Opioid Addiction Specialist

Apex Medical Center

Pain Management Physicians & Internists located in Las Vegas, NV

Opioid addiction has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, and it’s now a leading cause of accidental death. At Apex Medical Center, treating opioid addiction is a calling shared by all three of the practice’s physicians. Numerous treatment approaches are available. David Ezeanolue, M.D., C.I.M.E., Alafuro T. Oruene, M.D., Blanche Y. Bonnick, M.D., and the rest of the Apex Medical Center team focus on finding the right path for every man and woman that come through their doors. If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, reach out to learn about treatment options in the Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada, areas.

Opioid Addiction Q & A

Why are opioids so addictive?

Your psychological conditioning, the amount of stress in your life, and the manner in which you’re first introduced to opioids can impact the course of addiction. Researchers also think there’s a genetic component at play.

Opioid use creates an immediate and intense sensation of pleasure by stimulating your brain’s reward system. Using these drugs leads to changes in the structure of your brain. Those brain abnormalities create a driving need to continue using opioids.

Cravings are intense and tolerance increases. That creates a dangerous cycle of drug seeking, use, and withdrawal.

What are the signs of opioid addiction?

Loved ones often suspect drug use but are unfamiliar with the signs and symptoms. The following conditions can indicate opioid abuse:

  • Periods of elation and euphoria
  • Periods of exhaustion and sleepiness
  • Constricted pupils
  • Slow breathing
  • Persistent confusion
  • Occasional nodding off or lost consciousness
  • Constipation
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Sudden mood swings

How is SuboxoneⓇ used to treat opioid addiction?

Suboxone is a medication created from a blend of buprenorphine and naloxone. Doctors use Suboxone to treat opioid addiction because the medication produces a slight opioid effect while also blocking your brain’s ability to experience the full effects of opioid drugs.

Buprenorphine is an opioid, but it’s far less potent than heroin or methadone. Addicts who take carefully controlled doses of buprenorphine can stop using other opioid drugs without going through withdrawal.

Buprenorphine also creates a distinct “ceiling” beyond which there are no additional benefits of taking opioids. This blocking effect prevents many people from seeking opioids because they know they won’t obtain the same high that led to their addiction in the first place.     

Combining Suboxone with counselling can help you or a loved one fight substance abuse and get back to a healthy life. Contact Apex Medical Center to schedule an appointment to explore your treatment options.