Opioids are drugs that mimic opium. Opiates, not to be confused with opioids, come directly from the opium poppy. Both opioids and opiates are dangerously addictive and quickly affecting mass numbers of society.
Opiates, the natural opium mimicker, are prescribed for pain relief. Like man pain relief pharmaceuticals, opiates can become addictive. Addiction to opiates can lead to the use of opioids in an attempt to recreate the sensation of opiate use. Use of opioids often leads to addiction.
Addiction to opiates and opioids is as prevalent today as it dangerous. In fact, opioid and opiate addiction are the most common type of drug overdose in the United States.
It’s no secret that opiate use is a huge problem our country is facing. While careful prescription monitoring and rehabilitation might offer solutions to recovery, there is not a singular cure for opiate addiction.
The Opiate Vaccine
In order to eliminate the risk of opiate addiction, the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research have proposed a vaccine to block the euphoric effects of the pain reliever.
How does the vaccine work?
The opiate vaccine is a heroin vaccine. It makes antibodies in the brain that hold back heroin from getting into the blood and brain. Basically, it prevents the brain from producing euphoric effects that make the drug user want more of the drug so badly.
The heroin vaccine produces antibodies against codeine, oxycodone and hydrocodone, too. By making it impossible for the opiates to get to the brain, the addiction to opiate euphoria can be reduced and with it, maybe, addiction to opiates can fall.
The Opiate Shot
There is also a monthly shot that blocks opiate receptors that can be used to treat opioid addiction. After opioid addiction is confronted, patients go to rehab. After rehab, the long-term work begins. It is the long-term work that takes the most strength and the continued ability to say no to drugs.
It is also during the long-term pursuit of sobriety that cravings for opioids emerge and patients relapse. By getting a monthly injection for opiate addiction, the patient’s cravings are significantly reduced, helping them to avoid the use and stay clean.
Why is the shot more effective?
A once a month shot for opiate addiction is a reasonable sobriety mandate by which an addict can comply. A daily pill (to produce the same euphoria blockage) is difficult to remember. There is also a moment of contemplation before taking the pill. A moment that be quickly swayed toward disinterest and failure to comply. Deciding to not take the pill means that opioids can reach the brain and produce the euphoria that is so addicting to a person. A monthly shot requires overcoming that doubt only once a month.
While some patients are released from rehab with instructions to take the daily opioid agonist, the pill that reduces opioid cravings, others are released from prison or put on probation under the mandated consumption of the daily pill. In these cases, the legally mandated shot increases motivation to get the shot and makes it easy to surveil addicts failing to comply.
Monitoring a monthly shot means it is easy to see when an addict misses a shot and help them back on the road to recovery.
Keeping an addict sober not only improves their chances of recovery and sustained health; it makes society a safer, more protected place for everyone.
If you or a loved one are facing opiate addiction or are struggling to stay sober, then are ways to avoid relapse. Contact United Recovery Project to learn more about the opiate vaccine and shot and to learn about the best options for recovering from opiate addiction.