Diagnosis of Opioid Addiction
This is a basic service of an addiction psychiatrist. It is based on the Diagnostic Criteria from DSM-IV-TR and subsequent editions of the Diagnostic Criteria as compiled by the American Psychiatric Association, which is the world wide standard for psychiatric diagnosis.
Currently, Substance Dependence is described as a maladaptive pattern of substance use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by the presence of a number of recognized and agreed upon signs and symptoms such as tolerance, withdrawal, the substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended, persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use, a great deal of time is spent in activities needed to obtain the substance, and important social, occupational or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of the substance use.
Opioid Addiction is abuse of narcotics such as Heroin, Morphine, Percocet, Oxycodone, Vicodin.
Suboxone eliminates the euphoria of opioid narcotics and prevents the patient from going into subsequent withdrawl when it’s use is continued.
Treatment of Opioid Addiction
There are various methods and ways to treat a diagnosed case of opioid dependence. First, after the diagnosis is made, a decision will have to be made about whether out-patient or in-patient treatment is indicated. Past treatment experience and severity of dependence are key issues here.
If outpatient treatment is felt viable, there is a choice of medications which can be entertained, in addition to counseling, psychotherapy, and 12 step program attendance. These would include Suboxone, Naltrexone and Methadone treatments. A discussion would be needed between the patient and the doctor about the best course to follow.