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Understanding Addiction And How Suboxone Can Help

If you or someone you know is battling addiction, discover more about the nature of addiction and the supportive role you can play.

The Opioid Crisis

Addiction is deeply painful—not just for the individual suffering but also for their loved ones. Feeling isolated is common, yet many have faced similar struggles. 

From 1999 to 2017, the opioid crisis escalated, leading to drug abuse being declared a public health emergency. Initially, deaths due to drug overdose soared to approximately 750,000. By 2019, this number decreased to 75,000, yet the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic saw these numbers rise once more.

Despite these grim statistics, our understanding of addiction has grown, enhancing our ability to combat it effectively. Opioid addiction can affect anyone but it is surmountable.

Why Does It Happen?

Many believe drug addiction is a choice, but overcoming addiction requires more than just willpower. Addiction is a disease that chemically and structurally changes the brain.

Opioids, often prescribed for pain relief, can lead to dependency if not used as directed. This dependency can escalate to a high tolerance, prompting users to increase doses or turn to more potent substances.

In the U.S., 80% of heroin users began with prescription opioids. Factors influencing addiction include genetic predisposition, accounting for 40-60% of addiction risks, along with peer pressure, mental health issues, high-stress environments, and early exposure to drug use.

Know The Signs

Recognizing opioid abuse can be challenging as individuals may maintain a semblance of normalcy. Early detection is key, and here are some signs to watch for:

  • Changes in sleep patterns or persistent drowsiness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Employment or financial difficulties
  • Reduced libido
  • Neglect of personal hygiene
  • Mood swings
  • Social withdrawal

You might also notice changes in your own behavior, such as worrying excessively about a loved one or enabling their substance use.

How Can I Help?

Helping someone grappling with addiction requires a proactive and supportive approach. Here are comprehensive steps you can take to make a significant difference:

Safely Dispose of Medications and Medical Supplies: Unused prescriptions, particularly opioids, can pose a significant risk if left accessible. Ensure all unused medicines are safely disposed of to prevent misuse. Do not simply throw them away or flush them down the toilet as these methods pose environmental risks and potential safety hazards. Contact your local pharmacy, hospital, or waste management service to find a secure drug take-back program or disposal kiosk near you.

Encourage Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Supporting someone in recovery involves more than just overseeing their medication. Encourage activities that foster physical health and mental well-being. Engage in regular physical activities such as walking, cycling, or yoga, which help release endorphins and reduce stress. Cooking together, gardening, or other relaxing hobbies can also provide therapeutic benefits and a sense of accomplishment.

Create a Supportive Home Environment: The home environment should be a sanctuary that promotes recovery and prevents relapse. This involves maintaining a space free of substances that could trigger a relapse, as well as reducing stress and conflict within the household. Open communication and establishing a routine can also contribute to a stable environment.

Educate Yourself and Others: Understanding addiction as a disease is crucial in helping effectively. Educate yourself about the challenges and realities of addiction and recovery to better empathize with and support the individual. Sharing this knowledge with other family members and friends can also cultivate a supportive community around your loved one.

Practice Empathy and Patience: Recovery is a complex and challenging journey, and relapse can be a part of the process. It’s important to remain patient, supportive, and non-judgmental. Relapses can be discouraging, but they do not mean that recovery has failed. Provide encouragement and remind your loved one of their strengths and the progress they’ve made.

Seek Professional Guidance: Don’t hesitate to seek help from professionals. Attending family therapy sessions or counseling can provide you with strategies to support your loved one effectively. Professionals can also guide you on how to take care of your own mental health, which is crucial in this process.

Take Care of Yourself: While supporting someone through recovery, it’s vital to look after your own health as well. Ensure that you are getting enough rest, eating well, and taking time for yourself. Joining support groups for families of those with addiction can provide mutual support and coping strategies.

By implementing these steps, you can play a pivotal role in the recovery process of your loved one, providing the necessary support and environment that fosters a successful journey to sobriety.

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Treatment You Can Trust

At SF Suboxone, we provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT), utilizing prescriptions like Suboxone to manage withdrawal symptoms effectively without addictive properties.

Suboxone combines buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms, while naloxone discourages misuse, triggering withdrawal symptoms if injected.

Suboxone may cause side effects such as numbness, pain, headaches, dizziness, insomnia, stomach pain, or concentration issues.

Recovery varies per individual. MATs like Suboxone support patients through withdrawal, increasing the chances of completing treatment and avoiding relapse or overdose.

Why SF Suboxone?

At San Francisco Suboxone Clinic, we treat individuals, not just symptoms. Each patient receives a private evaluation to determine the most effective treatment plan.

Our Board Certified Physicians are specially trained to prescribe Suboxone and have a proven track record in helping diverse populations overcome opioid addiction.

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unique challenges, especially for those with opioid addiction. To ensure safety, we also offer telemedicine options during this period.

Recovery Is Possible

Imagine a life free from drug dependency. What could you achieve without addiction holding you back?

Starting today, that life can be yours. You don’t have to face this alone. If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid addiction, SF Suboxone Clinic is here to help you find peace and a path to a drug-free life.

Contact us Today

Reach out and start your journey towards a healthy and happy life.