North Carolina Opiate Addiction Treatment

Opiate addiction is an extremely debilitating illness, in which an individual may become physically, as well as psychologically, dependent on these powerful narcotics. Addiction is considered a disease, due to the changes which take affect in brain chemistry when an individual is under the influence. Opiate addiction can occur as a result of misuse, or overuse, of physician prescribed medications. It may also occur alongside comorbid mental illnesses, such as anxiety or depressive disorders.

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  • Someone who has overdosed on opioids need to be treated immediately, as the drug can cause respiratory depression and death when taken in large doses.
  • Most treatment programs for opioid addiction recommend participation in a support group (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Those who do not feel comfortable with 12-step groups like Narcotics Anonymous may want to choose another program like SMART Recovery.
  • Opioid dependence treatment usually requires a slow tapering process where the patient must be advised by a doctor and must never change their dosage on their own.
  • Opioid addicts are in the most danger of a deadly overdose during withdrawal or after just having detoxed (National Library of Medicine).


  • The opioid abuse problem in North Carolina is severe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the drug overdose death rate in the state increased by 17 percent between 2014 and 2015. This is statistically significant, according to the study.
  • In addition, 1,567 North Carolinians died in 2015 as the result of a drug overdose (CDC). This is higher than the national average.
  • North Carolina also ranks among the second highest tier for the rate of opioid abuse and dependence in the country: between 9.4 and 10.3 per 1,000 persons aged 12 years and older (S. Department of Health and Human Services).
  • According to the North Carolina Office of Public Health, “Heroin deaths have increased more than 500% since 2010.”
  • Also, as stated by the same study, more than 20,000 nonfatal overdoses occur in the state, resulting in emergency department care or hospitalization.


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