Opioid Addiction Specialist

Eaton Medical Associates

Internal Medicine & Addiction Medicine located in Methuen, MA

It doesn’t matter if you use prescription opioids or take illegal drugs; once you’re addicted, you need medical treatment that allows you to safely detox. At Eaton Medical Associates in Methuen, Massachusetts, Anthony Eaton, MD, specializes in addiction medicine and provides individualized care throughout your detox and recovery. If you need help with opioid addiction, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

Opioid Addiction Q & A

What are opioids?

Opioids represent a class of highly addictive drugs that includes prescription pain relievers and illegal drugs. Heroin, the most common illegal opioid, has many different street names. Examples of prescription opioids include fentanyl, codeine, morphine, oxycodone (OxyContin®), and hydrocodone (Vicodin®).

What causes opioid addiction?

Every time you take an opioid, the drug activates your brain’s reward system, which triggers the release of endorphins and other brain chemicals. In addition to relieving physical pain, this surge of biochemicals causes the feeling of euphoria.

When you keep taking opioids, your brain physically changes, making it dependent on the opioids and causing uncontrollable cravings. At this point, you have an opioid addiction. As your brain gets used to your usual dose, you need to keep increasing the amount you take to achieve the same pain relief and euphoria level.

What symptoms indicate I have opioid addiction?

When you have an opioid addiction, your symptoms include cravings and needing larger doses. If you try to stop taking opioids, you experience withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle cramps
  • Runny eyes
  • Runny nose Fever
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps

You may start feeling anxious and develop intense cravings a few hours after your last dose. More severe withdrawal symptoms develop about 8-10 hours after you stop taking opioids.

What type of treatment will I receive for opioid addiction?

Dr. Eaton begins your addiction treatment with medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT combines medication with therapy.

Therapy helps you overcome the psychological, emotional, and social challenges caused by your addiction. You also learn the coping skills needed to stay in control and resist opioids for the long term.

Dr. Eaton prescribes Suboxone® to help you detox. Suboxone contains buprenorphine to stop opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms and naloxone, which blocks the effect of opioids.

You take your first dose of Suboxone in the office when you enter the early stage of withdrawal. You continue taking Suboxone at home, but you meet with Dr. Eaton every week. You should also call him immediately if you start to feel cravings or withdrawal symptoms.

After you detox, you can continue taking a maintenance dose of Suboxone as long as Dr. Eaton determines you need the support.

You receive individualized attention and compassionate care at Eaton Medical Associates. If you need help with opioid addiction, call or schedule an appointment online today.