THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
According to the most recent Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Survey (CADUMS), 56.5% of the people in opioid treatment programs in Ontario were coping with dependence to over-the-counter codeine preparations or prescription opioids. Only 15.7% were addicted to Heroin.
Segue Clinic has been responding to this growing epidemic since 2003. We recognize that high quality treatment for those struggling with addiction is limited, and we know that increasing access to comprehensive care is absolutely vital for our patients to succeed.
At Segue Clinic, our community-based programs provide effective and compassionate treatment using Methadone and Suboxone.
What are Opioids?
Opioids are a family of drugs used therapeutically to treat pain that also produce a sensation of euphoria (a “high”). They are naturally derived from the opium poppy plant (e.g. opiates such as morphine, opium) or produced synthetically or semi synthetically in the lab to act like an opiate (e.g. fentanyl, oxycodone). Chronic repeated use of opioids can lead to tolerance, physical dependence and addiction.
Natural opioids (Morphine, Codeine, Opium, etc.) are substances that are derived from the opium poppy while semi-synthetic opioids (OxyContin, Hydromorph Contin, Dilaudid, Percocet, Heroin, Fentanyl, etc.) are produced in a laboratory from natural opioids. Synthetic opioids (Fentanyl, Methadone, Demerol, etc.) are manufactured in a laboratory.
The following are some of the opioids being used now:
- OxyContin: OxyContin is a time-released, 12 hour pain medication for people who need around-the-clock pain relief.
- OxyNeo: OxyNeo is the new form of OxyContin that was brought in to curb abuse of the original drug. It can still be broken down and used to get high fairly easily.
- Percocet: Percocet is similar to OxyContin, but only lasts about five hours. It contains Oxycodone and Acetaminophen (the drug in Tylenol), which makes people sick if they take too much.
- Fentanyl: Fentanyl is most commonly available as a skin patch, but can appear in the form of lozenges, pills, shots and even a film that dissolves in your mouth. Used to treat extreme pain, and often for cancer, Fentanyl patches are often chopped up and put inside the mouth, or smoked and injected.
- Morphine: Morphine is a common medium to strong painkiller, often used after surgery.
- Hydromorphone: Hydromorphone or Hydromorphs are more often abused because Oxycodone is harder to obtain.
- Carfentanyl: Carfentanyl is an analog of Fentanyl. It is 10,000 times more potent than Morphine, making it one of the most potent and dangerous opioids.