training (MBAT) Research Study
North Olympic Healthcare Network is partnering with the University of Washington School of Nursing to offer a Mindful Body Awareness Training paid research study opportunity for patients in our Medication Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder program who meet certain other criteria. For more information, please click here, talk to your provider, or contact our Research Coordinator at (360) 809-8810.