Opioid Use Disorder

What is it? How can you get help?

What is Substance Use Disorder?

Chronic difficulty in resisting the desire to drink alcohol or take drugs (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014).

What are Opioids?

Opium: Mixture of alkaloids from poppy seed

Opiates: Naturally occurring alkaloids such as morphine and codeine

Opioids: All compounds that attach to opioid receptors

Opioids are used to treat acute pain, but can be highly addictive (Cobaugh, et al, 2014).

Opioids include: Heroin, codeine, methadone

How does someone become addicted to Opioids?

A study conducted on health insurance enrollees proved that those who were previously diagnosed with depression were three times more likely to use opioids for non-cancer pain (Arehart-Treichel, 2010).

Opioid abuse is common among those who are prescribed an opioid to ease chronic non-cancer pain.

History of prescription drug use to treat chronic, non-cancer pain.

Treatment Options:

*There are 3 FDA approved medications that may be used to treat an addiction to Opioids:

  1. Methadone (Agonist): Must be administered at a federally regulated treatment site; used for detoxification
  2. Buprenorhpine (Partial agonist): Requires a DATA 2000 waiver and a DEA x-number, and is available for office treatment; used for detoxification
  3. Naltrexone (Antagonist): Office based treatment (Breazing & Besaga, 2015).

*Community based therapy

Criteria for Opioid Use Disorder: Does this describe you?

Impaired Control:

  • Using larger amounts of opioids for longer than intended
  • Unsuccessful efforts to cut back on use
  • Excessive amounts of time spent in an effort to obtain, use, or recover from opioids
  • Craving the use of opioids
Social Impairment:

  • Failure to fulfill major obligations (work, school, home tasks) because of recurrent use
  • Recurrent social or interpersonal problems
  • Giving up important activities because of opioid use
Risky Use:

  • Using opioids in dangerous situations
  • Continued use despite physical or psychological problems that are likely caused by opioid use
Pharmacological properties:

  • Tolerance: requiring higher doses to achieve the desired effect; diminished effect
  • Withdrawals (Brezing & Besaga, 2014).

How to Get Help; Who You Can Trust

If you are afraid you may suffer from Opioid Use Disorder, get help immediately. There are different sources of help, including seeing an Alcohol and Drug Counselor.

In Michigan, Alcohol and Drug Counselors must meet the following criteria:

  • 1,000-4,000 hours of experience credit hours depending on the level of degree
  • 270 hours of contact hours of education (180 specific to substance abuse, 90 may be related to substance abuse, 6 face to face MCBAP approved professional or treatment ethics)
  • 300 hours direct supervision specific to drug/alcohol use
  • Must pass the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium/Alcohol and Drug Counselor (IC&RC/ADC) written test (mcbap.com).

Ask you physician for referrals.

Psychologists must spend several years in graduate education training and research, as well as complete clinical training before they are awarded a Doctoral degree (apa.org).

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Arehart-Triechel, J. (2010, January 15). Depression Predicts Greater Use of Opioid Medications. Retrieved from http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/pn.45.2.psychnews_45_2_011

Brezing, C., & Bisaga, A. (2015). Opioid Use Disorder: Update on Diagnosis and Treatment. Psychiatric Times. Retrieved from EBSCO.

CADC- Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor: Overview Requirements. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.mcbap.com/certifications/cadc/

How to choose a psychologist. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/choose-therapist.aspx

Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2014). Abnormal Psychology (6th ed.). New York, New York: McGraw Hill.