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Opioid analgesics and addiction

Dr. Elizabeth Loomis of Highland Family Medicine discussed the addictive power of opioid analgesics Thursday on News 8 at Sunrise.
Dr. Elizabeth Loomis of Highland Family Medicine discussed the addictive power of opioid analgesics Thursday on News 8 at Sunrise.

Opioids include medications like Percocet, Vicodin and Morphine.  Dr. Loomis said they are potent pain killers but easily cause addiction and dependence, even in people who have not had problems with addiction in the past.  She said opioid analgesics have become the most misused drug class in America.  Since 2003, there have been more overdose deaths involving opioid analgesics than heroin and cocaine combined.

Suboxone and Methadone therapy, when combined with addiction counseling, are good treatment options for patients addicted to opioid analgesics or heroin.  Dr. Loomis said these medications, which are prescribed by specially trained physicians, bind to the same chemical receptors in the brain as narcotics and heroin and prevent withdrawl and cravings.

Dr. Loomis said people who think they have an addiction problem and are interested in treatment with Suboxone or Methadone should talk to their health care physician about referral to treatment programs.

 
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