Addiction FAQs

I’m addicted to Opioid and mainly heroin, which medicine should I use, Burpernorphine (suboxone, zubsolv) or Naltrexone (Vivitrol)?

  • These are two opposite and different ways of helping you. The answer depends on many variables. Naltrexone seals you Opioid brain receptors so that when you are under the influence of you emotional brain (craving) to use, you will feel “nothing”. Compared to the traditional feeling of “high”, “excited”, or “chilled”. Feeling “nothing” is very therapeutic as it shuts down the brain reward mechanism and gradually fads out the craving and the behaviors associated with it. Sounds great let us do it. WAIT. Here is the catch:You have to be Opioid free for 2 weeks to get the Naltrexone. This is the most challenging criterion for Opioid addicted individuals.You have to be tied on the oral Naltrexone first before the monthly shot of Naltrexone (vivitrol) to ensure that you are not allergic to naltrexone.You have to have a test for your liver function test giving as Naltrexone could affect your liver function.Bupernorphine (suboxone-zubsolv-others) is an Opioid replacement therapy. It does provide your brain with the Opioid it needs so that you will refrain from getting the Opioid in the street such as heroin and pain medication. Getting this street Opioid is highly associated with criminal activities, drug overdose, and homicidal behaviors and serious medical conditions such as hepatitis C and HIV. Massive harm is reduced just by being evaluated and treated in a medical setting.

Can I use medication to help me with my addiction?

  • When we are addicted to a drug or a behavior we can’t simply “toughen up”, “brush it off”, “act like a man” and so on of the “self defeating” statements we receive from people around us who think at the time of saying it that are encouraging and helping us. That might be true at least with regard to their intention. However, their statements will serve “no purpose”. Your “emotional” brain loaded with memories of exciting and thrilling moments with friends, families, and others has “hijacked” your “rational” brain. We do know for sure what is rational and what is right from what is wrong. It is simply put, “We are powerless” when it comes to work on it”. Unless we tuned down the emotional brain to give the edge to “rational brain” to take over the decision making process, the condition shall only get worse. Medications available in the market could help minimizing the emotional loading of the decision making and help gradually utilizing the rational brain.

Why it is “hard” to quit doing drugs or alcohol? Is it a lack of” will and commitment”?

  • The disease “Addiction” affects individuals on so many levels. The brain chemistry changes, the behavior around it to sustain their habit, the support system and the environment. Just saying that they should toughen up, have a strong will or show commitment are good values to have only on the “personality” level. However, that will not change other important variables to be treated such as the change in brain chemistry and the improper behaviors that they acquired in their addiction journey.Is addiction a “disease” or “criminal activity?Addiction is a “disease” and if untreated will make individuals engage in illegal activities. However, these sick individuals are not criminal in nature. More importantly, if we see them only through this “criminal” tunnel vision, we have “dropped the ball”. They shall never get better and we will never stop the worsening of their problems. If we work together to understand the biological, social and personality aspect of their illness, we have a better chance in tackling the illness through the diseased individual.

I’m addicted to “Pain Pills” and other drugs. I need help, but I don’t want my family to know about it. What do I do?

  • Addiction is a brain disease that involves many layers such as the pleasure center, impulse control, the reward mechanism, decision making, and your brain chemistry. No one will understand and support you like your loved ones. Yes, revealing an addiction may be shocking and painful to your loved ones, and they might not trust you as much again. However, getting this “monstrous secret” out in the open makes it much easier to fight than having it inside you, getting bigger, scarier, and more undefeatable.