The opiate addiction has reached crisis levels in the United States. In 2015 alone, accidental overdose deaths were greater than car accidents, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. The American Society of Addiction Medicine states that more than 2 million people in America are addicted to opiates and that is a very frightening reality.
Is Medication-assisted Treatment the Best Solution?
What makes opiates so dangerous? Opiates are highly addictive and dangerous because of how they affect the brain’s pleasure center. These drugs work by attaching themselves to the brain’s receptors and send signals to block pain, slow down breathing and promote a feeling of calm. Opiates flood the brain with dopamine which makes a person feel good, experiencing feelings of euphoria.
As a person becomes dependent on opiates, the brain is wired to repeat behaviors associated with pleasure or reward. When the brain’s reward center is overloaded by the effects of opiates, it remembers the behavior and records it as something to be repeated and a person doesn’t have any power to stop.
The best way to conquer misconceptions and myths about medication-assisted drug treatment is to become educated and learn about how it works.