Kent Smalley, M.D.
Addiction Medicine Specialist & Behavioral Neurology located in Edmond, OK
Opioids are potent painkillers and highly addictive drugs, and once you become addicted, you need medical care to detox without pain as well as counseling to support your recovery. Kent Smalley, MD, at Neurowellness Clinic in Edmond, Oklahoma and serving the greater Oklahoma City area, specializes in addiction medicine and has years of experience providing individualized care throughout detox and recovery. Dr. Smalley offers opioid addiction treatment that combines medication with counseling to ensure your ongoing health and well-being. If you need help eliminating opioids from your life, call the office or schedule an appointment online.
Opioid Addiction Treatment Q & A
What causes an opioid addiction?
Opioids stimulate your brain’s reward system, triggering the release of pain-killing endorphins and causing a rush of euphoria. At first, you use the drug to relieve pain or because you enjoy the high feeling.
As you continue to take opioids, however, they cause physical changes in your brain that make you crave the drug. That’s when you’re addicted. Then it doesn’t take long for your brain to get used to your usual dose, and you need to take a higher dose to achieve the same feeling.
What symptoms develop due to opioid addiction?
The most common symptoms of opioid addiction are not being able to stop taking the drug, needing larger amounts to get the same feeling, and developing withdrawal symptoms if you try to stop.
Withdrawal symptoms, which are often described as flu-like, include:
- Muscle aches
- Runny eyes
- Runny nose
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramps
Mild withdrawal symptoms typically begin several hours after your last dose of opioids, continue to build, and reach their peak in a few days.
How do you treat opioid addiction?
Dr. Smalley helps you safely and effectively detox from an opioid addiction with medication-assisted treatment. This approach has an impressive history of success by combining mindfulness counseling with medication to manage your withdrawal.
The medication reduces withdrawal symptoms, stops cravings, and rebalances brain chemicals. The counseling you receive helps you understand how you became addicted, recognize your risk factors for relapse, and develop coping tools for stressful situations that tempt you to return to drugs.
How long does opioid addiction treatment take?
After you finish detoxing, your acute withdrawal symptoms are finished, but you still have a long road ahead. It’s common for patients to face challenges for up to 24 months after their last dose of opioids. You may experience:
- Mood swings
- Drug dreams
- Poor concentration
During this time, you’re highly susceptible to relapse, which is why Dr. Smalley continues to provide intensive, personalized care.
When you feel overwhelmed and at risk of relapsing, he talks with you about medications that may help. It’s also important to continue your counseling so you get the extra support you need.
Though office visits to assess your health are important, Dr. Smalley also offers telemedicine so you can easily get the help you need.