What to Expect During Recovery From an Opioid Use Disorder

What to Expect During Recovery From an Opioid Use Disorder

Your life has been hijacked by an opioid use disorder, and you want your freedom back. Realizing this is the first step on the road to recovery, and we’re here to help you negotiate your next steps.

Since September is National Recovery Month in the United States, the team here at Comprehensive Pain Management wanted to highlight this important topic. Drs. Do Chan and Boris Shwartzman understand the potential risks of taking opioids for pain, namely addiction and dependence, and we do our utmost to avoid this outcome. 

But if you’ve developed a substance use disorder, we can help you reclaim your life, and your health.

The two sides to an opioid use disorder

What makes breaking free from a substance use disorder of any kind difficult is that there are two sides to the problem, including dependence and addiction.

Dependence

This aspect of an opioid use disorder describes the physical dependence your body has developed on the opioids, which sends it into withdrawal when you stop using.

Addiction

The addiction side of the equation refers to the “rewiring” in your brain that leads to uncontrollable urges and the inability to stop. 

Put simply, when you take opioids to excess, you create an artificial flood of dopamine (which is also known as the feel-good hormone). This triggering of the reward center in your brain is much stronger than you would naturally feel and eventually curbs your natural production of dopamine. As a result, your brain only craves the “reward” that opioids provide, often at the cost of all else in your life.

Early recovery — detox

When you embark on recovery, the first step is to tackle your physical dependence through detoxification. Withdrawal symptoms from opioids are unpleasant, and range from nausea and vomiting to muscle aches and pain. These symptoms are most severe in the days following your withdrawal and are often strong enough that people go back to using to find relief.

To help combat this and prevent relapsing, we offer medication-assisted treatment in the form of Suboxone®, which provides your body with a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. The first ingredient is an opioid agonist, which delivers enough of the opioid to reduce withdrawal symptoms, while the second ingredient is an opioid antagonist that blocks you from feeling the effects of the opioids.

Tackling your addiction

After you get through your detox, your recovery work begins in earnest. We can continue your Suboxone to help control any cravings you may develop, but we also feel it’s important to address your recovery on every level available, which includes:

We're happy to help point you in the right direction for these services. Throughout your recovery, we can help keep you on track through regular drug testing, which provides an important degree of accountability. We also provide comprehensive behavioral assessments so that we can track how you’re doing during your recovery.

While recovering from an opioid use disorder takes work and commitment, we’re by your side throughout the process, and we’re invested in your success

To learn more about how we can help ease your recovery, please contact one of our locations in Attleboro or Franklin, Massachusetts, or South Kingstown or Warwick, Rhode Island.

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