Our addiction physicians are licensed and trained to aid you in addressing your substance and alcohol abuse disorder and provide proven interventions and approaches that will manage your symptoms. They are experienced in treating numerous individuals in the community, working closely with them in achieving long-term sobriety.
Addiction is a slang term describing a Substance Use Disorder. Substance use disorders can occur with many drugs or alcohol. One of the most powerful and common addictions is to nicotine. Addiction has a very strong genetic link. It has been estimated that about 50% of addiction is linked to genetics. If you have this genetic risk, you may have members of your family that have also struggled with addiction. Having this genetic risk doesn’t mean that you will automatically become addicted, but you have a much higher risk when combined with certain environmental factors. Environmental factors include a history of abuse, poor school performance, and mental health problems.
Opioid Use Disorder:
This is a chronic, relapsing medical condition that can occur as a result of opioid use.
Opioids (Opiates) are powerful “pain relievers” that work both physically and mentally to relieve pain. Opiates are natural and come from the poppy plant. Opioids are synthetic and generally made in a lab. As a long lasting and relapsing medical disease, it has a relapse rate similar to other chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease. This relapse rate for opioid use disorder is traditionally approximately 40%.
People with opioid use disorder have lost control of their opioid use and continue to use opioids despite the harms they cause them. They also spend much of their time getting, using or recovering from using opioids. They have powerful craving to use opioids.
This is considered the 4 C’s of addiction: Loss of Control, Continued Use despite harm, Cravings and a Compulsion to use. Examples of Opioids include: Fentanyl, Carfentanil, Heroin, Oxycontin, Percocet, Morphine, Oxycodone, Hydromorphone, Codeine, etc.
OAT or Opioid Agonist Treatment is considered the “gold standard” of treatment in Opioid Use Disorders (Addiction). This may mean buprenorphine (Suboxone) treatment, or methadone treatment or a combination of either of these combined with Kadian (a long acting Opioid). By using any of these treatments, our goal is to provide you with something that stops withdrawal symptoms while helping minimize your cravings. We want to get you feeling healthy again. These medications are safe (safe enough that we also use them in pregnancy), and prescribed and dispensed by medical professionals. People that are on buprenorphine or methadone have a reduced risk of death, disease, criminality. They often return to work, school and their families/friends. Currently up to 93,000 people die every year from opioid overdose in the USA.
Nicotine is the main addictive chemical in tobacco products. It acts as a mild depressant in lower doses and a stimulant at higher doses. Nicotine is arguably the most addictive drug on earth with a rate of addictiveness over 25%. There are now many options to treat people wishing to stop nicotine both through counselling and medication options. We are well versed in all options available in Canada. Currently about 500,000 people die every year in the USA and about 50,000 in Canada from the effects of nicotine and smoking.
Hepatitis C is a contagious blood borne virus. It can cause liver inflammation and damage. It is a slow acting virus causing progressive damage over time. It can cause catastrophic health problems over time if not treated. Thankfully there are now excellent treatment options now for hepatitis C. The cure rate is approximately 95% if caught and treated early enough. We have hepatitis screening at all of our clinics. If you test positive on the screening, we will then coordinate further lab work and initiate hepatitis C treatment.
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Would you like to know more about our addiction physicians? Feel free to contact us today.