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Painkiller Addiction Rehabilitation Services in Northwest Territories

Painkiller drugs are either prescription drugs and non-prescription pain relievers. Prescription pain medication is the most commonly abused, however, over-the-counter drugs can still be abused when taken in large amounts. Within Canada, there are six pain medications that make up over 96% of all the opioid pain medication prescribed. Per the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), these are hydromorphone, morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, codeine, and tramadol. The first four of these medications are considered strong opioids. In fact, prescriptions for strong opioids have gone up by 9.7% in Canada between 2012 and 2016. The number of opioid prescriptions in Canada also increased by 6.8% between 2012 and 2016. However, within that same time-frame, the number of fentanyl prescriptions decreased in Canada by 7%. Despite fentanyl being a legal painkiller, illegal non-pharmaceutical fentanyl is responsible for countless overdose deaths throughout the country. The Northwest Territories has a sparse population with most of the residents living in Yellowknife. Painkiller addiction does affect residents living within the city. Most of these addictions start with a prescription for painkillers, and it gradually progresses to addiction the longer the person remains on the drug. Most painkillers are not meant for long-term use, however, because pain medication creates a tolerance, more is needed to maintain what the body requires.

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If you are struggling with a painkiller addiction or drug dependency, you should reach out to local treatment services for help. However, like the other two territories, most addicts will find treatment out-of-territory because there are simply not the resources available. Most treatment and counseling options will operate in Yellowknife. The first place to start for treatment with a painkiller addiction is with medical detox. A medically supervised withdrawal is done with the help of doctors and nurses who are working at the center. Medications are used to stabilize the patient when they go through serious withdrawal symptoms. Large amounts of opioids such as hydrocodone create dangerous withdrawal symptoms. It is never recommended that someone who is taking painkillers, stops taking them abruptly. Other than medical detox, the patient will have to taper off the medication, an addict will need medication-assisted treatment. A MAT program uses buprenorphine or suboxone to help the opioid addict through the withdrawals and manage cravings during treatment. However, the effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment only depends on what type of counseling is done along with it. Behavioral therapy and learning-based counseling techniques provide better results for opioid addicts.

Once detox is complete, the addict should make arrangements for treatment in Yellowknife, or find a drug rehab center out of the territory. Long-term inpatient drug rehab is the best option for any addict because most opioid addicts have a long history of addiction. Even aftercare treatment is an excellent option because it provides time for the recovering addict to work on his or her sobriety. An addiction to painkillers is difficult to get through, but if you have the right help and detox, beating the addiction is possible.

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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