Actiq Addiction

The definition of addiction

Actiq addiction is a chronic neurological and physical disease influenced by and manifesting in genetic, psychological, social and environmental factors. Actiq addiction is characterized by behaviors including using Actiq compulsively, being unable to control Actiq use, craving Actiq and continuing to use this powerful opioid despite knowing the physical, social, legal and economic harm associated with opioid use.

Addiction versus Dependency

These same groups define physical dependence as "a state of adaptation that is manifested by a drug class specific withdrawal syndrome that can be produced by abrupt cessation, rapid dose reduction, decreasing blood level of the drug, and/or administration of an antagonist." In nonprofessionals' terms, drug dependence is a state where a person's body needs Actiq in order to feel normal and addiction is the compulsive use of a drug.

Addiction and dependence are independent from one another: you can be addicted to something without being physically dependent on it and vice versa. For example, your body may be physically dependent on anti-hypertensive medication to keep your blood pressure within normal limits but you will not feel symptoms of withdrawal if the level of these drugs drops below therapeutic levels. On the other hand, you can be addicted to heroin without physical dependence; you will feel anxiety and nervousness while experiencing changes in your behavior but your body will not suffer any physical manifestations of withdrawal.

Both addiction and dependence to Actiq cause real changes in your body and brain but addiction and dependence manifest themselves in different ways.

Addiction: What Family Members Should Know

While medical science has not yet established the exact cause of drug addiction and dependence, scientists agree that genetics may play a role along with other environmental factors that contribute to drug abuse and relapse include peer pressure, emotional distress, anxiety, depression and environmental stress. Family groups should know these same factors might increase each individual's risk for developing dependence or addiction to substances such as Actiq. Counseling helps family units reduce environmental factors that lead to relapse in individuals already addicted to drugs and reduces the risk for developing drug dependencies in other family members.

Children who grow up in an environment where illicit drug use is acceptable are more likely to develop addictions. Scientists at the American Society of Addiction Medicine state that genetic factors account for about half the likelihood that an individual will develop an addiction.

Addiction Symptoms: Physical and Psychological

Addiction causes changes in brain structure and function, especially in those areas of the brain associated with reward, including the nucleus accumbens, anterior cingulate cortex, basal forebrain and amygdala. Addiction also changes the way the brain remembers rewards. These physical changes may manifest themselves in physical and psychological symptoms including:

  • Inability to consistently abstain
  • Impairment in behavioral control
  • Cravings for drugs or intense reward experiences
  • Diminished capacity to recognize significant personal or relationship problems
  • Dysfunctional emotional response

Features of Actiq addiction include changes in a person's behavior, thinking patterns, emotions and interactions with others, such as family members, co-workers, friends and members of the community. Addiction alters an individual's executive functioning; these changes manifest themselves in problems with perception, learning, impulse control compulsivity and judgment.

Addiction and gender: how women and men are affected differently

Several studies suggest women are more likely to abuse prescription drugs and are more likely to abuse multiple substances than are men. Furthermore, physicians are more likely to prescribe mood-altering drugs to women than to men because doctors perceive a female's complaints to be due to depression, nervousness or some other emotional problem rather than from a physical ailment. Women who abuse drugs are more likely to come from homes where illicit drug use was acceptable. Addicted women are more likely to have a partner or spouse with an addiction.

Men are more likely to report current drug abuse than are women, according to the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Historically, women have a lower rate for entry into treatment, staying in treatment and completing treatment than men. Social stigmas, economic barriers and family responsibilities prevent addicted women from seeking or completing treatment programs.

Signs of addiction: For those around

Be alert to the signs of addiction in the ones you love. These signs include an inability to abstain from taking Actiq consistently. She may also be unable to control her own behavior in general. Your friend or family member may express cravings for Actiq or hungrily seek out this powerful opioid. He may not see the problems associated with his behaviors or personal relationships.

Treatment options

The American Society of Addictive Medicine warns that addiction can cause "disability or premature death, especially when left untreated or treated inadequately." These experts go further to say that recovery from addiction is "best achieved through a combination of self-management, mutual support, and professional care provided by trained and certified professionals."

The first step of quitting Actiq is detox. Detox is the medical or physiological removal of toxic substances, such as Actiq, from the body. Because it lowers the level of Actiq in the system, detox triggers physiological withdrawal symptoms as the body tries to regain chemical stability. Adequate treatment helps the individual overcome these potent withdrawal symptoms.

Many people try to self detox, or quit "cold turkey," at least once before seeking professional assistance. Language experts think the phrase "cold turkey" refers to the pale, cold and clammy appearance of an individual's skin as they go through withdrawal. While symptoms of withdrawal are alarmingly uncomfortable, they are not fatal. Some individuals concoct recipes designed to minimize symptoms. One such remedy is The Thomas Recipe, which includes valium or some other antidepressant, Imodium to treat diarrhea, L-Tyrosine and vitamin supplements for energy and to reduce malaise and access to a hot bath to relax muscles. Self-medication is a long, difficult and sometimes lonely process that can take days.

Medical detox is less uncomfortable and is faster than quitting cold turkey. Specially trained and accredited doctors prescribe replacement drugs such as methadone, Suboxone or Buprenorphine for individuals to use on an outpatient basis. Many people are able to successfully complete outpatient drug rehabilitation but others require emergency or inpatient care.

Acute Actiq intoxication or overdose requires emergency, sometimes lifesaving treatment. Standard inpatient treatment for Actiq includes detoxification, in which physicians administer medications to reduce symptoms of withdrawal and detoxify the body from the harmful effects of Actiq dependence. Medications reduce anxiety, ease nausea and diarrhea, and chemically stabilize the body. Inpatient care is more comfortable than self detoxification and does not prolong rehabilitation by substituting an Actiq addiction for a Buprenorphine one, for example.

Rapid detox is a new, humane approach to this uncomfortable phase of rehabilitation. During rapid detox, physicians administer sedatives and anesthesia along with anti-withdrawal and detoxification drugs. After medical treatment, and individual may participate in residential treatment programs which include personal, family and group counseling. These programs include behavior modification programs and provide peer support.

Successful long-term recovery from Actiq addiction may require enrolling in a 28-day residential program or a longer-term rehab facility. These facilities offer extended counseling and other social services to help individuals address family, economic, legal or medical factors that may have lead to or been compounded by Actiq addiction. Relapse prevention is ongoing, especially in the first few months and years. Addiction is a chronic disease and maintenance of disease remission is a life-long process.