The United States is in the middle of a serious opioid epidemic. Furthermore, we are in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. Something seriously has to be done to get people that are addicted, the help they so badly need to get control of this. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
2018 data shows that every day, 128 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of an addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. (NIH)
We now have MAT (medication-assisted treatment) for opiate dependence that has helped a lot of people and has saved a lot of lives, but what about those that want to be completely off and free from any mood and mind-altering substances? Fear keeps a lot of people with opioid use disorder from being free of opioids. The withdrawals are so debilitating, people are scared to death.
What Is Lucemyra?
Lucemyra (lofexidine) is a prescription medication, which is not an opioid, that has been approved by the FDA to help with opioid withdrawal symptoms for adults. When an individual that is addicted to opioids suddenly stops taking them, they will experience debilitating withdrawal symptoms. Lofexidine helps to relieve some of the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Lucemyra will not completely prevent opioid withdrawal symptoms, and it is not a treatment for opioid use disorder.
How Does Lucemyra Work?
When someone initially takes an opioid, it causes the brain to produce lower levels of norepinephrine, a naturally occurring hormone that affects muscle tension, sleep, and breathing. When an individual takes opioids long-term, they change the way nerve cells work in the brain. After a while, the nerve cells adjust to having the opioids around and because opioids reduce levels of norepinephrine, your body responds and adjusts to these levels. When an individual stops taking opioids, there is an imbalance of norepinephrine, which is why they experience withdrawal symptoms. Lofexidine helps to adjust the balance of norepinephrine in the areas of the brain that are responsible for withdrawal symptoms. This will help to restore the chemical balance and therefore, relieve the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.
Clinical Studies on Lucemyra Effectiveness
A clinical study was done and patients who were in opioid withdrawal were given Lucemyra. On day 1 of their withdrawal, patients reported they started to feel some symptom relief. On days 2 and 3 of their opioid withdrawal, they reported the biggest improvement in their symptom relief. Day 4 and beyond, patients continued to feel improvement as the withdrawal symptoms continued to decrease. Lofexidine continued to be effective through day 7 of opioid withdrawal. It is important to remember that medication is only part of the treatment for opioid addiction. Individuals still need group and individual therapy with a counselor along with other treatments. Opioid addicts do have some options now to help them get better, but more than anything, you have to want this!
Treatment for Opioid Addiction
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Evoke Wellness at Cohasset offers evidence-based addiction treatment. Our solution-focused addiction treatment will lead you on a road to long-lasting recovery. You don’t have to suffer any longer, call us today.