Opioid Addiction/Dependency and Physical Factors

Opioid Dependency and Addiction are not the same. For Ethical Care, we “Must” address the differences.

The physical impacts on receptors happen to the human brains “receptors” that are targeted by pain medications, literally physically change the brain receptors. Then once altered over time of use (Varies by person what the period of time is which “dependency” occurs, due to our individual DNA), they send messages to the brain which we call “Cravings”. A person dependent on pain medications does not always “abuse” the drug.

However, if they do not take the medication, the body will respond due to the brain’s receptors responding to the lack of the drug being provided to the body/brain. This will set off a process of “physical” withdrawal if not take (as prescribed) on the correct regimen. Valid pain management is still required for quality of life. The problems relating to “addiction” does not always happen. And while we are facing challenges with ‘abuse’ we cannot forget the need of care regarding human compassion for patients with valid medical needs for chronic pain management. This has become a major challenge for healthcare providers. Understanding the difference between “Dependency and Addiction” is imperative for everyone.Continue reading