Despite the extensive pre-counseling and preparatory procedures that weight loss surgery patients are required to undergo, physicians and substance abuse professionals are seeing an alarming trend of opioid abuse and addiction among these patients. A phenomenon known as addiction replacement may be to blame, says Eric Dunston, the director of Bariatric Surgery and Executive Medical Director of the Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology at the UCLA Health System in Los Angeles. Swapping a food addiction for an opioid addiction is a result of the bariatric surgery denying the patient the ability to eat and self-soothe with food as they used to before. Starving the reward system in the brain by denying food indulgence forces many to turn their cravings from chips and cookies to drugs. If you're searching for quality drug rehab in Wilmington NC, call Legacy Freedom. We can help you!
According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, approximately 200,000 adults have bariatric surgery each year in the United States. These patients are required to have psychological counseling before the surgery as well as after. Mental health trends across these severely obese patients include an increased level of loneliness, anxiety, trouble forming relationships, and depression. These mental health issues that can contribute to eating disorders like obesity are also the same underlying causes that can trigger drug or alcohol addiction. At Legacy Freedom, we understand the importance of getting to the cause of your addiction. Identifying underlying disorders like depression and anxiety is crucial when it comes to treating substance dependence.
Legacy Freedom is not a twelve step program. We utilize a unique holistic approach to drug addiction. By putting you, not your addiction, at the center of your treatment plan, we focus on helping you understand why you feel the need to use drugs or alcohol. Together with your Life-Purpose coach, you will develop a care plan that is tailored to your needs. Through traditional one-on-one talk therapy, you will identify the contributing factors and co-occurring disorders that accompany your addiction. Group therapy is an important part of your recovery process here at Legacy Freedom. Learning from and connecting with your peers as they overcome their addictions allows you to find support both in and away from our outpatient facility. We understand that, for some, involving friends and loved ones in the recovery process is a motivating factor. That is why we offer opportunities for these important people to participate in your recovery efforts. Healing your mind isn't our only focus.
Your recovery will also concentrate on healing the physical damage of your addiction. Together with our staff physical therapist and dietician, you will repair the damage caused by excess eating through proper nutrition and exercise. Building a healthy relationship with food and exercise helps you embrace a new sober lifestyle. In addition to nutritional and exercise therapy, we also offer more than ten different alternative therapies. These therapies are designed to help you express emotions, develop boundaries, learn new coping techniques, and confront old traumas. Your Life-Purpose coach will work with you to help you choose the therapies that match your interests and your therapeutic goals. See our previous posts for more information on our alternative therapy offerings, including inner child work, equestrian therapy, and acupuncture.
The University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences released a report in June of 2017 that found that one in five patients who have had weight loss surgery still take prescription opioids several years after their surgery. While this research does not explain the sudden surge in opioid addiction that the United States has seen in the last ten years, it does make those in the healthcare community wonder about the link. The widespread use of opioids in postoperative patients does draw attention to the fact that an alternative method of pain management should be considered. Another interesting finding of the study was that those who had the weight loss surgery who reported significant pain as a result of their weight reported little improvement in their pain levels after the surgery.
If you have had weight loss surgery, you should be concerned about the potential for addiction replacement if you were given opioids after your procedure. Many people develop an addiction to these powerful drugs quickly, without even realizing that their behaviors or habits have changed. Here are some key symptoms that you shouldn't ignore if you suspect you may be developing an addiction to your post surgical medications:
- Experiencing cravings for the medication.
- Switching doctors or seeing multiple physicians in order to obtain new prescriptions for the medication.
- Altering prescription quantities.
- Tolerance has been built up, making you need more to feel the same effects.
- Lying about money or usage habits to friends and family.
- Problems at work or school related to using medication like missed appointments, meetings or deadlines.
- Inability to focus or function without the drug.
- When you don't take the drugs, withdrawal symptoms like nausea, fever, vomiting or a headache may occur.
- Taking the medication in ways other than it was prescribed.
Holistic Drug Rehab in Wilmington That You Can Trust
If you, or someone you love, are experiencing these symptoms after weight loss surgery, Legacy Freedom can help with drug rehab in Wilmington that you can trust. Whether you have tried to quit using before or are concerned that you may have a problem, we can help. Our care team is ready to connect you with our highly trained staff who can help you begin your journey towards sobriety.
You are not alone in your addiction. Every day thousands of Americans battle opioid addiction. Many of these addicts started out taking the medication to help them cope with the pain of surgery or an injury. The grip of opioid addiction is strong; don't feel ashamed or weak because you need drug rehab. Let the professional staff at Legacy Freedom help you get to the root of your addiction.
Call or click to connect today and let Legacy Freedom of Wilmington help you get on the path towards recovery!