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Hydrocodone Addiction Rehabilitation Services in Northwest Territories

When you become addicted to pain medication such as hydrocodone, the process to stop taking them is difficult to go through. Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic pain medication used to treat severe pain. Most patients who are prescribed this drug are given it because other pain medications are not working for them. Hydrocodone is also combined with acetaminophen and ibuprofen and is also prescribed as a cough suppressant. Hydrocodone has a high potential for abuse and dependency, especially when it is taken longer than expected. Most pain medications are not meant for long-term use unless it is chronic pain, and even then, other treatment methods should be explored. The Northwest Territories have been working to decrease the number of opioid-related deaths and encourages opioid addicts to get help. The city of Yellowknife has an opioid maintenance therapy program for opioid addicts. This opioid treatment initiative is operated out of the Yellowknife Primary Care Center. It helps opioid users who are using fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, and codeine, for example. Addicts who access this program are given access to treatment such as medication-assisted treatment, counseling, and residential out-of-territory treatment.

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According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), there are six opioids that account for more than 96% of all opioid prescriptions in the country. These drugs are hydromorphone, morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, codeine, and tramadol. The first four of these drugs are considered strong opioids and are prescribed to treat severe pain. Between 2012 and 2016 the proportion of prescriptions for strong opioids increased in Canada by 9.7%. There are people in the territory who are dependent on these drugs and require medical detox and other forms of treatment to help them. According to Health Canada, there were five opioid-related deaths in the Northwest Territories in 2016. During 2017 there was only one death, and in 2018 there were two opioid-related deaths in the territory. Hydrocodone is derived from the poppy plant similar to morphine, oxycodone, and heroin. The drug is semi-synthetic and affects the opioid receptors in the body similar to other opioids. The boy naturally produces opioids, and when pharmaceutical opioids enter the body they take over. The body becomes dependent on these new opioids, and eventually develops a tolerance for them.

When this happens, the user will struggle to become sober because of the dangerous withdrawal pain. The withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, sweating insomnia, pain, nausea, diarrhea, tremors, and hallucinations. The withdrawal symptoms caused by hydrocodone are similar to other opioids, and depending on the amount being used, withdrawal can be mild or severe. If you are struggling with a hydrocodone addiction, there are resources available in Yellowknife. Addicts also have the opportunity to access treatment out-of-territory, such as inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation centers. If you have been prescribed hydrocodone, it is important to only use this drug as directed. However, there is still a risk of overdose. Hydrocodone addicts will often mix the drug with alcohol to intensify the effects. The signs of an overdose are shallow breathing, blue lips and nails, choking, severe sleepiness, and the person will not seem alert or wake up. If you see someone overdosing, you should contact emergency services immediately.

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Sylvain Fournier

Sylvain Fournier | Bio

Across Canada, there are many different treatment options to choose from, private, government-funded, inpatient, and outpatient. See More